Health

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Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s obesity rate is on the rise again. It now ranks as the 32nd most obese state in the country according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Many college students find the challenge of eating responsibly while managing classes, extracurriculars and jobs on a tight budget nearly impossible. Ramen, pizza and assorted junk food usually fill the role as "nutritional intake" for prolonged periods of time.

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Idaho has seen a substantial increase in sexually transmitted disease rates in the past year. Gonorrhea rates in the Magic Valley have gone up more than 200%. We look at this trend and efforts to stop the spread of STDs with representatives from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Central District Health Department.

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When talking to families in to Venezuela, Cherie Hoeger found that women there did not have access to reliable menstrual hygiene products. This inspired her to custom build a menstrual cup that can be cleaned and re-used for distribution to economically disadvantaged women around the world. Cherie joins us with her partner, Amber Sawson, to describe the role of their Idaho-based company, Saalt.

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The benefits of breastfeeding is well known; UNICEF estimates that better education regarding lactation could save 820,000 lives worldwide. We'll look at efforts to bring awareness to the importance breastfeeding plays in childhood development.

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This interview was originally broadcast Thursday, May 24, 2018.

Idaho lags behind the nation when it comes to colon cancer screening rates. Idaho Matters discusses the importance of early screenings with Dr. Dan Zuckerman, medical director of the Mountain States Tumor Institute and we hear first-hand about battling colon cancer with a survivor.

St. Luke's Health System

St. Luke’s has opened the region’s first “virtual hospital” to help people in remote communities get health care without traveling to Boise.

St. Luke's

St. Luke's Health System is investing $3.4 million in a virtual care center - a "high tech hub" with a medical team available to provide assistance 24/7. The center will be able to connect doctors with rural Idahoans and those with mobility issues. Idaho Matters discusses this new trend in health care with St. Luke's and how this could be a game changer for underserved rural communities.

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Idaho is bordered by four states (and one country) with some form of legalized marijuana. Addictions specialists in the state are seeing an increase of patients looking to break an addiction to marijuana and the increased potency of the plant is forcing researchers to re-think its addictive qualities. Idaho Matters discusses the subject with two treatment specialists who have witnessed this increase of use.

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Eighteen states allow parents to refuse vaccinations for their children. Idaho is home to 8 of the 10 national "hotspots" of non-vaccinated kids. Idaho Matters looks at the reasons parents have for opting out of vaccinating their kids and the potential impact this has on the child and the community.

Boise State University

Students and Other Broncos Enjoying Recovery (SOBER) is a program at Boise State University that provides peer support for students coping with alcohol and drug addictions. Idaho Matters talks with one of the founders of SOBER and the current president of the organization about the challenges of identifying and treating addiction in the collegiate setting.

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As youth sports leagues become increasingly competitive, so too does the intensity of the athlete. Most athletes learn to live through injuries, but concussions can prove to be dangerous, especially for younger participants. 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

The so-called Medicaid Express bus is on a two-week tour of Idaho to promote a “Yes” vote on an initiative to expand Medicaid in the Gem State. 


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With school in session, many people shift their daily schedules to accommodate the school calendar. Recent studies show that these shifts in routine have a more significant impact on children than was earlier thought. Idaho Matters looks into the changes in mood, rhythm, and body clocks that occur in children when their daily schedule is altered.

Reclaim Idaho

Earlier this year, more than 60,000 Idahoans signed a petition to put Medicaid expansion on the November ballot. Now the group Reclaim Idaho wants to convince a majority of voters to support the expansion.

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