health

Big Law, Tiny Font
7:16 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Lesser-Known Washington Law Doubles Maternity Leave To 24 Weeks

Washington law says your employer must inform you of your labor rights with this poster. The tiny text in the red box (added) tells workers of their right to additional parental leave.
Phyllis Fletcher

A long-standing state law in Washington gives working mothers up to 24 weeks off when they have babies. If you didn’t know, you must not have read the poster in your break room at work. You know, the one everyone is always leaning over and squinting at to find out what their rights are.

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Healthy Living
9:00 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Is Living "All Natural" Worth It?

Organic produce.
Credit Flickr photo/Sarah Gilbert

Organic and “all natural” products are on the rise.  Grocery stores have expanded their free-range, non-toxic options. We’re paying more trying to make healthier choices for our bodies and our world. More women are choosing “natural childbirth” and tossing old plastic Tupperware to avoid toxic leaching.  Are all these efforts really working?  Is there a right way and a wrong way to live “naturally?” Journalist Nathanael Johnson has answers.

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Sleep Problems
4:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Does Counting Sheep Work? Tips For A Good Night's Sleep

Arne Coomans Flickr

According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome. Ross Reynolds interviewed Dr. Sarah Stolz, the medical director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Swedish Medical Center.

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Poetry
5:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Poet Suzanne Edison On Parenting A Chronically Ill Child

Poet Suzanne Edison
Credit Seedison Designs

Learning that your child has a serious, chronic illness is like falling off a cliff, without knowing how — or if — your feet will ever find the ground again, says poet Suzanne Edison.

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Mental Health
12:40 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Why Are Women More Depressed Than Men?

Flickr Photo/Majicdolphin

Women around the world are 2 to 6 times more likely than men to suffer from depression. Today Ross talks to author Dana Jack about her new book “Silencing the Self Across Cultures,” where she explores the reasons for the troubling sadness and silence of women across the globe.

Medicaid Patients
7:54 am
Fri January 25, 2013

State Reports Drop In Unnecessary Emergency Room Use

Washington hospitals saw a drop in unnecessary ER visits by Medicaid patients when it adopted changes last June.
Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

A preliminary report from the Washington State Hospital Association shows that emergency room  visits by frequent users fell by 23 percent between June and October of last year.

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Self Improvement
2:22 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Fitness Tips For The Lazy! (No Judgement)

Perhaps you need more motivation to take the stairs: You'll save electricity too!
Ludovic Bertron Flickr

Some people wake up in the morning refreshed, climb out of bed and exercise and others, well, don't. Even though science proves that exercise is beneficial to your mental and physical health, millions of Americans will never hit the gym. Here are five fitness tips for the more sedentary among us from fitness expert Dan Tripps, director of the Center for the Study of Sports and Exercise at Seattle University.

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No Beds For Mentally Ill
12:38 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

King County Calls For Fix In State Mental Health System

Many criminal defendants waiting for mental evaluation before civil commitment end up at Harborview's emergency department.
Seattle Municipal Archives Flickr

King County is facing a major problem. It doesn’t have enough beds for mentally ill people going through the court system. The county has nowhere to send them, and some are being released without treatment.

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Health Insurance
11:06 am
Fri January 18, 2013

2013: Another Chance For The Reproductive Parity Act?

The new state legislative session is well underway, and a few state senators are planning to reintroduce what’s known as the Reproductive Parity Act. The bill would require insurers who cover maternity care to also cover abortions.

Last year’s version of the bill died in the Senate due to Republican opposition. This year it's getting another chance, and it already has the support of Governor Jay Inslee, who mentioned it specifically in his inaugural address.

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Sociology
8:00 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Chaos, Disorder, Uncertainty: A Recipe To Thrive

Nassim Nicholas Taleb at the Digital Life Design conference in 2009.
Credit Flickr photo/nrkbeta.no

How can we thrive in an uncertain world? Nassim Nicholas Taleb identifies a category of things that not only depend on disorder -- they thrive on it. For example: human bones get stronger when subjected to stress, and riots intensify when someone tries to suppress them.

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Aging And Health Care
11:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Preparing For The Grey Tsunami In Health Care: Economist Dean Baker And Labor Activist Ai’jen Poo

Are you ready for the Grey Tsunami?
Rita T Flickr

By 2030, seniors will make up more than 20 percent of Washington state’s population.  Are we ready to care for the elderly? What’s it going to mean for federal programs like Medicare?  Ross interviews economist Dean Baker and labor activist Ai’jen  Poo.

Government
12:00 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Initiative 522 - Genetically Engineered Food Act

  This year Washington voters could be voting on whether foods that have been produced using genetic engineering would have to be labeled as such. Trudy Bialic is the director of public affairs for PCC Natural Markets and a member of the campaign steering committee for Label-It-WA, the campaign that supports Initiative 522. Ross Reynolds talks with her about why she supports the labeling initiative.

Deductible Deadline
9:04 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Patients Rush To Have Surgery Before New Year Resets Clock

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 2:19 pm

One of the busiest places to be this time of year is the operating room. But it's not because of holiday accidents. Huge numbers of patients have surgery in December by choice.

Dr. Tim Smith is a sinus surgeon at Oregon Health and Science University. The week before Christmas this year, he performed 10 surgeries in three days.

“We joke with one another that people think it's busy at the mall this time of year, they ought to check out their outpatient surgery centers.”

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Medicine
11:35 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Harvard Prof. Says Placebo Effect More Powerful And Useful Than We Imagine

The act of taking pills is one part of the complex mental reward system known as the placebo effect.
Credit Flickr Photo/pig pog s

Before 1970, doctors used to lie to their patients all the time. They knew that some hypochondriacs became noticeably better when doctors gave them a sugar pill.

This was called "the placebo effect." After 1970, we thought of placebos differently. Researchers decided that for a drug to be deemed effective, it had to outperform a placebo. But we never stepped back and took a good hard look at the placebo and why it worked.

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Mental Illness
6:31 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Violence And Mental Illness: Is There A Link?

Is there any correlation between mental illness and acts of violence?
Credit Flickr illustration/madamepsychosis

Tragic and unexplainable acts of violence are often attributed to mental illness. In the aftermath of terrible tragedies, like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, anecdotal and unconfirmed stories of mental illness begin to circulate.

Dr. Jennifer Stuber from UW’s School of Social Work visited Weekday to discuss the link between violence and mental illness and particularly how the media plays a part in the dissemination of misinformation. Below are highlights from her interview.

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