Health Care

KatarzynaBialasiewicz via www.istockphoto.com

State lawmakers are considering a statewide hotline for people to call if they’re thinking of committing suicide.  Supporters say Utah, which has some of the highest suicide rates in the country is desperate for a number that’s easy to remember and connects callers directly to services without delay.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Simone Jackson is spending the first morning of 7th grade at the Salt Lake County Health Department’s immunization clinic.

“After I get this,” she says, “then I’ll be able to go into my school.”

Utah Department of Health

Methamphetamine lab busts are on the decline in Utah down from 107 in 2004 to 1 in 2014.  But concerns at the Utah Department of Health are rising.

Courtesy photo: University of Utah.

Many of the US athletes arriving in Rio are not only participating in the Olympic games, they’re taking part in a research study about the Zika virus. A professor at the University of Utah is heading up that effort.

istock.com/XiXinXing

A state lawmaker is working on new legislation to curb pain pill addiction in Utah. This one starts at the doctor’s office.

50% Of Zika Cases In Utah Have Been Pregnant Women

Jul 22, 2016

Utah health officials are trying to raise awareness about the risks of Zika for pregnant women and babies in utero. Of the eight known cases in the state, four were pregnant at the time of infection.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Local health officials confirmed Monday a new case of Zika in Utah, but they don’t know how the infection occurred.

Court Orders Utah to Fund Planned Parenthood

Jul 12, 2016
Andrea Smardon / KUER

A federal appeals court is ordering Utah to continue sending money to the state branch of Planned Parenthood.

Whittney Evans

Zika virus contributed to the death of a Salt Lake County resident last month. County health officials say it’s the first confirmed Zika-related death in the continental U.S.

Youth Suicide Drives Down Utah's Child Health Ranking

Jun 20, 2016
iStock.com/Connel_Design

A new report shows that Utah is not making the same progress on children’s health insurance coverage or child death rates as other states. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the state dropped from 7th to 27th in this year’s child health ranking.

Courtesy photo

White House Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli was in Salt Lake City Thursday to talk with community leaders about efforts to address opioid addiction.

ARUP Laboratories

Utah scientists have developed a new way to diagnose infectious diseases that could save lives. It’s a tool called Taxonomer.

iStock.com/Wavebreakmedia

Intermountain Healthcare announced an effort Thursday to reduce drug overdose deaths by increasing access to an antidote called Naloxone. Utahns can now visit any Intermountain community pharmacy in the state and buy Naloxone without a prescription from a doctor.

Whittney Evans

Utah’s Safe Haven Law has saved roughly 40 children since it went into effect 15 years ago. State officials hope the law will continue to encourage women to anonymously give up custody of their newborns rather than abandon them.  

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah health officials are now saying that a limited Medicaid expansion passed by the legislature this year will cover fewer people than anticipated. Meanwhile, it’s not clear whether the federal government will even approve the plan.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

As more baby boomers reach retirement age, interest is building in alternative living situations that provide a sense of community. In Salt Lake City this week is a conference called Aging Better Together. It’s the first gathering of its kind in the country focused on the idea of co-housing for seniors.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A life-saving, stroke-prevention device is available this month for the first time to Utah patients. The device has been tested in clinical trials by scientists and cardiologists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This week several laws went into effect intended to address Utah’s addiction to pain pills and opioids. Lawmakers this year approved legislation that will allow for the creation of a needle exchange and for anyone to distribute a drug overdose antidote called Naloxone. KUER's Andrea Smardon talks with Sam Plumb, whose brother died of a heroin overdose. Plumb and his sister Jennifer together started an organization last year called Utah Naloxone at University of Utah Health Care.

U Named National Olympic Medical Center

May 11, 2016
Andrea Smardon / KUER

The U.S. Olympic Committee has added the University of Utah to its National Medical Network to support elite U.S. athletes. It’s the third medical center to join the network and the only academic institution in this role.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

New data shows six people die each week in Utah as a result of overdosing on prescription painkillers. A campaign is underway to safely dispose of the drugs that are killing people.

Salt Lake City to Identify Chemical Hazards for Babies

Apr 25, 2016

Salt Lake City launched an effort Monday to protect babies from neurotoxic chemical exposures. It’s one of three cities piloting a program with the national organization Healthy Babies Bright Futures.

The CEO of UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurer, said this week that the company is planning a widespread exodus from the Obamacare market due to financial losses.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah researchers have found that sexual trauma in the military is associated with a much higher risk for homelessness. They’ve published their conclusions in a new study.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Next month, a doctor performing an abortion in Utah will be required to administer anesthesia after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Passed by the legislature in the recent session, the new law is the first of its kind in the nation. It’s based on the disputed notion that a fetus may feel pain during the procedure.

Davis Hospital and Medical Center

The Utah Department of Health is nearly halfway through its investigation of a hepatitis C outbreak associated with a former healthcare worker at two Northern Utah hospitals.

Dan Weist Director of Communications, Salt Lake City Council

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski recognized Women’s History Month Tuesday by honoring two women who cared for people with HIV/AIDS in Utah when other medical professionals turned them away.

Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, UCSF

A new study finds that Utah’s law mandating at least a 72-hour waiting period for an abortion procedure has done little to dissuade women from their decision, but the study reveals additional costs, delays and anxiety for women who go on to have an abortion.

Whittney Evans

Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law today that expands Medicaid coverage to the poorest among Utah’s population. 

Medical Marijuana Still Smoldering in Utah

Mar 11, 2016
Image Medscape.com

The legislative session ended with no action on medical marijuana, but lawmakers and advocates are already strategizing for their next moves.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

One of the most hotly contested issues in the legislature this year was medical marijuana, but lawmakers ran out of time before they could pass any legislation.

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