health

Willow Belden

In a rural state like Wyoming, state health care providers are no longer newcomers to utilizing telehealth to help bridge distances. But Cody Regional Health is experimenting using remote technology for an opioid treatment that is generally underutilized in the nation.

Raif via Flickr

After three years of discussion, Powell Valley Healthcare, a critical access hospital, will become an affiliate of Billings Clinic in Montana.

A new study casts doubt on the safety of state abortion laws in the Mountain West.

Back in mid-December, three children were hospitalized with measles after passing through the Denver airport and the emergency department of Children’s Hospital Colorado. The concern was that others might have picked up the disease at those locations. 

As we get ready to chow down on holiday foods over the next couple of weeks, a new study has some grim news. It projects half of Americans will be obese and a quarter will be severely obese in the next decade.

Raif via Flickr

Attempts to hack into hospitals' electronic records are increasing nationally. In response, Wyoming hospitals are beefing up their security.

University of Wyoming Healthy U

Powell Valley Healthcare is launching a new class that hopes to empower people with chronic health conditions. Healthy U is a community based health education program that originated at Stanford University. The University of Wyoming and the Aging Division in the Wyoming Department of Health has offered the program for a couple of years.

Campbell County Health

Campbell County Health's (CCH) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Colleen Heeter has been selected by the system's Board of Trustees as the next CEO. Heeter will replace outgoing CEO Andy Fitzgerald.

Three children are being treated at a Denver-area hospital for measles, adding to the more than 1,200 cases of the disease reported this year nationwide. Some Mountain West states have already seen measles cases this year, including Colorado, Idaho, and Nevada.

Measles is very contagious, so when a case is identified, it kicks local health officials into high gear, rapidly searching for anyone the patients may have come into contact with. 

This post was updated at 8:30 p.m. with additional information.

About 60 people gathered at the Colorado Capitol Monday for the third and final day of a summit on vaccination. It featured a series of presentations full of reasons why people should not get their children immunized.

Michele Ames says that's a problem.

"The world consensus is that vaccines are safe and effective and they save lives. Period," said Ames, a spokesperson for Colorado Vaccinates, a coalition of groups including Children's Hospital Colorado and the local chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics aimed at increasing vaccination rates in the state.

Nationwide, more and more people are surviving childhood. But researchers found those improvements might not be as big in rural areas. 

A report last year found that child mortality rates had improved. In fact, nationally, it looked like the country had met its 2020 goals. But then researchers took a closer look.

There’s wide variability in state policies about what care to give to women who are pregnant and behind bars. That’s according to a new report from the Prison Policy Initiative, a research and advocacy organization focused on mass incarceration.

“Women's populations in prisons have been growing faster than men's for quite awhile now,” said Wanda Bertram, a spokesperson with the Prison Policy Initiative. “So it's a good time to start looking at how women's experiences differ from men's while they're inside.”

Senators from Colorado and Nevada are among those sponsoring a bill aimed at reducing firefighters’ exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. 

Earlier this month the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously approved the bill, which aims to protect firefighters from being exposed to a group of chemicals known as PFAS that are found in firefighting foams and gear.

ideastations.org

The Wyoming Legislature will take another crack at Medicaid expansion. The legislature's Joint Revenue Committee approved a proposed bill that will ask Gov. Mark Gordon to explore options for Wyoming's participation in expansion and determine whether it's financially viable for the state. Eventually lawmakers would need to approve a Wyoming plan.

Nate Edwards, BYU Photo

A recent study out of Brigham Young University suggests that e-bikes can give riders a workout nearly as strenuous as traditional bikes.

Last year, on a warm Saturday evening in Boise, Idaho, Timmy Earl Kinner Jr. walked into the birthday party of a family. In a random attack, he stabbed nine people, including the birthday girl Ruya Kadir. That little girl died at just three years old.


Indian Health Service (IHS)

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe is looking at taking over management of a federally-operated health clinic in Fort Washakie.

Moody’s Analytics just looked at the economic consequences of a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield on millennial health. And it’s not good.   

Illustration of a person vaping an e-cigarette
Consumer Reports

The Pinedale Town Council has approve an ordinance that bans the sale of flavored vaping products within town limits. The council voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance, despite some members' concerns about the rights of businesses and consumers.

Colorado researchers launched a website Tuesday to help people make difficult decisions about living with dementia. An estimated 5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. 

Researchers writing in the journal Science found that when kids get measles, it can cause “amnesia” in the immune system. 

In much of the Mountain West, measles vaccination rates are below the recommended 95% level.

Creative Commons CC0

A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that Wyoming’s kids are some of the thinnest in the country. 

Mountain West states have some of the lowest rates of youth obesity in the country, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Utah's rate of 8.7% was found to be the lowest in the country, while Colorado and Montana, with rates of 10.7% and 10.8%, respectively, were also among the six states with obesity rates statistically significantly lower than the national average of 15.3%.

Wyoming Department of Health

It's flu season, so public health officials are pushing the flu shot, but many in the Mountain West are particularly bad at taking that advice.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing was recently gifted $1 million by the McMurry Foundation to support mental health education and outreach.

Campbell County Health

Campbell County Health has become the victim of a ransomware attack that has affected its computer system.

Wyoming Department of Health

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) recently released a new app to help Wyomingites track their health and wellness. The app, My 307 Wellness, allows users to track information relating to their physical and mental health along with important milestones. It also provides information about local health and wellness resources.

Researchers say the fungus behind a disease called Valley fever may spread in the Mountain West as rain and temperature patterns change.

Warning: This story talks explicitly about female anatomy and traumatizing procedures.

A district court judge ruled last year that a federal law banning female genital mutilation was unconstitutional. He said it’s up to the states to make laws about this cultural practice. While we don’t know how many people undergo the procedure in the Mountain West, many hope to amplify the conversation as some states pass laws and others don’t.

Image: Martin Kraft (photo.martinkraft.com) License: CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The lack of mental health care services is the most important health problem impacting the Bighorn Basin region. That's according to a recent community survey conducted by health care organizations in the area. This is the first year Powell Valley Healthcare, Cody Regional Healthcare, Heritage health Center and Park County Public health are joining forces to complete the Community Health Needs Assessment.

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