Health

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Despite spring approaching, flu season is not quite over.

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The National Center for Health Statistics reported over 250,000 deaths attributed to dementia in 2017. This includes deaths from Alzheimer's Disease, unspecified dementia, and other degenerative nervous system diseases.

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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.

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The Laramie Downtown Clinic has been flooded with donations since the Washington Post published an article about it and its director Pete Gosar. The clinic offers free healthcare services to the public.

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.

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.

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A series of seminars have been organized around Wyoming to educate the public about how to spot human trafficking. According to a state-by-state report by the National Human Trafficking Hotline, as many as 110 cases of people sold for labor or sex have occurred in Wyoming since 2007.

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.

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. 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security wants more lay people trained to control life-threatening blood loss. They're spreading the word through a national awareness campaign and a course called Stop the Bleed.

Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the country. And in the Mountain West, youth suicide rates are double, and in some cases triple, the national average. Now, a new study shows parents are often unaware that their kids are struggling.

The Mountain West has some of the highest teen suicide rates in the country. A new report out of the region looks at what conditions contribute to the high rate of youth suicide. 

Last year, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the state can't force air ambulance companies to charge the same rate as a ground ambulance. The cost of a ride in an ambulance is about $5000 while a helicopter ride can cost nine times more.

Researchers at University of Idaho say they have been able to track bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics – something that’s a new development in combating antibiotic resistance.


The number of uninsured children across the country has increased for the first time in more than a decade.


The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that measles cases around the world increased by 31 percent from 2016 to 2017.

While the U.S. saw an increase of almost 40 percent during that period, only two states in the Mountain West region reported measles cases. Colorado had one each year, and Utah had no cases in 2016 and three the following year.

Wyoming legislature

A Wyoming Legislative Committee is moving forward with a plan to hire consultants to perform a comprehensive study of the costs associated with Hospital Care.  

USDA

Hot Springs County Hospital in Thermopolis and Westward Heights Care Center in Lander received a combined $25.5 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture. The hospitals will be using the funds to modernize and expand their facilities.

Thursday, November 1 is the first day of the six-week open enrollment for health insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. States in the Mountain West are seeing minor rate hikes — if any — this year.

Denver is hosting one of the country's biggest nursing conferences. One issue on the agenda is the ongoing, nationwide nursing shortage.

Our region has an especially high rate of suicide. Now Colorado is taking a unique approach to deal with it, at least for kids. Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, just allocated $2.8 million for a state-wide pediatric mental health initiative.

A spike in cases of a mysterious neurological disease has been raising concern around the country this week. A group of researchers in Colorado has been leading the way in understanding it.

Breastfeeding may help babies control their stress according to new research out of the University of Utah.

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