HEALTH

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Nichole Wardlaw opened her own midwifery practice in Chesapeake. A certified nurse-midwife, or CNM, Wardlaw was taking advantage of an emergency order signed by Gov. Ralph Northam, which allowed certified-nurse midwives and nurse practitioners to treat patients without an agreement with a licensed...
By Dr. Michael WilliamsPresident Joe Biden issued 10 executive orders to fight COVID-19 on his first day in office on Jan. 20.Among those orders: Speed up vaccine production, expand testing, support the safe reopening of schools and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care and treatment.As a physician and...
Medical cannabis producers in Virginia will be allowed to sell the plant’s unprocessed flower for the first time under legislation that’s quietly made its way through the General Assembly with broad, bipartisan support.The industry and its supporters in the legislature pitched the move as an effort to make the...
State lawmakers are moving forward with a measure aimed at lowering premiums for Virginians who purchase health insurance on the state exchange.But there’s still no agreement on who should pay for the program, which would subsidize the costs of high-risk patients for  insurance companies.Better known as reinsurance, it’s a...
In the early weeks of Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, hospital systems in five local health districts requested, and received, tens of thousands of doses — a disproportionately larger share than pharmacies, community health clinics and even the local health departments charged with overseeing the state’s immunization plan.In Chesterfield, for...
By Jacob Ellis and Ishyan VeluppillaiHealth care and health insurance comprise one of the most significant household expenditures for American citizens.Because of its absolute importance and necessity compared to other consumer goods and services, the demand for health care services is considered to be price inelastic, meaning that...
Thirty years ago, HIV was largely considered to be a death sentence.At a time when the disease was little-understood, even within the health care community,  Virginia joined dozens of states in passing laws that criminalized “infected sexual battery” — making it a felony for someone living with HIV, syphilis...
President Joe Biden wants to supercharge the sputtering economy, vaccinate millions of Americans against COVID-19, and help people by issuing another round of stimulus checks. He and members of Congress are grappling with the best way to do that, and Republicans have offered less-expensive alternatives to the president’s $1.9...
After initially declining to provide the Mercury with data on COVID-19 vaccine wastage, the Virginia Department of Health responded to the inquiry on Tuesday morning.Spokeswoman Melissa Gordon wrote that the department did not establish a systematic way to collect reports on wastage until Jan. 29, when VDH posted a...
UPDATE: After declining on Monday to provide vaccine wastage details for this story, the Virginia Department of Health released some information on Tuesday following publication. State officials say they’re confident that no COVID-19 vaccines are going to waste in Virginia.But seven weeks into the state’s vaccine rollout, the Virginia Department...