health

The fix is broken.

Two years ago Congress created the Veterans Choice Program after scandals revealed that some veterans were waiting months to get essential medical care. The $10 billion program was designed to get veterans care quickly by letting them choose a doctor outside the VA system. Now Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are pushing through new legislation to fix the program.

The rights of the religious and the secular clash again Wednesday at the Supreme Court, this time in the controversial context of Obamacare and birth control.

Vice President Joe Biden toured the lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center before holding a roundtable meeting with scientists there. Biden says he's encouraged to see more cooperation between researchers and doctors.
Fred Hutch News Service Photo/Robert Hood

Vice President Joe Biden urged scientists to collaborate to help speed up the process to cure cancer. Biden was in Seattle Monday. He toured a lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, then held a roundtable discussion with scientists.

You've probably heard that a little booze a day is good for you. I've even said it at parties. "Look at the French," I've said gleefully over my own cup. "Wine all the time and they still live to be not a day younger than 82."

I'm sorry to say we're probably wrong. The evidence that alcohol has any benefit on longevity or heart health is thin, says Dr. Timothy Naimi, a physician and epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center.

When a doctor found that Kenicer Carty's 1-year-old daughter had a dangerously high level of lead last year, it triggered an alarm of sorts. Officials sent an inspector to Carty's 1930 row house in northeast Baltimore. It turned out that every single window had hazardous chipping lead paint.

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Seattleite Amelia Bonow is not the type to whisper about anything. But her abortion was something she kept to herself – until a few days ago.

The 12-seat injection room in InSite in Vancouver, B.C. Participants at the clinic inject drugs under the supervision of trained staff and nurses.
Courtesy InSite

The rise in heroin use in Washington has pushed a new idea to the forefront: legal injection sites for drug users.

Monday, a City Council committee will take a look at one model that has worked.

Thirty-four water systems in Washington state were found to have unacceptable levels of lead. Most of those systems are now in compliance, although four of them are still working toward lower lead levels.
Flickr Photo/Christina Spicuzza (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Flint, Michigan, isn't the only place with lead in its drinking water: 34 water systems in Washington state have tested above acceptable levels of the toxic metal, according to a new investigation from USA Today.

The list includes water systems at five schools: Maple Valley Elementary, Griffin School near Olympia, Shelton Valley Christian School, Skamania Elementary and Washington State Patrol Academy.

Oregon regulators said Thursday air and soil samples continue to show low health risks for Portland residents. But the level of arsenic in some areas is elevated.

A new test for arsenic around Uroboros Glass in North Portland showed levels several times higher than the state guideline.

But David Farrer with the Oregon Health Authority said people needn’t be concerned.

Marny Lombard has this advice on preventing suicide: "Reach out. Connect. Encourage your children to connect. That is how we thrive. If you see loneliness, reach out to it. Wrap your arms around the lonely. Maybe figuratively, maybe actually.”
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Marny Lombard lost her only child to suicide. Samuel Henderson Lombard was 22.

Lombard told Bill Radke how that loss led her to become an advocate for suicide prevention. Lombard is an organizer with Zero Suicide: Inland Northwest and a volunteer with Forefront at the University of Washington.

Hillsboro Police Department officers participate in meditation training in 2013. Lt. Richard Goerling argues that meditation can help police forces deal with stress that is constantly eroding “our emotional intelligence skill set.”
Hillsboro Police Department/Darci Vanden Hoek

Police officer Richard Goerling wasn't happy with the way he was handling the public.

“I’d leave a radio call thinking, ‘Hmm, I probably could have been more kind’ and really questioning whether or not the abrasive approach was an appropriate response,” Goerling told KUOW's Bill Radke.

He turned to yoga and meditation. It worked.

8 Ways You Can Survive — And Thrive In — Midlife

Mar 17, 2016

After two years of research and more than 400 interviews about midlife, former NPR reporter Barb Bradley Hagerty received dozens of insights about how to live well in the middle years. We've distilled them here, with a little context. And, by the way, these ideas work well for people on both sides of the midlife divide.

2 Breakfasts May Be Better Than None For School Kids

Mar 17, 2016

When it comes to school breakfasts, two is better than none, says a new report released Thursday in the journal Pediatric Obesity.

U.S. Army Pfc. Dustin Hein, with the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, smokes a cigarette between training missions at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., Nov. 11, 2009.
Flickr Photo/MilitaryHealth

Soldiers like their smokes and chew.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle, 35 percent of soldiers use tobacco, just slightly higher the average for the entire Army.

I've been itching to get a standing desk. After all, America's sitting itself into an early grave. Sitting is the new smoking. Clearly, a standing desk would stop me from sitting, and standing is just so much better for you than sitting, right?

Contrary to popular belief, science does not say so.

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