Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Rita Dixon

Some bats tested positive for rabies last month and for better or worse, this seems to be the only time bats are in the news. Animal resuers are concerned this type of publicity gives bats a bad image. We talk with wildlife and health officials about why we shouldn't fear bats and we meet L'il Wayne, a female silver-haired bat.


Centers For Disease Control And Prevention

In an effort to keep their food local, some city-dwellers have taken to raising chickens in their backyards. As urban farming remains trendy, an unintended consequence of keeping chickens as pets is a rise in salmonella cases. It’s led to an outbreak of the illness that’s impacting Idaho and the nation.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Idahoans are getting sick from eating chopped romaine lettuce. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says E. coli infections are linked to lettuce from Yuma, Arizona.

medical, stethoscope
Jasleen_Kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

A proposal to reduce Idaho's health coverage gap now includes a requirement that "able-bodied" adult Medicaid recipients hold jobs.

AP

Idaho health officials continue to warn of what they call a "severe" year for flu in the Gem State. More influenza-related illnesses and deaths have been reported this season than in any other season in the past seven years.

Kris Rodine

Officials with Idaho's welfare agency say six employees no longer are employed at a treatment center for people with severe disabilities after investigating allegations of staffers physically and psychologically abusing residents.

Idaho Governor's Office

Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced Wednesday he has picked a new head of the state’s Health and Welfare Department.

Otter is appointing Russ Barron to head the agency. Barron is deputy director and a longtime administrator at Health and Welfare.

roberto volterra / Flickr

State auditors say Idaho's child welfare system is overwhelmed, with too few foster parents, too heavy caseloads for social workers and not enough infrastructure to hold it all together.

The study from the Legislature's Office of Performance Evaluations found that the number of foster parents has decreased by 8 percent since 2014, while social workers are dealing with 28 to 38 percent more cases than they can reasonably handle.

U.S. Pacific Fleet

A southern Idaho man is the first person to die in the state from the flu this season.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports the man was over the age of 50 and died from an influenza-related illness. He’s the first person in Idaho to die in the 2016-2017 season.

Last flu season, 26 people died from the flu in Idaho. The average number of deaths in a year in the Gem State is 23. In the 2012-2013 season, 35 people died.

pills, drugs
DestinysAgent / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho health officials plan to ask lawmakers for about $11 million annually to provide mental health and drug abuse services to the state's parole offenders who are at the highest risk of returning to prison.

Tom Shanahan, a spokesman with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, says the state is currently spending around $30,000 annually to serve the estimated 7,300 offenders identified with high mental health needs.

The department will make the request during the 2017 legislative session.

A Nampa nursing home is under fire after a state investigation found residents were being mistreated.

The Idaho Statesman reports that an Idaho Health and Welfare Department report cited Holly Lane Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center for widespread problems that investigators say threatening the health and safety of residents and failed to protect them from abuse and negligence.

Idaho is working to reduce suicides in the state with a new $1 million program.

The Spokesman-Review reports that lawmakers this year allocated ongoing funding and changed the law that governs the mission of the state Department of Health and Welfare to specifically include suicide prevention.

To celebrate the ongoing efforts, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter on Thursday declared this week Suicide Prevention Week in the city.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Idaho’s child immunization rates improved in 2015, reaching a five-year high.

And Department of Health and Welfare officials don’t know what to make of the numbers yet.

 

In 2015, 86.7 percent of Idaho students were considered “adequately immunized,” according to Health and Welfare spreadsheets obtained this week by Idaho Education News. The 2014 figure was 85.6 percent.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced a new proposal Thursday that he says would help low income Idahoans get health care.

The Primary Care Access Program (PCAP) still needs to be approved by the Idaho Legislature. It is designed to help adults 19-64 who don’t have health insurance.

Otter says Idaho doesn’t want to expand Medicaid and PCAP will help the 78,000 people who fall through the cracks of the current system.

Death Rates For Most Idahoans Are Not Improving

Nov 18, 2015

For the last decades of the 20th century, death rates were declining for most Americans. But so far in 21st century Idaho, that's not happening.

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