health

Affordable Care Act
4:05 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Health Exchange Rollout: What The Feds Got Wrong And What Wash. Got Right

A HyperCard parody of the federal health care exchange, which has been plagued by technical issues since rolling out earlier this month.
Flickr Photo/Daniel Rehn

Congressional Republicans begin a series of hearings today on the problematic rollout of the federal government’s health exchange website. Since its launch earlier this month, healthcare.gov has been plagued by a number of technical issues and the Spanish language version hasn’t even launched yet.

Here in Washington, the health exchange rollout had a glitchy start, but overall, it’s fared much better than the federal website.

Bill Schrier is the former Chief Technology Officer for the city of Seattle. He currently serves as senior policy advisor to the chief information officer of Washington state. He talks with Marcie Sillman about what the other Washington did wrong, and what Washington state did right.

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Health
3:41 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Gonorrhea Outbreak Perplexes Washington Health Officials

Health officials across the Northwest are trying to figure out why they’re seeing a big upswing in the number of people with gonorrhea this year.

Washington announced Thursday five counties are in the midst of an outbreak of the infection.

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Ask The Dietitian
2:51 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Dietitian Mary Purdy On Avoiding The Midday Slump

Even if it's at your desk, dietitian Mary Purdy stresses a good fiber and protein breakfast to crush the midday slump.
Flickr Photo/Jennifer P.

It is a feeling that is all too common: the post-lunch midday slump. If you are feeling a little sluggish at your desk around 3 p.m. and need a pick me up, what should you do?

Registered dietitian Mary Purdy has a few suggestions to keep you sustained throughout the day. Put down the latte, caffeine is not one of them!

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Cardiology
3:22 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

The Progress Of Heart Disease Treatment In The US

A human heart.
From Wikipedia

There have been many innovations in heart disease care and prevention, and former Vice President Dick Cheney has been the beneficiary of nearly every one of those innovations during his three-decade long struggle with the disease. 

It was those medical developments that kept him alive until he received a heart transplant at the age of 71.  Now the former vice president is opening up about his experiences in a book he co-wrote with his cardiologist, “Heart: An American Medical Odyssey.”

The Record’s Steve Scher spoke with Dr. Nahush Mokadam, the co-director of heart transplantation at the University of Washington Medical Center, to get an update on heart disease treatment in the US and determine whether Cheney’s experience was unique.

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Stalled Research
12:58 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Antibiotics Can't Keep Up With 'Nightmare' Superbugs

On Tuesday night, PBS' Frontline will investigate how decades of antibiotic overuse has led to the emergence of drug-resistant superbugs.
Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:15 pm

We're used to relying on antibiotics to cure bacterial infections. But there are now strains of bacteria that are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics, and are causing deadly infections. According to the CDC, "more than 2 million people in the United States every year get infected with a resistant bacteria, and about 23,000 people die from it," journalist David Hoffman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Health And Education
12:19 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Want Your Daughter To Be A Science Whiz? Soccer Might Help

Very few girls get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise daily. But physical activity could help with school, a study says.
evoo73 Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:22 am

Girls who were more physically active at age 11 did better at school as teenagers, a study finds. And the most active girls really aced science.

It's become pretty much a given that children do better academically when they get regular exercise, even though schools continue to cut or even eliminate recess time. But there's surprisingly little hard evidence to back that up.

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Affordable Care Act
10:00 am
Tue October 22, 2013

A Three-Week Checkup On Washington's Health Exchange

As part of implementing the Affordable Care Act, state and federal health exchanges kicked off three weeks ago. The launch has been no walk in the park. State-run exchanges and the federally-run, Healthcare.gov, have been plagued with website problems: failed-log ins, long wait times and, in the case of Washington’s own wahealthplanfinder.org, a non-functioning website for the first few days.

Despite its glitchy start, Washington has been touted as one of the best functioning state marketplaces. Marcie Sillman talks with spokesperson Michael Marchand from Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange.

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News
8:13 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Washington Proposes Medical Marijuana Registry, Tax Exemption

Mjpresson Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:48 pm

Medical marijuana patients in Washington would have to register with the state if they don’t want to pay pot taxes.

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Technology
3:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

When Playing Video Games Means Sitting On Life's Sidelines

The reSTART center for Internet addiction is in the woods outside Seattle. The initial, inpatient part of the program is held on a property that has a treehouse and a garden.
Rachel Martin NPR

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:49 pm

A facility outside Seattle, surrounded by pine trees, is a refuge for addicts — of technology.

There are chickens, a garden and a big treehouse with a zip line. A few guys kick a soccer ball around between therapy appointments in the cottage's grassy backyard.

The reSTART center was set up in 2009. It treats all sorts of technology addictions, but most of the young men who come through here — and they are all young men — have the biggest problem with video games.

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Health
4:54 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Paleontologist To Humans: Stop Sugar Binging, Start Moving More

Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist, writes that we may be living longer, but we are suffering from relatively new, preventable diseases.

We may be living longer, but we aren’t necessarily living better, argues Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist and author of Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease.

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RadioActive Youth Media
12:25 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

They Once Called This Teenage Girl A Boy

Jen came out as trans at age 14.
KUOW Photo/Isaac Noren

When Jennifer looks in a mirror, she sees bigger hips and a smaller waist than several months ago. At 16, she's like other high school girls, in that she worries about her looks and frets about a "weird smile" and her dirty blonde hair. But she loves her new figure.

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Public Health
12:11 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

UW Study Links Obesity To Socioeconomic Status

For years, researchers have been connecting the dots between socioeconomic status and obesity rates. A new study from the University of Washington makes those connections even stronger.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity looked at nearly 60,000 men and women in King County. It found that people in South and Southeast King County were much more likely to be obese. The biggest factors were education levels and home values.

Adam Drewnowski is the study’s lead author. He’s a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and the director of the UW’s Center for Public Health Nutrition. He talks with Marcie Sillman.

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Mental Health
8:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Assaults Are "Constant Disruption" At State Mental Hospitals

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
John Ryan KUOW

Violence is a “constant disruption” at the state’s two main psychiatric hospitals, according to a new report jointly commissioned by The Department of Social and Health Services and the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union that represents much of the front-line staff at the hospitals. 

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Psychiatric Boarding
2:35 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Wash. Mental Health Advocates Pushing For Increased Funding Of Outpatient Programs

Emergency rooms in Washington often act as stop gap for those needing mental health care.
Flickr Photo/Michael J

Washington state is facing a crisis when it comes to providing beds for psychiatric care. On a per capita basis, according to a 2009 national report, Washington ranks at the very bottom.

When beds are unavailable at psychiatric hospitals and regional mental health providers, hospital emergency rooms are often a last resort. Mental health advocates say this is a huge problem, because in some cases, mentally ill people are housed in emergency rooms for months, without access to sufficient treatment.

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Food Safety
12:09 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Your Guide To Avoiding Foodborne Illness

Flickr Photo/snowpea&bokchoi

On Monday, the USDA issued a warning for salmonella contamination in packaged Foster Farms chicken. Nearly 300 illnesses in 17 states have been reported.

Today, the USDA is threatening to close the three Foster Farms facilities linked to the outbreak. This latest outbreak is just one of the many contamination stories we hear about each year.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that every year, roughly one in six Americans get sick from foodborne illness. How can you protect yourself? Marcie Sillman talks with Scott Meschke, microbiologist and professor Health Sciences at University of Washington.

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