Health & Medicine

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Virginia’s two U.S. senators are pushing legislation to help rural hospitals across the commonwealth get the same reimbursement rate for Medicare as their urban counterparts. 

Patients Seek Narcotics in the Emergency Room

May 25, 2016

As the Virginia death toll from opiates continues to rise, two big healthcare groups recently endorsed new opiate prescription guidelines aimed at hospital emergency rooms in an attempt to curb the epidemic. Jessie Knadler talks to two ER physicians in Augusta County about the guidelines, and what it’s like to work on the front lines of the drug scourge.

Sandy Hausman

A World Health Organization report recently warned that eating meat puts people at a greater risk for cancer, but that hasn’t hurt the market for bacon, ham, pork chops and roasts.  Nor are consumers deterred by other deadly health hazards linked to the industry. The world’s largest pork producer – Smithfield Foods -- slaughters 30 million pigs a year.  

Lyme Disease in Winter: If You Can See Mud...

Mar 3, 2016

One of the nice things about winter? You can go for a walk in the woods and not be besieged by insects.  But not all bugs are dormant during the cold months.  As soon as the ground temperature gets above freezing, the tick that carries Lyme disease becomes active.  If you can see mud, there could be hungry deer ticks out looking for lunch. 

Anne Zajac is professor of parasitology at Virginia Tech.  Her specialty is studying earthworms, but a couple of strange discoveries soon had her doing a ground breaking scientific field study about a different species.

A fight to get access to lifesaving medication enters its second year at the state capitol.  It may be an uphill battle in this conservative state-- because the medication is derived from marijuana.

Last year, Virginia passed a law allowing Beth Collins to give her teenaged daughter, who suffers from severe epilepsy, the one substance that’s successfully treated her seizures -- an oil that comes from marijuana.

“I put it in a tiny dropper, put it under her tongue. Three times a day, she doesn’t like the taste, but it works,” said Collins.

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