Deeds’ relentless work has bolstered Virginia’s mental health system

BY: - November 29, 2023

The scars state Sen. Creigh Deeds carries — both physical and psychological — since that awful day 10 years ago have propelled him to overhaul the commonwealth’s imperfect mental health system.  It’s a work in progress. Successes and setbacks continue to occur around the state: A new mental health hospital for children, a rarity nationwide, […]

Va. pharmacies say low reimbursement rates keep them struggling to stay afloat

BY: - November 21, 2023

“I’m crying at the pharmacy.” “This is impossible to do safely for the public and our workers and our mental and physical health.” “We need your help. … We are not practicing pharmacy in the public’s best interest.” These are some of the nearly 200 public comments submitted in response to a new regulation that […]


Studies, class-action suit link hair relaxers to cancer; Black women in Virginia are at risk

BY: - November 20, 2023

When I saw reports about a National Institutes of Health study that found women who used chemical hair straighteners known as relaxers were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who didn’t, a sulfur-scented flashback zapped me back to my first experience getting my hair relaxed. I was 10 or 11, […]


Va.’s local innovation ecosystem jeopardized by federal efforts to weaken IP rights

BY: - November 17, 2023

Biomedical innovation has brought hope to patient communities across the country and transformed Virginia’s local life sciences industry. Yet, in attempts to lower costs of prescription drugs, federal lawmakers continue to push for policies that would weaken intellectual property (IP) protections and deplete much-needed future investments in innovation. Virginia is a national leader in medical […]

State marketplace ‘in good shape’ a week after launch

BY: - November 14, 2023

A new state insurance marketplace Virginia launched Nov. 1 saw large numbers of applicants in the first week of the open enrollment period.  For Virginians seeking health insurance that meets the requirements of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — commonly known as Obamacare — the new state health benefit exchange replaces the […]

In rural Virginia, communities struggle to find enough health care workers

BY: - November 13, 2023

FRANKLIN, Va. — On a sunny Tuesday in July, the blue door of Old Dominion University’s Medical Mobile Clinic opened onto a parking lot in Franklin, and a teenage boy went quickly down the steps. “Have a great day!” Tammy Speerhas, director of ODU’s Community Care program, called after him. “Have a great football season!” […]


This Virginia teen is saving our skin

BY: - November 10, 2023

More than 7,300 miles separate Virginia from Ethiopia, the birthplace of Hemen Bekele, a Fairfax teen newly named “America’s Top Young Scientist” for his potentially groundbreaking invention of skin cancer-fighting soap. Despite the distance, Bekele keeps his homeland close to his heart and credits it as his inspiration for creating a soap designed to treat […]


Nurse practitioners can help increase Virginians’ access to behavioral health care

BY: - November 8, 2023

In September, Centra opened Virginia’s first emPATH (Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment and Healing) unit in Lynchburg, and last month, Riverside Health System opened Virginia’s first psychiatric emergency department in Hampton. With one in five adults receiving some kind of behavioral health care, and the U.S. Surgeon General calling youth mental health a public health crisis, […]

Youngkin issues order aimed at requiring schools to notify parents of drug overdoses 

BY: - November 2, 2023

In the wake of multiple opioid overdoses in a single school division, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order Wednesday evening directing the Department of Education to issue guidance ensuring school divisions notify parents of school-connected overdoses within 24 hours.  The order also directs the state to issue guidelines on how school divisions should […]

Virginia nursing homes say they’re limiting admissions due to a lack of staff

BY: - October 30, 2023

A recent survey of Virginia nursing homes found that nearly half have limited new admissions because they don’t have enough workers to accommodate everyone seeking care. The survey of 170 facilities conducted this fall found that 44% had put a hold on new admissions at least once since June 1, and 39% had implemented waiting […]


President Carter’s many months on hospice highlight a surprising truth

BY: - October 30, 2023

I saw a clip last month of President Jimmy Carter, now 99 years old, taking a ride with his wife through a peanut festival in their hometown. That’s a happy story for many reasons. As the former president approaches his eighth month on hospice care, it’s also a chance to clear up a common myth. Back in […]


Concerned physician: Hospitals buy practices and charge patients more for the same services

BY: - October 25, 2023

I am a physician who has served the Northern Virginia community for over 12 years, and I have seen many trends in health care that aren’t in the best interest of our patients. Hospital consolidations are one such trend, where large systems buy up other hospitals, independent physician offices and freestanding diagnostic and care facilities […]