New data show gun-related injuries on the rise in Virginia emergency rooms

BY: - June 30, 2022

Emergency room visits for gun-related injuries in Virginia increased by 72 percent between 2018 and 2021, and Black patients — particularly young Black men — are disproportionately impacted by gun violence, according to new data released Thursday by the Virginia Department of Health. The statistics were included on the agency’s firearm injury surveillance dashboard, launched […]

Virginia is spending millions to boost security at state-run mental hospitals

BY: - June 29, 2022

Over the next two years, Virginia will spend more than $8 million to boost security at its state-run psychiatric hospitals, adding a total of 65 positions across eight facilities.  The additional funding, approved in the state’s latest two-year spending plan, comes as the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services continues to grapple with […]

U.S. HHS chief vows to protect abortion access, but says much depends on states

BY: - June 28, 2022

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra pledged Tuesday to work to preserve abortion access in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s “despicable” decision overturning Roe v. Wade — though the department’s specific actions will depend on how states seeking to limit abortion access proceed. Becerra said HHS would enforce federal laws to […]

U.S. Senate Democrats urge ‘bold action’ by Biden on abortion rights

BY: - June 27, 2022

Most of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate have signed on to a letter to President Joe Biden pressing him to “take immediate action” to protect abortion rights, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. The one-page letter, led by Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington and […]

Board of Health calls commissioner’s comments an ‘embarrassment’

BY: - June 23, 2022

In an unanimous but largely symbolic resolution, the Virginia Board of Health called recent remarks on racism by state Health Commissioner Dr. Colin Greene an “embarrassment” to the body and its members. The strongly worded statement was adopted by 12 members of the board who were present (three were absent) at a Thursday board meeting, […]

Greene ‘very capable’ to lead Virginia Department of Health, Youngkin says

BY: - June 21, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin described Virginia’s top health official as “very capable” to lead the state’s Department of Health while distancing himself from the latter’s comments on the role of racism in health disparities. The governor’s comments, made Tuesday after a ceremonial budget signing, come on the heels of a June 15 article in the Washington Post […]

‘Punched, kicked, spit on’: Va. health care workers say they face more violence since pandemic

BY: - June 21, 2022

Expressing frustration with what they say are increasing incidents of violence at work, doctors at the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians are urging federal lawmakers to support a U.S. Senate bill that would give greater protections to health care workers.  “I have been assaulted by patients hundreds of times —  have been punched, kicked, spit […]

FDA greenlights emergency use of COVID vaccines for kids under 5

BY: - June 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5, moving the country one step closer to having shots for all age groups. The decision leaves just one hurdle, a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before parents can begin getting babies […]

U.S. Senate passes landmark legislation to aid veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange

BY: - June 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. soldiers deployed to bases in Afghanistan and Iraq often lived and worked alongside large pits where batteries, plastics, rubber, chemicals and other garbage would be lit on fire with jet fuel. The legacy of those burn pits followed thousands of military members back to the United States, where they have suffered from […]

As insulin costs soar, diabetics say a $35 federal cap on co-pays is not enough

BY: - June 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Lacy Mason was a 21-year-old graduate student in Atlanta when she started rationing her insulin. As a Type 1 diabetic, she needs to take insulin every day for survival. But when the cost surged to $960 a month, Mason could no longer afford it. She had aged out of Medicaid and her student […]

One in 10 Virginians charged with police assaults have a history of mental illness

BY: - June 14, 2022

Around 10 percent of people charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer in Virginia over a nearly decade-long period had a history of mental illness, according to data from University of Virginia researchers presented Tuesday to the state’s Behavioral Health Commission. Altogether, between 2009 and 2018, a total of 2,213 people with a history of […]

Bipartisan U.S. Senate bill aiding veterans exposed to burn pits edges toward passage

BY: - June 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is set to approve a sweeping bill in the coming days steered by the bipartisan duo of Montana’s Jon Tester and Kansas’ Jerry Moran that would expand health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits overseas — though a few final details linger. Democrats and Republicans on Capitol […]