Health Care

AIDS Assistance Facility
6:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Nation's First AIDS Housing Turns 20

Bailey-Boushay House turns 20 this year. The residential care facility in Seattle’s Madison Valley was the first of its kind in the country. It focused on the health care needs of people with AIDS. It was born out of a crisis. Over the years the patients’ medical needs have changed. The facility has evolved, too. Ruby de Luna traces the history of Bailey-Boushay.

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Western State Hospital
6:29 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Western State Hospital CEO Resigns

The head of Washington's largest psychiatric hospital is stepping down. Western State Hospital CEO Jess Jamieson announced his resignation to hospital staff Tuesday. The announcement came as the Tacoma-area hospital deals with the aftermath of two patients' violent deaths in April. KUOW's John Ryan has the story.

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Meningitis Death
6:11 am
Tue May 15, 2012

University of Oregon Student Dies of Meningitis

Health officials say it's unlikely those who had casual contact with a University of Oregon student who died Friday are at risk of contracting bacterial meningitis. The disease is believed to have caused the death of 21-year old Lillian Pagenstecher. KLCC's Rachael McDonald reports.

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Whooping Cough
6:22 am
Mon May 7, 2012

CDC to Investigate Wash. Whooping Cough Epidemic

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has sent two epidemiologists to Washington State. The investigators will try to find out what’s causing the state’s rapid rise of whooping cough cases. We get more from Ruby de Luna.

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Ovarian Disease
6:43 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Study: Chemicals In Great-Grandma’s Life May Promote Disease In You

The chance of a woman getting ovarian disease may be tied to the toxic chemicals her great-grandmother was exposed to. That’s according to a new study by researchers at Washington State University. As Jessica Robinson reports, the study could help explain the role of environmental factors in inherited diseases.

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Oregon Medicare
4:53 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Oregon Leaders Celebrate Federal Money For Medicaid Overhaul

The federal government has agreed to pump nearly $2 billion into Oregon's experiment at changing the way it delivers health care to low income people. The news Thursday came after Governor John Kitzhaber and three other state officials flew to Washington to personally lobby for the cash.

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Western State Violence
6:46 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Violence On The Rise At Western State Hospital

Three employees at Western State Hospital near Tacoma were attacked by a patient Wednesday morning. Officials say the three were taken to the emergency room but could not provide more details.

Western State Hospital is Washington's most violent workplace. 335 assaults were reported there in the past 12 months. That’s a slight increase from the year before but lower than prior years.

One nurse at Western told John Ryan what it's like to become a statistic.

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Washington Assisted Suicide
6:39 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Search For Jazz Singer’s Roots Brings Together Two Julias

Mildred Bailey, 1947, New York City.
Photo courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection

In the late 1930s, a sweet-voiced singer from the Northwest helped propel the nation into a new era of music, known as swing. Her name was Mildred Bailey -- sometimes called the “Rockin’ Chair Lady,” for her signature song ...

Bailey went down in history as a white vocalist who helped popularize jazz singing. Except, she wasn’t white. Bailey was half Coeur d’Alene Indian – a fact that received little attention, until recently. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has this story of two women, both named Julia, who Mildred Bailey brought together decades after her death.

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Washington Assisted Suicide
6:15 am
Thu May 3, 2012

One Story Behind Washington 2011 Death With Dignity Act Statistics

Meg Holmes and Andrew Taylor at Lake Washington.
Photo courtesy Andrew Taylor

Seventy. That's how many terminally people hastened their deaths in 2011 with the help of a doctor’s prescription in Washington, according to a report out Wednesday from the state Department of Health. Since 2009, a total of 255 terminally ill adults have ended their lives in this way. One of them was Meg Holmes.

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Washington ER Law
6:05 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Wash. Hospitals Unveil Alternative Plan For ER Visits

Washington state and health care providers are involved in a long-running dispute over unnecessary ER visits by Medicaid patients.
Photo credit: Sarah Gilbert/ Flickr KUOW

The state has been trying to crack down on ER visits for conditions that are not critical. But health care providers say the state’s policies go too far, they’re unsafe for patients, and will shift costs to hospitals.

Hospitals and emergency room doctors want to address the problem their own way. They’ve put together what they call best practices for reducing unnecessary ER visits. A key component of that is using an electronic health information system.

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