Hundreds of cases of vaping-related lung disease were reported across the U.S. last week. Two were in Idaho. Now, a local organization is bringing a national expert on the risks of teen vaping to Boise.



This interview originally aired June 20, 2019. 

Botox is the miracle treatment that evens out facial wrinkles. Now doctors are finding benefits from applying Botox medically. Idaho Matters talks with St. Luke's neurologist Stephen Asher about these advances and a local drummer who is finding Botox effective for treating dystonia.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters.


This interview originally aired June 13, 2019. 

Family physician Dr. Erik Richardson uses his YouTube program, "FamilyMed," to connect viewers with educational medical videos. Richardson joins Idaho Matters to talk about using social media to educate Idahoans.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters.


This segment aired May 21, 2019.

Dr. John "Hatz" Hatzenbuehler practices family and sports medicine at St. Luke's Wood River in Hailey. This spring, he traveled to Ghana with fellow healthcare practitioners to share sports medicine techniques with medical professionals in the African country. Dr. "Hatz"" joins Idaho Matters to talk about healthcare in Ghana and the growth of sports medicine.

Bjorn Knetsch/Wikimedia Commons

This interview originally aired May 16, 2019.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and Idaho Matters looks at ways to detect and treat pediatric hearing loss with Dr. Jess Stich-Hennen, a pediatric audiologist at St. Luke's, Susie Jones, a speech pathologist with St. Luke's and parent Gretchen Fors.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Infants don't typically start getting teeth until six months, but overall oral health goes far beyond teeth care. Idaho Matters is joined by Delta Dental to review methods for improving child oral care which can prevent future issues.

pills, drugs
DestinysAgent / Flickr Creative Commons


The number of drug overdose deaths in Idaho has tripled since 1999, with the majority of these deaths resulting from prescription drug use. Idaho Matters learns more about how we can help those suffering get help.

Flickr Creative Commons, Mike Mozart

Vaping has caused concern among parents and doctors for years. But now, U.S. health officials say they have about 450 cases of serious respiratory disease most likely tied to vaping. Here in Idaho, public health officials say two people have developed serious lung disease from vaping. 


College of Western Idaho

This Friday, the College of Western Idaho is hosting a farm to fork dinner to raise money for their campus garden. The garden is a response to many things, including students who don’t have access to fresh produce due to financial hardship. Andrea Schumaker of CWI's Physical and Agriculture Science Department joins Idaho Matters to talk about the Sept. 13 Farm to Fork dinner fundraiser to support the garden.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

When it comes to human physiology, performing invasive heart procedures is inherently risky.

Now, there’s a medical device that allows doctors to use a minimally invasive technique to treat abnormal heart rhythms. How is it done? With two robotically controlled magnets. We talk with a doctor at Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute in Boise who uses this technology.


Tess Goodwin / Boise State Public Radio


Idaho’s only Children’s Hospital is just days away from opening its doors to a new one of a kind medical building that’s aimed at changing how children view going to the doctor. The Idaho Elks Children’s Pavilion will officially opens its doors to patients September 3 in dowtown Boise.

jcwjohns / Flickr

Scleroderma is a chronic connective tissue disease. Folks who have it often suffer in silence without the support they need to cope. The Southern Idaho Scleroderma Support Group was created to help raise awareness about the disease and provide a network for those diagnosed with it.

Patrick Smith / Flickr

Three different restaurants in the Treasure Valley have been hit by hepatitis A this summer. The Central District Health Department has issued advisories for people who ate at these places on specific dates. But what is hepatitis A? And what can people do to protect themselves?

Saint Alphonsus Hospital Regional Medical Center (2)
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s not easy to go to the doctor if you speak a different language. But, what if you’re deaf? How do you communicate? What barriers must be overcome for a simple doctor’s visit? Saint Alphonsus is working with the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on programs to help.


Just how dangerous is poor air quality for our health? And how do pollutants make their way into our bodies?

St. Luke's Health System

How would you like to lower your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your blood sugar — and lose some weight? Sound too good to be true? St. Luke’s is trying to do all of that with the “Complete Health Improvement Program” or “CHIP.” It’s not a diet. It’s an 18-session lifestyle enrichment program. The goal is to change habits and lifestyles to reduce disease risk factors.  

Molly Wampler

For students who rely on free and reduced lunch, summertime can mean hunger. But, Idaho Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park program means free lunch for needy students continues, even though school’s out.


Department of Health & Welfare

Officials in Canyon County said this week they have found a tenth positive test for West Nile virus this year in area mosquito traps. The most recent positive trap was found July 18 near the intersection of Dixie River and Pinto Roads in Caldwell.

Boise State Public Radio

Health disparities experienced between urban and rural communities are a result of many different factors, one of these being access to physicians. In an effort to increase this access WWAMI offers a Rural Underserved Opportunities Program. This gives medical students the chance to serve in areas with doctor shortages and learn more about community medicine.

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio


Idaho ranks 49th in the country when it comes to the ratio of active physicians per 100,000 patients. 

And provider shortages are felt -- perhaps most strongly -- in Idaho's rural counties like Owyhee, Payette and Canyon. Now, a partnership between St. Luke's and Family Medicine Residency of Idaho is hoping to attract and retain more doctors to these rural counties. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

If you're jumping into a pool, pond or other cool body of water during these hot days, how can you stay safe? Idaho Matters finds out the two big dangers are drowning and RWI's, recreational water illnesses caused by germs or chemicals where you swim.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

What happens when you give organic produce to pregnant women for six months? Until now, no one had tried it. A new Boise State study shows women who ate organic produce had lower pesticide metabolites in their urine than women who ate regular fruits and vegetables. Gemma Gaudette digs into the study.

The Mountain West has disproportionately high rates of depressive disorders and suicide. Researchers are trying to find out why. Turns out, the mountains themselves might have something to do with it. 

Flickr Creative Commons, Matthew Rice

In the past few years, suicide rates for firefighters have been climbing. The government doesn’t track employee deaths that happen off duty, but the firefighting community has felt the trend more in recent years.


Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

A new study that links strict firearms laws with lower rates of child gun deaths shows Idaho to be an outlier in the Mountain West.