Health and Medicine

Health Kick: Mom on a Mission

Jul 27, 2015

Over the past 30 years, rates of childhood obesity in this country have quadrupled.  Eighteen percent of kids and 21% of teenagers are now considered overweight.  It’s a problem that has one Charlottesville mother on the warpath - preaching and writing the gospel of healthier habits.

Shelley Sackier is the slender mother of two healthy kids, so you might not expect her to worry much about the growing number of American children with a weight problem, but she has known - from an early age - that eating too much of the wrong things could have uncomfortable consequences.

Rural Opioid Abuse

Jul 9, 2015

Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. has been on the rise for decades.  Most studies show the increase has been greater in rural areas.  But a new study suggests that’s not the case.

It has long been considered a fact that there were more risk factors for opioid abuse in rural areas.  Here’s how that thinking goes…

“Not a lot of jobs so lots of time on my hands. I don’t have a lot of money, so what am I going to do to entertain myself.”

Bioprinter at UVA Designed to Print Tissue and Organs

Jun 19, 2015
Sanjay Sunchak/University of Virginia

Organ donation saves millions of people each year, but the fact is that there aren’t enough organs to go around.  Now, scientists, engineers and students at the University of Virginia have begun using a machine that could someday make replacement parts for humans. 

The bioprinter is a small, table-top robot with a couple of tubes that contain human cells.  Guided by a computer that has analyzed images of a body part, the device lays down layer after layer of sticky material or gel and cells that are genetically programmed to work in certain ways. 

The transition by the former Bruce Jenner into Caitlin Jenner is another symbol of how ideas about gender are changing in America.  But when it comes to rural communities, it can be more complicated for people who are, or would like to be transgender. 

Cast Aluminum Nurse with IV (New Kensington, PA)

Top entries from the 13th Annual Celebration of Reflective and Creative Writing (2015):

It’s never easy to deal with sickness and death, but nurses do it every day.  In her essay, UVA graduate student Melissa Beth Behl   explains how  and why she’s  able to cope with the stress of caring for patients.