HEALTH

Beginning in April, child welfare calls from Virginia schools — usually the state’s top reporter for cases of suspected abuse or neglect — dropped by about 98 percent.The Virginia Department of Social Services traced the sudden decline to statewide school closures in late March, which limited face-to-face interactions between...
One of Virginia’s largest insurance companies is lowering reimbursement rates for nurse practitioners and physician assistants amid the COVID-19 pandemic — a move that many doctors say will hurt already struggling primary care practices.Clark Barrineau, assistant vice president of government affairs for the Medical Society of Virginia, said the...
Legislation extending civil immunity to assisted living facilities, hospices and adult day cares during the COVID-19 pandemic passed through the Virginia General Assembly this week.Both bills passed with little discussion over objections from groups like AARP Virginia, which said, in letters to House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, and...
Both a biological process and a powerful bonding experience, mothers and infants have practiced breastfeeding since the birth of humanity. Yet, here in Virginia, breastfeeding in all public spaces became legally protected just  five years ago. Now, as the state observes August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month, health care workers, community advocates...
GALAX --- Around 30,000 people crowded downtown Galax last year during the first week of August, gathering in Felts Park for the city’s annual, internationally known Old Fiddlers’ Convention. The same week this year, the streets of the small Southwestern Virginia city are quiet. Many of the local businesses, especially...
By Dr. Arshia QaadirOn a recent day at his pediatric office in Vienna, Virginia, Dr. Michael Martin noticed something unusual about his schedule. “Twenty-five percent of my visits that day were related to mental health issues,” said the president of the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. ...
Two state legislators want to force Virginia’s K-12 public schools to hire more registered nurses – especially now during a pandemic that’s ravaging people across the United States.And here’s all I could think: You mean, we don’t already have RNs in in every school? What kind of nonsensical, sanctioned...
The news release raised more questions than it answered.On July 22, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced “new resources” to help nursing homes combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. Between the announcement of an additional $5 billion in funding and plans to deliver rapid antigen tests...
By Dr. Todd A. ParkerImagine your house is on fire.You call 911, the fire department responds, puts the fire out, and saves your house. Now imagine the government decides they want to spend less on fire department costs, so they create a list of “preventable causes of fires,”...
By Brian Chiglinksy It was all so dramatic. Half past one in the morning. The chamber of the Senate. Packed with senators, their staff, and plenty of reporters. (It was three years ago, so no one was worried about social distancing yet.)Suddenly, the room hushed as a single senator walked on...