Health Care | KUER 90.1

Health Care

This month, Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow school nurses to administer medical marijuana to students. But not all nurses may be on board.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Our region ranks in the top ten for suicide. A new study from the University of Utah shows there may be a reason for that.

Erik Neumann / KUER

More than two dozen counties in Utah have filed lawsuits against opioid makers or are considering doing so. But are they really thinking of going to trial with multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical companies? 

Erik Neumann / KUER

Weber County officials on Thursday announced they're joining a growing number of municipalities around the state that are suing drug manufacturers over the opioid crisis.

Renee Bright / KUER

In the Hive Mind, KUER reporters take questions from our listeners and try to help find the answer. This week KUER spoke to a woman with a life or death question about mental health. 

Erik Neumann / KUER

As opioid overdoses from prescription and illicit drugs continue to plague Utah, librarians who serve the public often find themselves on the front lines of the drug war. Now, libraries in Salt Lake County will be taking a proactive approach: Distributing the overdose drug naloxone. 

Erik Neumann / KUER

Several hundred people gathered at Copper Mountain Middle School last night in Herriman to talk about a troubling spike in teen suicides.

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Of all the statistics connected to America’s opioid epidemic, Utah leads the way on one especially troubling ranking: our state has the highest rate of opioid prescriptions for pregnant mothers on Medicaid — double the national average. New legislation is exploring why.

Medicaid Initiative Is One Step Close To The Ballot

May 4, 2018
Utah Decides Healthcare

Organizers behind an initiative to fully expand Medicaid in the state say they have enough signatures to get it on the ballot in November. 

Dan Salkeld doesn’t like plunging toilets, filling out tax forms, or clipping his children's toenails. But he loves collecting ticks in Colorado.

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Utah now has one case in the national E. coli outbreak. According to Laine McCullough with the Utah Department of Health the patient in Utah was infected while traveling in the Northeastern U.S.

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Tomorrow is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The event, which is organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration, has both public health and environmental benefits.

Screenshot/CDC

The nasty strain of E. coli that’s sickening people across the U.S. has turned up in Idaho and Montana, and health officials remain on alert.

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Today is the deadline for public comment on a federal proposal allowing health insurers to offer new short-term insurance plans. Some say it’s another step towards dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture met with a dozen groups affected by the state’s opioid epidemic on Wednesday. They were looking for solutions to the drug problem in rural Utah.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that their agency, mostly known for food and farming, is starting to address the national opioid epidemic. This week representatives from USDA will meet in Salt Lake City to learn about how the problem is affecting the Mountain West.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Officials with the Salt Lake County Health Department announced two deaths from hepatitis A this week. They mark the first two fatalities in a months-long outbreak of the disease, but experts say the epidemic is starting to recede.

Medical marijuana appears to have put a dent in the opioid abuse epidemic, according to two studies published Monday.

The research suggests that some people turn to marijuana as a way to treat their pain, and by so doing, avoid more dangerous addictive drugs. The findings are the latest to lend support to the idea that some people are willing to substitute marijuana for opioids and other prescription drugs.

Erik Neumann / KUER

President Trump fired the Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin Wednesday night, the latest personnel change in his cabinet. At a Vietnam War Veterans day event today, Utah vets talked about what they think of the change and how it could affect the hospitals where they receive health care.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill into law that could expand Medicaid health coverage to around 60,000 Utahns. 

Austen Diamond / KUER

There isn’t an easy template to follow when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana the way Utah’s Legislature wants to do it.

Erik Neumann / KUER


An outbreak of hepatitis A is spreading in Salt Lake County. But, while cases go up, it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention. One reason for that could be the population it’s primarily affecting: the homeless. Why is this epidemic so bad and what’s being done to stop it?

Erik Neumann / KUER

For medical students all across the country, the third Friday of March is Match Day. It's when med students find out where they’ll do their residency. At the University of Utah’s Match Day around 100 medical students were eagerly waiting.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

A new report out this week measures the health of every county in the nation. Overall, researchers said Utah compares well, but at the county level, there are health disparities. 

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An effort to tighten how health care providers prescribe and dispense opioids passed out of the legislature and is awaiting the signature of the Governor. It's the next step in the fight against over-prescribing drugs.  

Erik Neumann / KUER

When people detox from opioids they describe it as having a terrible flu — times ten. For many, the fear of withdrawals is what prevents them from getting treatment in the first place. But a new device to help with detoxing is having surprising success.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

A bill making its way quickly through the Utah legislature could create the largest Medicaid expansion in the state in years. That’s the state and federal low-income health insurance program. But, it comes with a catch.

Erik Neumann / KUER


Carbon County has the highest rate of overdose deaths from heroin and prescription drugs in Utah, but health workers and law enforcement don’t always agree on how to address that problem. Recently a compromise was reached by these two sides allowing one syringe exchange to operate there.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Carbon County has some of the highest rates of opioid overdoses and death by suicide in the state. This week the Southeast Utah Health Department held a conference in Price to talk about it. Organizers called it the HOPE Summit.

Austen Diamond / KUER

A bill coming up for debate would make Utah the first state in the nation to allow residents to buy prescription drugs from Canada for less than they cost in the U.S. It’s getting pushback from pharmaceutical companies.

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