Andrea Smardon

Reporter

Andrea Smardon is a reporter specializing in healthcare, business, labor, and immigration. She joined KUER in November, 2011, and after her first year was awarded best Utah radio reporter by the Society of Professional Journalists. Previously, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Prior to that, she worked at Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT with a double major in English and Music. When not reporting, she enjoys playing clarinet and accordion music from all over the world, eating creative dinners made by her husband, and making up rhymes with her daughter, Ruby.

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As one Utah lawmaker continues his push for the state to allow medical marijuana, two of his GOP colleagues have introduced a scaled-back alternative.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

YWCA Utah is hosting events every day this week to raise awareness about domestic violence. They’re calling it the "Week Without Violence".

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The official who stepped in to lead the Utah Department of Technology Services after a massive health data breach is retiring.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The latest proposal to expand Medicaid in Utah was overwhelmingly rejected by Republicans in the House of Representatives this week, but lawmakers may have a way forward. 

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The latest compromise plan to expand Medicaid appears to be dead. House Republicans rejected the proposal in a closed door caucus meeting Tuesday night.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A key decision about whether to expand Medicaid in Utah will be decided by a group of Republican lawmakers behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon. The GOP caucus of the House of Representatives is expected to take a poll to see if members support the latest proposal, but the rest of the state’s lawmakers will likely never get to vote on it.

Utah is seeing improvements in reducing infections from hospital procedures. The state department of health released its annual report on healthcare associated infections Monday. Across the country, 1 in 25 people will get an infection while they are receiving treatment for another condition in a healthcare setting.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A large crowd of disabled-rights activists has been making their presence known in Salt Lake City this week, blocking traffic and occupying the governor’s office, in an attempt to bring attention to their cause.

KUER

Utah Republican lawmakers met Tuesday behind closed doors to discuss the latest proposal to expand Medicaid.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Funding for Planned Parenthood in Utah will continue at least for a couple more weeks. A U.S. District Court judge Tuesday blocked an order issued by Governor Gary Herbert to cut off federal money going to the organization.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Attorneys representing Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a lawsuit Monday against Governor Gary Herbert for blocking the organization’s federal funding.

Next year, many health insurance providers in Utah will be required to cover autism treatment. A summit is taking place on Monday to help prepare parents for the state’s autism mandate.

Utah health officials are urging people to take advantage of a prescription drug take-back event on Saturday. They say getting rid of old medications might help save a life.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

An LGBT civil rights organization is criticizing Utah Governor Gary Herbert for his decision to take part in the World Congress of Families this October.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Salt Lake County Council gave preliminary approval for a property tax levy Tuesday to fund criminal justice reform. In total, homeowners will be providing 9.4 million dollars a year.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Environmental activist and NASCAR driver Leilani Munter is in Utah, talking about her efforts to fight climate change. She’s speaking Tuesday night at the University of Utah as part of a series called Trailblazers of Clean Energy.

Photo courtesy Salt Lake County mayor's office

Women leaving the Salt Lake County jail with a mental illness or substance abuse disorder will have a new place to go for treatment. The county opened a residential facility Monday designed to help female offenders transition back into the community.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Westminster College is hosting its second annual conference on campus sexual violence. This year, the college is expanding the discussion to include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Image Source: www.educationworldngo.com

Utah doctors are objecting to the idea that they should help pay for the cost of expanding Medicaid to low-income citizens. Some call it a provider tax, and it’s one of the ideas being considered by state GOP lawmakers.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Healthcare leaders at the University of Utah are calling attention to gender inequality in the academic medical field. An editorial co-authored by two female officials from University Health Sciences was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The long term future of the Utah State Fair has been in question for years, but it will likely be decided in a matter of months. Members of the Fairpark board presented their business plan to a group of state lawmakers last week.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah State Fair opened its gates Thursday for another ten days of fried dough, ponies, and Ferris wheel rides, but the future of the Fairpark is uncertain.

Juliet Fletcher / Council of State Governments Justice Center

A new report recognizes Salt Lake County for its efforts in criminal justice reform, but researchers found weaknesses in how it handles offenders with behavioral health disorders.

Courtesy: / Tesoro Corp.

One of Utah’s major sources of industrial air pollution, Tesoro Refinery, is on track to get a federal Clean Air Act permit after operating for more than 15 years without one. Utah environmental regulators reached a settlement agreement Tuesday with conservation groups who had sued the state for failing to issue the permit.

Courtesy photo

Utah is ranked fourth on a list of the top 10 states seeing job growth in clean energy, thanks to a boom in the solar industry. This growth comes as Utah’s oil and gas jobs are declining.

http://phinational.org/policy/states/utah/

Home care workers in Utah and across the country will now be entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. The US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez sent a letter to Governor Gary Herbert this week advising him that a US Court of Appeals has upheld the Home Care Final Rule, and that Utah will be required to comply.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Senator Orrin Hatch was at the University of Utah today for a presentation on advances in genetics research and precision medicine. The event comes before Congress begins its budget negotiations.

A new pilot program intended to prevent domestic violence homicides in Utah has just launched. One women’s shelter in Cedar City is seeing results in just one week.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Every month, 49 Utahns die from drug poisoning. But advocates are trying to prevent more deaths by distributing a medicine they believe can save lives.

A new film about the healthcare coverage gap in Utah is screening at the University of Utah college of law Tuesday night. It’s called Donut Hole.

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