health

More families will be eligible for WIC, the Women, Infants and Children Program under the Wyoming Department of Health new eligibility guidelines.

Kim Deti with the WDH said the program is designed to get young kids off to a healthy start.

"What the program offers is really food. It offers food for pregnant women, food for families, and for children under five. It also offers support for breastfeeding for new moms," said Deti.

Genetics can tell us a lot about ourselves, from where we come from to our risk of developing disease. In Nevada, researchers are collecting this personal information in the largest health study of its kind in the world.

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A group of healthcare professionals is hoping to spread awareness about the seriousness and risks of falling, especially to the aging population. They're making a special presentation in Sheridan this week.

According to a new analysis, proposed changes to the federal poverty line could mean big changes for low income people in the Mountain West.


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A recent report found that Wyoming hospitals are charging private insurance way more than Medicare. The report raised questions about why that may be the case and if hospitals are overcharging.

The Rocky Mountain region continues to face some of the highest suicide rates in the country. A recent panel of experts in Colorado addressed what they said was one of the biggest hurdles to mental health: social stigma. 

Melodie Edwards

Gary and Celeste Havener live forty miles outside of Laramie in southeast Wyoming. They spend a lot of their time growing vegetables and riding horses across the prairie.

This post was updated May 28, 2019 at 9:15 p.m. to include the leastest outbreak numbers and an additional infographic.

Measles have reached the highest numbers in 25 years, with more than 900 cases reported so far to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Mountain West is especially vulnerable. According to CDC data, too few kindergarteners in our region are fully vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella. One Colorado family took that to heart — and then things got personal.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is offering free and confidential screenings for black lung disease. NIOSH is traveling throughout the West and is in the Gillette area through Saturday as part of its Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program. NIOSH is a part of the Centers for Disease Control.

During childbirth, it used to be routine to cut the vaginal wall to make room for the baby. That's no longer recommended as a standard procedure. However, a new report says it's still performed routinely in some hospitals, including in our region.

About 3.8 million babies were born in the U.S. last year. That’s the lowest annual production of babies since 1986, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the same time, fertility rates have hit record lows.

Nevadans are taking part in a groundbreaking genetic study that could give researchers insights into public health across the state.

Nearly 50,000 Nevadans have already taken part in the Healthy Nevada Project. Now the study is expanding statewide, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. Participants donate saliva in exchange for their DNA information. Joseph Grzymski is the principal investigator for the project.

This story was updated May 3, 2019 at 3:40 p.m.

Measles cases have reached a 19-year high in the U.S., but a bill in Colorado aimed at improving childhood vaccination rates didn’t succeed. It didn’t really fail, either. It just got mired in super-long hearings, pushback from the governor and, ultimately, a legislative schedule that ran out of time before the bill could reach the Senate.

“I’m still today trying to figure out exactly what happened,” says Rep. Kyle Mullica, who sponsored the bill.

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Despite spring approaching, flu season is not quite over.

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Medicare has penalized nine Wyoming hospitals this year for high rates of readmission and Aspen Mountain Medical Center in Rock Springs for a high rate of hospital-acquired illnesses.

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A report focusing on the overall health of children from newborn to age three says Wyoming has some room to improve.

Dealing with a chronic disease is difficult no matter where you live. But when access to a doctor is at least an hour's drive, it becomes especially challenging. A program created by Stanford is being used across the Mountain West to educate rural-based patients in health management.

Several Mountain West states are considering legislation that would change sex education in their schools and they are all taking very different approaches.

Updated at 1:55 p.m., Feb. 26, 2019:

As a measles outbreak continues in Washington state, a congressional hearing Wednesday will discuss the preventable disease, now considered to be a “growing public health threat.”

Several states are considering legislation to encourage higher rates of childhood vaccines. The response in our region is mixed.

Shortly after Emily Goodwin relocated her family across the country, they got some big news.   

“We found out we were pregnant less than a month after we moved here and that was a huge surprise,” says Goodwin, who has a homestead in Melba, Idaho.

 


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Several Carbon County District #2 schools closed Thursday for cleaning following a reported case of meningitis.

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In the early days of psychology, therapists thought mental health disorders were mostly experienced by one gender or the other: for instance, anorexia by women, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by men. But in the last couple decades, the thinking has swung hard the other way with attempts to ignore the role of gender in mental health studies.

There's currently another measles outbreak, this time in the Pacific Northwest. In the Mountain West, states are below the national average for measles vaccination, which could also put us at risk.

Last year the nation was shocked when a 9-year-old Colorado boy took his own life. A recent report says youth suicide is a public health crisis in Colorado and the numbers in the Mountain West as a whole are staggering, with some of the highest rates in the nation. At the same time, there’s a significant shortage of mental health professionals -- at crisis levels in some communities. Often, it’s mental health workers in schools who work on the front lines of this crisis.

The American Hospital Association has released a new report on the state of rural hospitals across the country. There’s good and bad news about how the Mountain West stacks up.

First, the bad news. When it comes to the number of mental health professionals, our region looks like a black hole.

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The American Lung Association's new State of Tobacco Control report gave Wyoming failing grades for its tobacco policies. Among the criteria was funding for prevention programs, smoke-free workplace laws, tobacco tax rates, services to help quit and the minimum age to buy tobacco. In Wyoming the minimum is 18.

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The Wyoming Senate has cut all the funding for the state's breast and cervical cancer program. The cut came during a debate over the state budget. Sheridan Senator Dave Kinskey added that the program is not just for poor people, so people without insurance can access those funds.

The Wyoming Department of Health is asking for public comment after releasing a draft of the state's first-ever state health assessment, a comprehensive review of health issues impacting Wyoming.

The Mountain West has some of the fastest aging populations in the country, which could have some serious implications for the region's economy. 

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