health care

Home canning is regaining popularity as part of the local food movement. If done right, families can enjoy home grown fruits, vegetables and even meat all through the winter. But if done wrong it can be devastating, if not deadly.

A lawyer for the state of Washington recently learned that lesson the hard way.

Oregon lawmakers want to make parents think twice before deciding not to have their kids immunized. The Oregon Senate Thursday approved a measure that would add steps to the way parents can opt out of the requirement.

The Oregon Health Authority says more than six percent of children enter kindergarten without the required number of vaccinations. It has been the highest highest rate in the nation, and it's been climbing.

After last December’s mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon legislature called for increased funding for mental health care. Now, there’s a proposal under discussion that would expand such programs in a big way, but it remains caught up in a debate over how to fund it. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one lawmaker for whom mental health care is a very personal issue.

Fluoride Measure Fails In Portland

May 22, 2013

Unofficial results show Portland's fluoridation measure going down by a resounding 60-to-40 margin. Oregon Public Broadcasting's April Baer reports opponents got the upper hand despite being outspent two-to-one.

High school students across Washington will be learning how to save a life, starting next fall. A new law requires schools to teach basic C-P-R in health classes. Governor Jay Inslee signed the measure into law. The main advocates were with the American Heart Association, including volunteer Eric Rothenberg who survived cardiac arrest because a bystander performed CPR on him. Rothenberg says the new mandate means more people will be willing to use chest compressions:

Judge's Order Questions DOMA, Oregon's Measure 36

Apr 26, 2013

A judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that a Portland lesbian couple has a right to federal health benefits. April Baer reports.

In 2010 the tempo of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were saddling the Army’s Medical Treatment Facilities with thousands of soldiers needing complex healthcare. That same year Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker chartered a task force to help improve trust. He believed trust was the foundation of Army Medicine.

Well, it looks like there really is such as thing as a dog person.

Humans who share their homes with canines also share the similar bacterial houseguests on their skin, ecologists reported Tuesday in the journal eLIFE.

In fact, two dog owners who don't even know each other have about as many of the skin bacteria in common as a married couple living together.

  OLYMPIA, Wash. – Health care advocates are pushing Washington state lawmakers to keep up momentum toward expanding access to Medicaid. About 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia Thursday. They argue one group that will especially benefit is people with mental illness.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – More than 100 health care advocates gathered in Olympia in support of Medicaid expansion Thursday. It coincided with an announcement by Gov. Jay Inslee, unveiling his budget priorities. His proposal includes an expansion of Medicaid.

That pleases Lauren Granger, a healthcare worker at the rally.

“I really hope that the legislature hears this message and isn’t pinching pennies in the wrong place and just have it be more expensive later on,” she says.

A Long Road To Food Safety

Mar 28, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed the most sweeping changes to food safety rules in 70 years. Now it wants to hear from the public. The new rules were triggered by a series of foodborne illness outbreaks. Twenty years ago Seattle was at the epicenter of one of the earliest and most notorious. Hundreds of people got sick from eating contaminated burgers. Ruby de Luna has this story of one family’s experience.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Research shows if you use a tanning bed before the age of 35, you are more likely to get skin cancer. That’s why legislators in Washington, Oregon and Idaho have been considering proposals to bar teenagers from indoor tanning salons. A bill in the Washington legislature to do this has died for the fourth year. But the idea is still alive in Salem and Boise.

Jessica Hewlett is just 22 years old and already a cancer survivor. Last March, her primary doctor sent her to a dermatologist because of a mole on her stomach.

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Governor John Kitzhaber says the feds are calling Oregon's health system a model for other states. Money goes along with that.

OLYMPIA, Wash. − A bill to require insurance companies to offer plans that cover maternity services and abortions passed the Washington House Friday. It is unclear, however, whether the legislation will make it through the Senate’s Republican-majority caucus. Majority Leader Rodney Tom has said he doesn’t want to vote on divisive social issues.

In the House debate, Rep. Laurie Jinkins said this bill would provide options for abortion coverage after the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.

Health care eats up a lot of money. The aim of the Affordable Care Act is to help reduce the cost and increase access.

In Oregon, the state has embarked on an ambitious journey to improve health outcomes while trimming expenses. It’s being done through CCOs or Coordinated Care Organizations. One aspect is the use of community health workers, who visit patients in their homes to try and prevent costly trips to the emergency room.

KLCC’s Angela Kellner introduces us to one Springfield woman who now thinks of her community health worker as a son.

SALEM, Ore. – A bill in Salem would make it harder for Oregon parents to opt out of immunizing their children. Virginia Alvino reports.

SALEM, Ore. – An Oregon Senate panel has given the initial go-ahead to a measure aimed at reducing the cost of medical malpractice insurance. The proposal would set up a mediation system aimed at heading off costly litigation between injured patients and their doctors.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber testified in favor of the plan Thursday. He held up a signed agreement between two long-feuding rival groups.

SHELTON, Wash. - It’s one of the most vexing problems state lawmakers face: how to curb the rising cost of healthcare. In Washington, there’s one specific line item in the healthcare budget that’s startling, but few at the Capitol are talking about: taxpayers now foot the bill for more than half of all births in Washington. But why is that number is so high?

A new report finds Latinos in Idaho are struggling with many of the same health problems as the rest of the state’s population, but to an even worse extent. The wide-ranging demographic study is intended to guide policymakers on issues that affect Hispanics.

OLYMPIA, Wash. –Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants state lawmakers to move “quickly” to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. At a news conference Wednesday, the Democratic governor described expansion as a “no brainer” that will save the state money.

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon is working to expand medical coverage under the federal health care overhaul. But advocates of universal health care say it doesn’t go far enough. They rallied on the steps of the state capitol in Salem Monday -- the first day of work for the 2013 legislative session.

Among the rally's speakers was Wes Brain from southern Oregon. He said he has had cancer, and his daughter died of Leukemia four years ago. He believes there were unnecessary barriers for her treatment.

SALEM, Ore. - For decades, Oregon’s trial lawyers and doctors have battled over medical malpractice. Now, the state’s physician governor has brokered a deal aimed at reducing medical malpractice lawsuits. It’s one of the high-profile issues in the legislative session that gets underway Monday. But the state's medical community is deeply divided over the proposal.

A long-festering dispute between Oregon doctors and trial lawyers may be closer to a resolution. The two groups have reached a deal aimed at reducing the cost of medical malpractice litigation. It’s one of many subjects of debate when Oregon lawmakers return to the capitol Monday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

A shipbuilding executive with no social work experience will head Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. Governor-elect Jay Inslee announced that appointment and four other cabinet picks Thursday. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A shipbuilding executive with no social work experience will head Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. Governor-elect Jay Inslee announced that appointment and four other cabinet picks Thursday.

Inslee’s choice for DSHS Secretary is former Democratic State Senator Kevin Quigley. He’s far from an agency insider. In fact most recently he was a president with Vigor Industrial, a major shipbuilder. At one point Quigley ran the company’s Everett shipyard.

Tennessee Department of Health website

We're into the flu season in the Pacific Northwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers will consider a possible cure for a chronic pain in the neck for doctors and hospitals. Governor John Kitzhaber says he's helped broker a deal between lawyers and doctors about curbing the cost of liability insurance.

Patients Rush To Have Surgery Before New Year Resets Clock

Dec 24, 2012

One of the busiest places to be this time of year is the operating room. But it's not because of holiday accidents. Huge numbers of patients have surgery in December by choice.

Dr. Tim Smith is a sinus surgeon at Oregon Health and Science University. The week before Christmas this year, he performed 10 surgeries in three days.

“We joke with one another that people think it's busy at the mall this time of year, they ought to check out their outpatient surgery centers.”

Little information is available yet to conclude whether the shooter in Newtown, Connecticut was diagnosed with or treated for mental illness. But last week’s incident has raised questions around the country about mental health--specifically, funding for mental health treatment and services. Ruby de Luna looks at how Washington’s mental health services have fared over the years.

http://www.ars.usda.gov

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Washington dairy industry is fighting a report from the Environmental

Protection Agency. The report found that dairies are likely contaminating residential wells in the Lower Yakima Valley.

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