HEALTH

Biden administration asks state, local officials to boost monkeypox vaccine outreach

BY: - August 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — Federal public health officials said Thursday they are working with state and local health departments to boost messaging and vaccinations for those most likely to contract monkeypox, including people at large-scale events. But Biden administration officials at a press briefing also struggled to explain differing statements about how the vaccines should be administered, […]

Biden signs into law Democrats’ wide-ranging climate change, health care and tax bill

BY: - August 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed his party’s signature climate, health care and tax package into law Tuesday, capping off more than a year of tumultuous negotiations that saw his original proposal to Congress slimmed down considerably. Flanked by a handful of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and […]

Abortion is just the latest dividing line between the twin cities of Bristol and Bristol

BY: and - August 16, 2022

BRISTOL, Tenn. and BRISTOL, Va. — The community of Bristol is proud to straddle the border between two states. Tennessee flags fly on the south side of State Street, Virginia flags on the north. A series of plaques down the middle of the main downtown thoroughfare mark the twin cities’ divide. A large sign at […]

Demand for mental health services outpaces expectations

BY: - August 15, 2022

At the start of December, Virginia significantly expanded its mental health coverage under Medicaid, adding six new services and boosting payments for providers as part of a multi-year effort to reduce the state’s reliance on its own struggling psychiatric hospitals. Six months into the rollout, the demand for at least one treatment option already vastly […]

Biden signs landmark bill aiding veterans exposed to burn pits overseas

BY: - August 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed legislation into law Wednesday that will provide health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, achieving a long-term personal goal. “I was in and out of Iraq over 20 times,” Biden said of prior trips to the war zone he took as both […]

Biden administration proposes changing how monkeypox vaccine is administered

BY: - August 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration began encouraging health care providers Tuesday to change the way they’re administering vaccines to protect against monkeypox in an attempt to stretch out doses fivefold. The latest shift in strategy comes as the administration races to curtail the spread of the virus, which jumped from 778 cases one month ago […]

Virginia is seeing a spike in THC-related poison control calls among toddlers and teens

BY: - August 9, 2022

The director of the University of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Poison Center said he’s seeing an increase in calls involving synthetic THC products with the same intoxicating effects as marijuana. In a Tuesday presentation to a recently formed state task force, Dr. Chris Holstege said the current spike was largely attributable to Delta-8, a lab-made cannabinoid […]

U.S. Senate preps big tax, climate and health bill after deal with Sinema

BY: - August 5, 2022

U.S. Senate Democrats’ wide-ranging tax, climate and health bill appears set to pass after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona struck a deal to soften the measure’s corporate tax increase and a second tax hike aimed at wealthy finance-sector workers, Schumer told reporters Friday. The revenue lost to obtain Sinema’s support […]

Federal officials declare a public health emergency for monkeypox

BY: - August 4, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday a public health emergency for the monkeypox virus, a declaration that allows the federal government to more quickly assist states with distributing vaccines and conducting testing and public health campaigns. “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing […]

Data limitations are making it harder to detect when COVID-19 is surging in Virginia

BY: - August 4, 2022

Since early July, Virginia’s COVID-19 case counts have remained relatively stable, with an average of around 3,000 new infections reported every day. But over the same time period, hospitalizations have risen, with more than 800 inpatients as of Wednesday, according to data from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. The discrepancy, experts say, can be […]

Court ruling on suicidal man’s trip to ER broadens Virginia’s overdose amnesty law

BY: - August 4, 2022

Virginia’s Court of Appeals overturned a drug conviction for a man who told police he was trying to go to a Richmond-area emergency room in 2020 to get help after smoking crack and feeling suicidal, a ruling that widens the state’s medical amnesty law for drug and alcohol overdoses. That law is meant to give […]

COMMENTARY

Medicaid expansion’s positive ripples come as no surprise

BY: - August 4, 2022

Veteran newspaper people in Detroit taught me the saying, “No (rhymes with spit), Sherlock,” when I was a young journalist back in the early 1980s. The profane phrase – I can’t do it justice in a family publication – was used to refer to a headline or story stating something so obvious, so predictable, that […]