Health

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Most public school students in the Northwest head back to class next week. And that has public health officials on alert. They're afraid that classrooms could be fertile ground for the spread of whooping cough, an infectious disease that's already being called an epidemic in some states.

Nine Treasure Valley Pools Linked To Crypto

Aug 29, 2012
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Central District Health Department reports 21 cases of cryptosporidiosis in southwest Idaho in the past month. That’s what you get when you take in the parasite cryptosporidium, known as crypto for short.

It’s found in feces and it's often picked up by swimming in contaminated water. A few weeks ago we reported that crypto had returned to the Treasure Valley. Central District Health wouldn't reveal the swimming pools that were connected to the outbreak.

Jessica Murri / Boise State Public Radio

It’s the height of fire season in Idaho and hundreds of seasonal firefighters are busy.

For the first time, they’re eligible for federal health insurance. President Obama made the change in July.

Many of these firefighters have gone without insurance because of the cost. While the new benefits have been welcomed, one Boise-based firefighter finds that the new health insurance won’t help her.

Emma Kaage lifts a 95 pound barbell above her head, and lets it drop to the floor, before she picks it up again. The 25-year-old does CrossFit training twice a day.

More Adults Are Walking Nowadays

Aug 13, 2012
Jer / Flickr

People are walking more -- especially in the West -- according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2005, 56 percent of adults reported walking for at least 10 minutes a week. Five years later, that percentage was up to 62 percent.

Nasty Waterborne Parasite Returns To Treasure Valley

Aug 10, 2012
microbewiki.kenyon.edu

Just when you thought it was safe to stay in the water, cryptosporidiosis is back.

Idaho’s Central District Health Department reports there are 19 cases of the perennial parasite known as crypto for short. Crypto is transmitted by fecal matter through water. People who have it get sick with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and other digestive symptoms.

Report Says Idaho Doing Comparatively Little To Prevent Cancer

Aug 9, 2012

A new report from the American Cancer Society shows Idaho is doing little to prevent cancer compared to other states. It comes from the organization's advocacy arm, the Cancer Action Network.

 The report titled "How Do you Measure Up" looks at actions state governments take to prevent cancer. Aaron Czyzewski with the Cancer Action Network, says Idaho fares poorly in most of the criteria measured.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Earlier this week, we told you about the work of Idaho's legislative healthcare task force - 14 lawmakers who met Monday to talk about the Affordable Care Act.  Today a task force created by the governor will hold the first in a series of meetings that will help decide the future of health care in Idaho. 

Some Idaho lawmakers met Monday to talk about the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Affordable Care Act.  Idaho was one of the state’s that brought a lawsuit to strike down the health care law.  The court upheld the law and now state legislators on the Health Care Task Force are discussing what's next.

Idaho's Motorcycle Fatalities Drop

Jul 30, 2012

Sunday’s motorcycle crash on Bogus Basin Road near Boise was the latest in a string of wrecks over the last few weeks. Police say the rider slid on a patch of sand. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Other motorcyclists this summer haven’t been so fortunate.

Craig McGowan / University of Idaho

Oscar Pistorius looks like a normal guy, from the knees up. He looks fit, well-dressed, and capable. But without the lower half of his calves and shins, his ability to sprint in the 2012 Olympics were called into question. That is, until a University of Idaho professor helped prove Pistorius can compete beside anyone in the world.

Pistorius was born without fully-developed lower legs. He has used two prosthetic legs all his life. That won’t stop him from racing in the Men’s 400 Meter August 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

An Idaho woman challenging her state’s anti-abortion laws has not received much attention from groups on either side of the abortion debate. But for the first time, one group is holding a rally to support her in Seattle today. 

Jennie Linn McCormack of Pocatello, Idaho was arrested last year after local police learned she had terminated a 20-week pregnancy at home.

Motorcycle Ride Benefits Idaho Suicide Hotline

Jul 13, 2012
Skiing Winter Sport
Duncan Rawlinson / Flickr Creative Commons

Men and women clad in leather, riding choppers probably doesn’t scream suicide prevention. But Saturday morning, the two will go hand in hand.

Starting at 11 A.M. at Victors Hogs n Horns in Caldwell, the Red Knights Idaho Chapter One motorcycle group will ride to benefit the Speedy Foundation and Idaho’s Suicide Hotline.

Organizer and Red Knight member Maressa McAllister says suicide and mental illness is everywhere.

Butch Otter
State of Idaho

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act, has Idaho's governor wanting more study on creating a state health exchange and expanding Medicaid. So Butch Otter has put together two groups to look at these issues including the costs.

The Governor  wants recommendations from his working groups on what to do about a health insurance exchange and Medicaid by this fall.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The U-S Supreme Court’s decision to uphold universal health care has triggered a lot of reaction from politicians and analysts.  Idaho was one of the first states to join the lawsuit to strike down the law.  

Ted Epperly has been involved in the debate over health care, testifying before Congress and speaking across the country about the need for reform measures.  The Boise-based family physician served as the President of the American Academy of Family Physicians and met with President Obama six times to offer his views about health care. 

Blue Cross of Idaho

Health insurance companies are also among those reacting to today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a majority of the federal health care law. 

Blue Cross of Idaho is the largest private insurer in the state, covering 720,000 people in Idaho.  Karen Early is a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit company.  She says now that most of the Affordable Care Act has been upheld, it’s time for Idaho to create its own insurance exchange

DB King / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Justice John Roberts served as the court's swing vote in the 5-4 decision.  The high court issued its ruling in Washington this morning.  You can read the ruling here.

You can also hear NPR's continuing coverage of the decision throughout the afternoon on KBSX 91.5, and read more from NPR here.  

Boise State Public Radio’s news team is gathering reaction from Idaho residents and lawmakers.  You can read that throughout the here, and listen for coverage on All Things Considered (3:30 PM to 6:30 PM).

Senator Crapo's Office

The U.S. Supreme Court will make a much anticipated decision this week on the nation’s health care law.  Idaho's senior senator believes some parts of the law will survive whatever the court decides. 

University of Idaho

Scientists at the University of Maryland and the University of Idaho say they’ve discovered that the vaginal microbiome — the bacteria living in the vagina — varies considerably between women. There may not be, in other words, a single way to define what is meant by a normal vaginal environment.

Dr. Larry Forney is a co-author of the research and director of the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies at the University of Idaho.

The U.S. Supreme Court could rule any day now on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul. The decision could have broad implications for state health care policies in the Northwest.

The high court could leave the law alone, overturn it, or throw out pieces of it. The ruling could complicate things for state-level health care administrators like Rocky King. He's in charge of developing Oregon's new health insurance exchange. He says work on the plan has continued despite the uncertainty over the law's future.

Dave Fotsch

This Wednesday marks the longest day of the year with 16 hours of daylight. The Alzheimer’s Association will use this day to honor people who have the disease and their caregivers.  The group asks people to use all of that daylight to push their limits physically and to raise money for research.  

United States Department of Agriculture

If you bought some bratwurst for a Memorial Day cook-out, check the label.  The USDA says Zenner’s Quality Meat Products of Portland is recalling more than 3,500 pounds of bratwurst sold in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California.  The recall was issued because the label doesn’t say the product includes soy protein, which some people are allergic to.  Zenner’s Smoked Brotwurst was sold at Winco stores and has a sell-by date of July 17th.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A new report out today says one in every eleven children will spend a portion of their lives without their parents, living instead with a relative.  That number is growing both in the U-S and in Idaho.  These kids often don’t get all the services that are available to them.  The study hopes to change that.

Idaho Prison Agrees To Improve Medical Care

May 16, 2012
Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Correction has reached an agreement with the inmates at one of its prisons. This comes from a lawsuit spanning more than three decades.

Jason Prince is a lawyer who represents 1,600 inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution. He’s spent the last few months negotiating an agreement on changes to medical care at the prison near Boise. Prince says the biggest change will be increased staff.

www.idoc.idaho.gov

 The Idaho Department of Correction has reached an agreement over a lawsuit filed by prisoners more than 30 years ago. The agreement requires upgrades to medical facilities at the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Boise. The agreement reached in U.S. District Court Tuesday gives a six month deadline for initial improvements…followed by a 2 year monitoring period. Department of Corrections director Brent Reinke says the initial cost of the changes will be more than $1.5 million.

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon
Aglie/Flickr

Saturday marks the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to fight breast cancer.  In Idaho, 117 out of every 100-thousand women will get the disease.  It’s a frightening diagnosis.  One group works to help the newly diagnosed through the maze of doctors, treatments, and emotions. 

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