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Alexa Hornbeck

Alexa Hornbeck is a healthcare reporter for The Well News. She has over six years of experience covering health and medicine topics. Her reporting focuses on stories which illustrate the intersection of health, politics, social trends, and science. She tracks health policy changes, women’s health, telemedicine, and big Pharma news. 

Prior to joining the The Well, Hornbeck worked for hyperlocals in San Francisco and New York City. She attended University of California, Berkeley where she received two graduate degrees in public health and journalism. Her undergraduate degree was completed at the New School University in literary studies in New York City. 

Recent Work

EPA Accelerates Efforts to Clean Up PFAS Pollution
Environment
EPA Accelerates Efforts to Clean Up PFAS Pollution
October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a new roadmap to accelerate efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of toxic chemicals found in food packaging and other common commercial products that can cause severe health problems. "We are exploring ways for... Read More

Developer of Gene Editing Tool Discusses Ethics of Emerging Treatments
Health
Developer of Gene Editing Tool Discusses Ethics of Emerging Treatments
October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

It was only nine years ago that researchers discovered a method for editing human genes using a specialized technology called the CRISPR-Cas9 tool.   CRISPR-Cas9 enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA sequence.  Ethicists,... Read More

Middle-Aged Women at Higher Risk of ‘Broken Heart’ Syndrome
Mental Health
Middle-Aged Women at Higher Risk of ‘Broken Heart’ Syndrome
October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

LOS ANGELES - A new study from researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center appears to confirm what many have long argued: That a “broken heart” really can lead to long-term heart injury. “We know from other studies the heart-brain connection is very strong, but this is one... Read More

Gene Editing Treatment Used in Human Subjects With Rare Genetic Blindness
Science
Gene Editing Treatment Used in Human Subjects With Rare Genetic Blindness
October 13, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — New data presented by researchers from Editas Medicine, a leading genome editing company, reveals that gene editing treatments are not only safe in humans, but may hold promise of treating a rare retinal disease that leads to blindness. “We believe these findings validate the... Read More

How Telehealth is Helping Address Veteran Food Insecurity
Veterans
How Telehealth is Helping Address Veteran Food Insecurity
October 13, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted veterans' access to food, leading to greater food insecurity, and according to officials from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, telehealth is now helping to combat the issue.  “The COVID-19 pandemic certainly has been impactful for many Americans,... Read More

Hospitals Push Back Against HHS Slashing of Reimbursement Rates
In The News
Hospitals Push Back Against HHS Slashing of Reimbursement Rates
October 12, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Health and Human Services slashed 30% in Medicaid reimbursement rates to eligible hospitals under the 340B drug discount program. The program, which has existed for 29 years, requires manufacturers of pharmaceutical companies under the Medicaid program to discount the price of... Read More

Eating Within Consistent 10-Hour Window Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases
Research
Eating Within Consistent 10-Hour Window Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases
October 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Salk Institute conducted a review of time-restricted eating that shows eating within an 8-10-hour window can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.  “Just like to be productive we plan our... Read More

WHO Establishes Rehabilitation Guidelines for Post-COVID-19 Condition
In The News
WHO Establishes Rehabilitation Guidelines for Post-COVID-19 Condition
October 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

This week the World Health Organization held the third webinar in a series focused on post-COVID-19 burden, research, and rehabilitation efforts, as currently over a third of patients who get COVID-19 have symptoms lasting for months.  In September 2020, the WHO established an International Classification of... Read More

Mental Health Practices Are Changing in Work Places
Employment
Mental Health Practices Are Changing in Work Places
October 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A new report from Mind Share Partners, a non-profit changing the culture of workplace mental health, finds that there has been an increase in employees leaving jobs for mental health reasons, and companies are taking new steps to address employee's mental health. As a follow-up to... Read More

WHO Launches New Program and Targets for Preventing Maternal Deaths
Health
WHO Launches New Program and Targets for Preventing Maternal Deaths
October 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The World Health Organization held a webinar this week to discuss how to prevent maternal deaths. Globally, roughly 295,000 women die each year due to complications during childbirth. Between 2000 and 2017, the average annual rate of reduction in global maternal mortality was 2.9%, which is... Read More

Baby Aspirin Recommended During Pregnancy to Reduce Risk of Preeclampsia
Health
Baby Aspirin Recommended During Pregnancy to Reduce Risk of Preeclampsia
October 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a new recommendation for the use of low-dose aspirin as a preventive medication for preeclampsia, a hypertension disorder in pregnant women that can lead to maternal and infant death. “The evidence holds up. We have a way to reduce... Read More

Senate Judiciary Committee Scrutinizes Abusive Conservatorships
U.S. Senate
Senate Judiciary Committee Scrutinizes Abusive Conservatorships
October 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Nicholas Clouse, a 28-year-old from Huntington, Indiana, suffered a traumatic brain injury from an automobile accident in 2011, that led to his parents obtaining full guardianship over him.  “On the rationale that someone might take advantage of me if I were to receive a large sum... Read More

Treasury and Federal Reserve Discuss Benefits of Child Tax Credit
Treasury
Treasury and Federal Reserve Discuss Benefits of Child Tax Credit
September 29, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs met this week to discuss the CARES Act and supporting an equitable pandemic recovery through vaccination efforts, supporting small businesses, and longer term needs like broadband infrastructure investments.  The members of the Treasury and Federal Reserve... Read More

Bridging the Texture Gap in Plant-Based Food Formulations
Food
Bridging the Texture Gap in Plant-Based Food Formulations
September 29, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The market for plant-based foods continues to grow with new technologies that can take foods like soy, potato and peas, and transform them into plant-based meats, cheeses, candy and more. According to retail sales data from the Plant Based Foods Association, a trade association representing the... Read More

Biden Responds to Increased Demand for Monoclonal Antibody Treatments
In The States
Biden Responds to Increased Demand for Monoclonal Antibody Treatments
September 29, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Many states are turning to monoclonal antibody treatments to curb the rise in hospitalizations and emergency room visits as COVID-19 cases rise. The demand on orders for the drugs has increased twenty-fold since mid-July, according to a spokesperson from the Department of Health and Human Services.... Read More

COVID-19 Increases Barriers to Gender-Affirming Surgeries
Health
COVID-19 Increases Barriers to Gender-Affirming Surgeries
September 29, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Transgender and non-binary patients seeking gender-affirming surgeries, such as a mastectomy or genital reconstruction, are required to provide a letter from a trained mental health provider in order to receive clearance for surgery. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to cancellation of many elective surgeries and saw... Read More

How Better Connectivity Increases Public Safety on Tribal Lands
Broadband
How Better Connectivity Increases Public Safety on Tribal Lands
September 28, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The National Tribal Broadband Summit last week brought together law enforcement officers, AT&T representatives, and tribal telecommunication specialists to discuss how FirstNet, an independent authority established by Congress to deliver a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety, was able to transform first responding communications and... Read More

OSHA Will Issue Federal Heat Standard for U.S. Workplaces 
Employment
OSHA Will Issue Federal Heat Standard for U.S. Workplaces 
September 22, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- Extreme heat has played a role in worsening health outcomes, especially for minority communities and for construction and farm workers at risk of heat stroke.  In response to rising temperatures due to climate change, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is set to issue... Read More

NIH Invests $1.67 Million to Study How Vaccines Impact the Menstrual Cycle 
Health
NIH Invests $1.67 Million to Study How Vaccines Impact the Menstrual Cycle 
September 22, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- The NIH recently invested $1.67 million in five institutions to explore the link between COVID-19 vaccines and menstruation changes, as some women are reporting irregular or missing menstrual periods after receiving a vaccine.  Only a few weeks after the NIH investment was released, an... Read More

Dance Program for Those With Parkinson's Disease Comes to DC
Health
Dance Program for Those With Parkinson's Disease Comes to DC
September 22, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- Dance for PD, an international dance program which teaches individuals with Parkinson's disease how to dance, will soon provide in-person classes in the Washington, D.C. area.  “When we opened up the dance center, we wanted it to be a community place, where anyone could... Read More

Employers Grapple with Religious Exemptions Claims for Vaccine Mandates
Religion
Employers Grapple with Religious Exemptions Claims for Vaccine Mandates
September 22, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Biden administration announced vaccine mandates that will affect employers with over 100 employees, and now religious exemption requests are pouring in from those who claim that a sincerely held belief keeps them from receiving a vaccine.  “The minute after the president announced the new mandate,... Read More

U.S. Health System Trails Far Behind Other High-income Countries
Health
U.S. Health System Trails Far Behind Other High-income Countries
September 15, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that no nation has the perfect health system, but a report from the Commonwealth Fund finds the U.S. trails far behind other high-income countries on measures of health care affordability, administrative efficiency, equity, and outcomes. By analyzing 11 high-income countries and... Read More

Study: Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Can Improve Mental Health
Research
Study: Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Can Improve Mental Health
September 15, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- A year-long study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California finds that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can actually improve mental health. “We were interested to see what the short-term effects of getting a COVID-19 vaccination would be on people’s mental... Read More

Women’s Clinics Outside of Texas See Surge in Abortion Refugees
Health
Women’s Clinics Outside of Texas See Surge in Abortion Refugees
September 14, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Clinics outside of Texas are seeing an increase in women traveling across state lines to get abortions only two weeks after Senate Bill 8, a Texas law which bans nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy before most women know they’re pregnant, became effective.  “We... Read More

Police Reform Law Creates Issues for Officers Responding to Mental Health Calls
Mental Health
Police Reform Law Creates Issues for Officers Responding to Mental Health Calls
September 13, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A new law is dissuading some law enforcement officials in Washington from taking mental health calls, according to a memo from the attorney general’s office.  “Recently, certain law enforcement agencies may have expressed concerns that House Bill 1310 limits when peace officers may respond to certain... Read More

Study Shows How College Education Can Impact Family Planning in Women
Education
Study Shows How College Education Can Impact Family Planning in Women
September 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent article published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences finds a new trend occurring when it comes to the role of marriage in family formation among college-educated women. “Until recently, nearly all college-educated women waited to have babies until after they married.... Read More

Increased Cases of West Nile Virus in Massachusetts
In The States
Increased Cases of West Nile Virus in Massachusetts
September 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently announced they’ve seen four new human cases of West Nile virus in the state this year, after five human cases were reported all of last year, indicating a significant increase of virus activity is occurring in mosquitoes. This year,... Read More

The Impact of COVID-19 on Construction Workers
Employment
The Impact of COVID-19 on Construction Workers
September 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The results of a recent survey from the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk underscore how the coronavirus pandemic has created constraints on the demand for work even as it limits the number of workers available to hire. AGC and Autodesk conducted the workforce survey... Read More

How Health Is Impacted by Extreme Heat
Environment
How Health Is Impacted by Extreme Heat
September 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

There have always been periods of extreme heat in the U.S., but now researchers estimate that climate change could make these periods more frequent, widespread, and severe over the next 30 years.  A recent report from the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, with analysis... Read More

How the Pandemic is Changing Telehealth Investments in Rural Areas
Health
How the Pandemic is Changing Telehealth Investments in Rural Areas
September 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Biden Administration is investing more than $19 million to expand telehealth access to rural and underserved communities, and Mend, a telemedicine and AI-powered patient engagement platform, is looking to prioritize access in rural areas where there is less internet connectivity. “In rural spaces, you still... Read More

Jury Selection Begins In Fraud Trial of Theranos Founder
Law
Jury Selection Begins In Fraud Trial of Theranos Founder
September 1, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Jury selection is underway in the fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, a one-time darling of Silicon Valley now facing felony charges alleging she duped elite financial backers, customers and patients into believing that her startup was about to revolutionize medicine.... Read More

Medicare May Expand Access to Dental Benefits, But Not All Dentists and Insurers Agree
Medicare
Medicare May Expand Access to Dental Benefits, But Not All Dentists and Insurers Agree
September 1, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- A hearing held by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging centered around whether to expand Medicare to cover eyes, ears, and teeth, a proposal from Senate Democrats that could possibly cost over $359 billion over a decade.  "While these programs recognize the value... Read More

Undocumented Californians Will Soon Receive Access to Medi-Cal Coverage
In The States
Undocumented Californians Will Soon Receive Access to Medi-Cal Coverage
September 1, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 133, an expansion of Medi-Cal that will provide coverage to undocumented Californians age 50 and over, set to go into effect in May 2022.  “Accessing health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program... Read More

Expert Discusses Emerging COVID-19 Variants
Health
Expert Discusses Emerging COVID-19 Variants
August 31, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Since May 2020, new variants of the novel coronavirus have emerged that can cause COVID-19 infection, and now health experts keep encouraging individuals to get vaccinated to reduce the spread of infection and avoid the emergence of a variant capable of resisting vaccines. ... Read More

Smart Home in Illinois Serves as Test Site for New Health Products
Technology
Smart Home in Illinois Serves as Test Site for New Health Products
August 31, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Researchers in Illinois have developed a smart home called the McKechnie Family LIFE Home, an interactive living space equipped with smart appliances and innovation labs to study how home-based technologies may improve health for older individuals or those living with disabilities. “Facilities like... Read More

Increase in COVID-19 Cases May be Leading to Clinician Burnout
Health
Increase in COVID-19 Cases May be Leading to Clinician Burnout
August 30, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Hospitals across the U.S. are experiencing nearly twice as many COVID-19 patients as last winter. Coupled with clinician staffing shortages, the situation is leading to increases in provider burnout.  “I think all clinicians in the country are tired. Last year the volumes in the hospitals had... Read More

Congress Wants to Address Eating Disorders in the Military
Military
Congress Wants to Address Eating Disorders in the Military
August 25, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Congress is looking to expand access to treatment for eating disorders among service members.  The House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act both contain measures that would encourage -- but not require -- the Defense Department to cover residential treatment centers... Read More

Two Generations, One Battle Against Multiple Sclerosis
In The News
Two Generations, One Battle Against Multiple Sclerosis
August 25, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

When Darrell Wordelmann, a 45-year-old working in Long Branch, New Jersey, started a nonprofit for single parents with multiple sclerosis in 2020, he had no clue that only a few months later he would be diagnosed with the chronic disease that affects the brain and spinal... Read More

Can Smartwatches Contribute to Health Anxiety in Patients With Heart Conditions?
Technology
Can Smartwatches Contribute to Health Anxiety in Patients With Heart Conditions?
August 25, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Smartwatches, or other wrist-worn devices, can help monitor for health conditions such as an irregular heart rhythm, but a study funded by the National Institutes of Health finds that wearable devices may also cause negative effects to patients’ psychological health. “Our case study does not suggest... Read More

Study Shows COVID-19 Vaccines are Safe for Pregnant and Lactating Women
Research
Study Shows COVID-19 Vaccines are Safe for Pregnant and Lactating Women
August 25, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent study from researchers at the University of Washington shows that COVID-19 vaccines are well-tolerated among individuals who are pregnant, lactating, or planning pregnancy. “I think pregnant individuals are hardwired to try to protect their baby, and when there are vaccines and other substances we... Read More

Arsenic in Rice a Persistent Problem and Climate Change Could be Making it Worse
Health
Arsenic in Rice a Persistent Problem and Climate Change Could be Making it Worse
August 18, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reviews decades of efforts by scientists to get arsenic out of rice.  Arsenic, in inorganic form, is a pollutant which can stem from industrial processes and pesticides, and chronic exposure can lead to... Read More

Employers Face Difficulties Filling Open Positions While Unemployment Remains High
Employment
Employers Face Difficulties Filling Open Positions While Unemployment Remains High
August 18, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance finds that there are now 3 million fewer Americans in the labor force than there were before the pandemic.  “At the pandemics onset, there were 18 million people on temporary layoff and now that's 1.8 million,... Read More

Brown University Denies Readmission to Dozens of Students on Mental Health Leave
Education
Brown University Denies Readmission to Dozens of Students on Mental Health Leave
August 17, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island recently announced a settlement agreement with Brown University, which denied readmissions to undergraduate students taking medical leave for mental health. “The settlement should not be misunderstood as agreement with the claims... Read More

New Study Reveals Unexpected Findings About Aging and Metabolism
Research
New Study Reveals Unexpected Findings About Aging and Metabolism
August 16, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A new study from a team of international researchers finds that our metabolism does not slow down over the span of a lifetime as traditionally believed, but rather stalls from age 20 to 60.  “We can see that infants have accelerated metabolism, and that not until... Read More

Pennsylvania Expands Postpartum Coverage for Mothers
Mental Health
Pennsylvania Expands Postpartum Coverage for Mothers
August 13, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

HARRISBURG, Penn. -- Pennsylvania lawmakers recently announced plans to expand the Medicaid postpartum coverage period for mothers. The extension will take effect on April 1, 2022.  “Pennsylvania has worked to protect and support mothers before, during and after birth for some time, with a myriad of... Read More

Colorado Will Use American Rescue Funds to Combat Substance Abuse Disorders
In The States
Colorado Will Use American Rescue Funds to Combat Substance Abuse Disorders
August 11, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Colorado is experiencing a substance abuse disorder crisis, and now city officials are looking to combat the problem with $450 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan.  Fatal drug overdose deaths increased approximately 38% in Colorado from 2019 to 2020, according to preliminary federal... Read More

What FDA Approval Might Mean for Vaccine Mandates
Health
What FDA Approval Might Mean for Vaccine Mandates
August 11, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

As the Delta variant continues to spread, COVID cases surge among the unvaccinated, and rates of new vaccinations decline, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is receiving pressure from President Joe Biden to approve a COVID vaccine. Biden recently said during a town hall event that... Read More

PhRMA Tackles Health Disparities By Funding Faith-Based Initiatives
Health
PhRMA Tackles Health Disparities By Funding Faith-Based Initiatives
August 11, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent initiative from PhRMA, a trade group representing the pharmaceutical industry, aims to combat racial inequities through community-based partnerships, particularly surrounding medication utilization and adherence.  “It’s documented what the disparities are with communities of color and access to care, and those issues have been addressed... Read More

The New Social Determinants Caucus
Health
The New Social Determinants Caucus
August 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Two weeks ago, Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.,Tom Cole, R-Okla., G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., created a new Social Determinants Caucus, which will coordinate federal investments in health and social drivers of health such as food, housing and transportation. “The reason you start a caucus... Read More

New Rules Could Take Californiaʼs Pork Supply Offline
Food
New Rules Could Take Californiaʼs Pork Supply Offline
August 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The California Farm Confinement Proposition, known as Prop 12, is set to become effective next year and could mean that pork suppliers lose access to California’s large market. The law will implement space requirements for chickens, calves, and hogs, such as retrofitting buildings, and will also... Read More

Genome Sequencing of Newborns Can Save Lives and Lower Medical Costs
Health
Genome Sequencing of Newborns Can Save Lives and Lower Medical Costs
August 4, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Over the last decade evidence has shown that whole genome sequencing saves lives, but a new study from researchers in California shows how genome sequencing for newborns in intensive care units can also save money. “We now know there are more than 6,000 genetic diseases, but... Read More

COVID-19 Pandemic Increases Demand for Cosmetic Procedures
Health
COVID-19 Pandemic Increases Demand for Cosmetic Procedures
August 4, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

As COVID-19 lockdown orders have lifted and many individuals are returning to social activities, cosmetic surgeons across the country are seeing an increase in the demand for cosmetic procedures. “I’ve never seen a jump this high, most practices do get busier and it’s pretty predictable, but... Read More

Half of Virginia Psychiatric Hospitals Forced to Close to New Patients Due to Overcrowding
Mental Health
Half of Virginia Psychiatric Hospitals Forced to Close to New Patients Due to Overcrowding
August 3, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services has struggled for years with patient overcrowding in state mental health hospitals. Then, on July 9, five out of the eight state psychiatric hospitals were forced to temporarily close to new admissions.  “Despite our aggressive recruiting and... Read More

Femtech Company Sees Surge in Demand for Birth Control
Health
Femtech Company Sees Surge in Demand for Birth Control
July 28, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The coronavirus pandemic has sparked the emergence of Femtech, a category of software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology to focus on women's health. Now Nurx, the largest digital practice for women’s health, is seeing a continued surge in requests for at-home delivery of birth... Read More

How Acupuncture May Help Treat COVID-19
Health
How Acupuncture May Help Treat COVID-19
July 28, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A study by Chinese researchers examines the ability of acupuncture treatment to suppress inflammatory stress, improve immunity, and regulate nervous system function to help patients with COVID-19.  “Acupuncture is widely used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, such as osteoarthritis, pancreatitis, obstructive emphysema, but in China,... Read More

FDA Commits to Proposal to Ban Menthol Cigarettes
Health
FDA Commits to Proposal to Ban Menthol Cigarettes
July 27, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration announced they are working toward issuing proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and all characterizing flavors in cigars.  Menthol flavoring has been known to have a cooling effect that... Read More

Global Summit Leaders Aim to End Sexual Exploitation
Mental Health
Global Summit Leaders Aim to End Sexual Exploitation
July 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Online Global Summit, hosted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, is holding a week-long event, July 20-24, that brings together professionals from sexual abuse and exploitation sectors to discuss how to connect, educate and solve the tangled web of... Read More

How COVID-19 is Changing Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Insurance
How COVID-19 is Changing Workers’ Compensation Insurance
July 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The National Council on Compensation Insurance will now allow the COVID-19 pandemic to be treated as a catastrophic event in workers’ compensation loss cost and rate filings. “We had specifically listed some perils that we were charging for. We had listed domestic terrorism, earthquakes, catastrophic industrial... Read More

Sexual Assault in the Military Subject of Congressional Hearing
Congress
Sexual Assault in the Military Subject of Congressional Hearing
July 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Subcommittee on Military Personnel held a hearing recently to discuss a new set of recommendations to better address sexual assault in the military. “The toll that sexual assault and sexual harassment has taken on our military is devastating and incalculable. We know the numbers, but... Read More

Data Shows ‘Major Backsliding’ in Routine Childhood Vaccinations
Health
Data Shows ‘Major Backsliding’ in Routine Childhood Vaccinations
July 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The World Health Organization and UNICEF recently released data regarding the state of vaccinations across the world showing that there has been a major backsliding in childhood vaccinations. “Vaccination coverage had stalled for a number of years, but this year we saw an actual slip in... Read More

Researchers Find COVID can Cause Disruption in the Brain
Science
Researchers Find COVID can Cause Disruption in the Brain
July 16, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Stanford researchers recently published a study which examines the brains of those who died from COVID-19, finding they resembled those with Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative conditions.  “We want to understand how the brain responds to this virus and people with severe disease, and it was a... Read More

COVID-19 Back-to-School Guidance for In-Person Learning
Education
COVID-19 Back-to-School Guidance for In-Person Learning
July 15, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools, as back-to-school season approaches this fall and students return to in-person learning.  The guidance encourages all schools to offer vaccinations to end the COVID-19 pandemic, but this does not... Read More

Pandemic Reawakens Trauma for Those Living with HIV
Mental Health
Pandemic Reawakens Trauma for Those Living with HIV
July 14, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The impact of COVID-19 has been traumatic for many, but for those living with HIV the pandemic may have reawakened feelings of social exclusion and fear with receiving a positive status.  “I'm an HIV positive person and I just survived COVID-19 infection. We positive folks can... Read More

Annual Report to the Nation Finds Changes in Cancer Trends
Health
Annual Report to the Nation Finds Changes in Cancer Trends
July 12, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer shows that while there has been a rapid decrease in lung cancer and melanoma deaths, previous declining trends for cancers like prostate or breast cancer have slowed or disappeared.  “It’s clear that obesity causes or... Read More

Fish Oil Diet Can Reduce Likelihood Of Monthly Migraines
Health
Fish Oil Diet Can Reduce Likelihood Of Monthly Migraines
July 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent NIH-funded study finds that the frequency and intensity of monthly migraines declined among those on a higher fish oil diet. Researchers from the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, parts of the National Institutes of Health, and... Read More

One in Four Cooling Centers in Manhattan Closed During Heatwave
In The States
One in Four Cooling Centers in Manhattan Closed During Heatwave
July 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

During a heatwave in Manhattan there are very few places one can go to cool down, which is why the city offers access to cooling centers around the city for residents. A cooling center is usually a facility, such as a senior center or community center,... Read More

Rapid PCR Testing Needed as More COVID Variants Emerge
Health
Rapid PCR Testing Needed as More COVID Variants Emerge
July 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The U.S. is experiencing a decline in COVID-19 testing and vaccinations continue as the emergence of new variants like Delta or Lambda have spurred the need for PCR testing devices. “Many companies have reported a fall off of testing with an increase of vaccination, but we’re... Read More

Fighting for Reproductive Justice as #freebritney Ignites Debate
Law
Fighting for Reproductive Justice as #freebritney Ignites Debate
July 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The hashtag “#freebritney” has recently been flooding social media channels after the pop sensation claimed her 2008 court-mandated conservatorship withheld her from removing her intrauterine device, hindering her ability to reproduce, an issue which has been at the heart of many reproductive justice movements for decades. ... Read More

Study: Eating Disorders May Affect Reward Response Within the Brain
Health
Study: Eating Disorders May Affect Reward Response Within the Brain
July 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Eating disorders can affect the reward response within the brain which may reinforce the eating disorder itself, based on the results of a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health. “The eating disorder behavior sensitizes or desensitizes the dopamine system. How the system responds,... Read More

National Press Club Discusses Best Practices for COVID-Safe Workplaces
Business
National Press Club Discusses Best Practices for COVID-Safe Workplaces
June 30, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The National Press Club held an event this week to explore some of the key factors relating to safety and security as more employees head back to the workplace. “The new world post pandemic is all about flexibility, but now we are getting to see this... Read More

Healthy Diet Impossible for Majority of SNAP Holders
Research
Healthy Diet Impossible for Majority of SNAP Holders
June 30, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a recent report which showed that for 88% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants there is a barrier to achieving a healthy diet throughout the month.  “It’s vital that the program helps enable participants to achieve a healthy diet amidst... Read More

Bicycle Health Expands Virtual Care for Treating Opioid-Use Disorders
Mental Health
Bicycle Health Expands Virtual Care for Treating Opioid-Use Disorders
June 30, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Lockdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic created barriers to providing in-person treatment services for those battling opioid addiction, so Bicycle Health, which provides evidence-based treatment for opioid-use disorder, decided to go virtual. “When the pandemic hit and the public health emergency was announced, we didn’t need... Read More

Health Summit Panel Debates Drug Pricing Proposals
Prescription Drugs
Health Summit Panel Debates Drug Pricing Proposals
June 30, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Policymakers and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry debated the cost of prescription drugs and the myriad of proposals on Capitol Hill to bring those prices down at last week's Milken Institute Future of Health Summit. Amitabh Chandra, a health care economist at the John F. Kennedy... Read More

Policymakers Seek to Strengthen Public Health Infrastructure
Congress
Policymakers Seek to Strengthen Public Health Infrastructure
June 29, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce recently met to discuss 13 bills aimed at rebuilding U.S. public health systems and modernizing the data collection of those systems. “Our hollowed out public health system explains why we see COVID-19 cases tracked using fax machines, and COVID-19... Read More

Biden Pressured to Reverse Restriction of Non-Essential Travel Across US-Mexico Border
Travel
Biden Pressured to Reverse Restriction of Non-Essential Travel Across US-Mexico Border
June 23, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Biden administration is being pressured to decide by the end of the month as to whether to reverse Title 42, known as the Public Health Service Act, used to restrict non-essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  In March 2020,... Read More

Faith-based Approaches Can Overturn Vaccine Hesitancy
Health
Faith-based Approaches Can Overturn Vaccine Hesitancy
June 23, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and Interfaith Youth Core finds that faith-based approaches supporting vaccine uptake can influence members of key hesitant groups to get vaccinated. Religious leaders can help overturn hesitancy by battling popular assumptions that groups like QAnon have... Read More

W.A.T.C.H. Report for Toys to Avoid This Summer
Health
W.A.T.C.H. Report for Toys to Avoid This Summer
June 23, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

This week marked the official beginning of summer, and in preparation, the World Against Toys Causing Harm, known as W.A.T.C.H., produced a Summer Safety Report for parents and caregivers to navigate summer heat safety for children whose injuries typically double during the summer months. “We want... Read More

New WHO Guidance Aims to Achieve Significant Reduction in Suicide Rate
Mental Health
New WHO Guidance Aims to Achieve Significant Reduction in Suicide Rate
June 23, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The World Health Organization released new suicide prevention guidance last week aimed at reducing the world’s suicide rate by a third by 2030. “While a comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy should be the ultimate goal for all governments,” said Dr. Alexandra Fleischmann, suicide prevention expert at... Read More

Bill Aims to Boost Hiring of School Social Workers, Counselors
Mental Health
Bill Aims to Boost Hiring of School Social Workers, Counselors
June 22, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act, a bill recently reintroduced by members of the Senate and House, aims to increase the presence of social workers, counselors and other personnel to support marginalized students. “Our legislation is pretty simple. It says that federal dollars from here... Read More

Chicago Mayor Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis
Cities
Chicago Mayor Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis
June 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared racism a public health crisis in Chicago this week, pointing to new research from the Chicago Department of Public Health showing that racism is the primary reason for a 9.2-year life expectancy gap between Black and non-Black people living in the... Read More

COVID Pandemic Accelerated Declining Birth Rates World Wide
In The News
COVID Pandemic Accelerated Declining Birth Rates World Wide
June 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have accelerated a long-standing trend in declining birth rates across the globe and could have long-lasting consequences, particularly for women, according to a recent panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. “The decision of whether to have... Read More

Study Offers Insight into Combating Male Infertility
Health
Study Offers Insight into Combating Male Infertility
June 16, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Researchers from the Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center in China published a study this week in the medical journal Development, offering new insight into preventing infertility in men.  Currently, at least 30 million men worldwide are infertile, and one in seven couples are considered clinically... Read More

Renewed Efforts to Address Homelessness Boon to Health Care
Health
Renewed Efforts to Address Homelessness Boon to Health Care
June 15, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The House Committee on Financial Services met this past week to discuss how increasing Section 8 housing vouchers could reduce housing instability, overcrowding, and better prepare the nation for the next health or economic crisis.  “Providing a voucher to all eligible households would lift 9.3 million... Read More

Global Leaders Seek to Eliminate Pediatric HIV by 2030
Health
Global Leaders Seek to Eliminate Pediatric HIV by 2030
June 15, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routine health services making it difficult to deliver high-quality care to pregnant women and children living with HIV. But it has also pushed global leaders to try and reinvigorate global commitments to eliminate pediatric HIV by 2030. “Children living with HIV... Read More

Diagnostic Aid Offers New Approach to Detecting Early Autism
Health
Diagnostic Aid Offers New Approach to Detecting Early Autism
June 11, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The FDA has authorized the first aid for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder in children 18 months through 5 years of age called Canvas Dx. It was developed by Cognoa, a behavioral health company.  “Currently, pediatricians refer most children with suspected developmental delay to specialists to diagnose... Read More

Vaccine Credentials Are Going Digital But With Challenges
Health
Vaccine Credentials Are Going Digital But With Challenges
June 9, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Over half of adult Americans have now had at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the Biden administration is working with private companies to soon offer digital vaccine credentials from a mobile device, which would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against... Read More

Lawmakers Seek to Build, Diversify STEM Workforce
Technology
Lawmakers Seek to Build, Diversify STEM Workforce
June 9, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Zharia Akeem, 19-year-old student at Tufts University, said that after being accepted into its Bridge to Engineering Success program she saw a need to help and bridge the gap between engineering research and minority communities.  “I am the only person and woman of color in my... Read More

Turmeric Potential in Reducing Cholesterol and Side Effects of Cholesterol Medicine
Health
Turmeric Potential in Reducing Cholesterol and Side Effects of Cholesterol Medicine
June 3, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Turmeric is a bright, yellow-colored spice commonly used in dishes throughout the Middle East and Asia, but is also a Nutraceutical, or a food which has natural healing properties.   Oh Sung Kwon, assistant professor of Kinesiology in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at... Read More

Battery-Powered Device Helps Neutralize Bug Bites
Technology
Battery-Powered Device Helps Neutralize Bug Bites
June 2, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Bite Helper is a battery-powered, wand-like device capable of neutralizing itches from bug bites through thermal-pulse technology which delivers concentrated heat and vibration to a specific area where someone has been bitten by an insect.  The device increases circulation, blood, and denatures proteins in the insect... Read More

San Jose Shooting Prompts Stanford Blood Center to Step Up Donations Efforts
Health
San Jose Shooting Prompts Stanford Blood Center to Step Up Donations Efforts
June 2, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The mass shooting of nine people at a San Jose light rail yard last Wednesday morning prompted the Stanford Blood Center, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., to spring to action to support the victims.   “On Wednesday morning, we got a request from Santa Clara Valley Medical... Read More

White House, States Ramp Up Vaccine Incentives as Numbers Slow
In The States
White House, States Ramp Up Vaccine Incentives as Numbers Slow
June 2, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Vaccination rates, which reached a peak of 3.38 million shots per day in April slowed to fewer than 2 million doses per day in May. In response on Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced a “month of action” to urge more Americans to  get vaccinated before the... Read More

White House Partners With Dating Apps To Offer New Vaccination Features
Health
White House Partners With Dating Apps To Offer New Vaccination Features
May 26, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

President Biden’s big push to get 70% of adults at least one shot by July 4th is now being supported by some of America’s largest dating sites, like Hinge, Ok Cupid, and Tinder, who will offer features to highlight vaccination status, and in-app promotions to register... Read More

Storytelling Increases Oxytocin in Children Admitted to ICU
Mental Health
Storytelling Increases Oxytocin in Children Admitted to ICU
May 26, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A study published this week indicates that just one session of storytelling can increase oxytocin, reduce cortisol and pain, and promote positive emotional shifts in children admitted into an intensive care unit. “As a storyteller myself I decided to investigate if all changes we are seeing... Read More

New Research Recommends Lowering Screening Age for Colorectal Cancer
Health
New Research Recommends Lowering Screening Age for Colorectal Cancer
May 26, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Researchers at Envision Healthcare and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recommend lowering the screening age for colorectal cancer from 50 to 45 years old based on new research.  The Mount Sinai team analyzed approximately 3 million colonoscopies performed at more than 120 of Envision... Read More

Texas Approves Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Study for Veterans with PTSD
Mental Health
Texas Approves Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Study for Veterans with PTSD
May 25, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

AUSTIN, Texas-- In Texas this week, a bipartisan bill to develop a study on the use of psychedelic therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate.  “We are losing over 20 veterans a day to suicide in the United States.... Read More

Study Finds Smartwatch Data Able to Predict Blood Test Results
Technology
Study Finds Smartwatch Data Able to Predict Blood Test Results
May 25, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Researchers from Stanford University published the results of a study Monday which found smartwatches can signal physiological changes, such as a change in red blood cell count, as well as early signs of dehydration, anemia and illness.  The study is among the first to show that... Read More

Pandemic Meets Epidemic: Obesity and COVID-19
Health
Pandemic Meets Epidemic: Obesity and COVID-19
May 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Marna Gatlin, a 58-year-old from Portland, Ore., is the administrator of a Facebook support group for morbidly obese individuals. Gatlin has struggled with obesity for several years but found this past year to be more challenging.  “I decided during the pandemic I would not get on... Read More

WHO and UNICEF Launch Toolkit to Improve Adolescent Mental Health
Health
WHO and UNICEF Launch Toolkit to Improve Adolescent Mental Health
May 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The World Health Organization and UNICEF launched a toolkit for helping adolescents thrive based on evidence-based guidelines for the promotion and prevention of mental health conditions, and programmatic guidance for people working in the health sector, social services, and education. The toolkit covers psychosocial interventions that... Read More

Texas Governor Signs Law Banning Abortions as Early as Six Weeks
In The States
Texas Governor Signs Law Banning Abortions as Early as Six Weeks
May 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law on Wednesday a bill that not only bans abortions in the state before many women know they are pregnant, but, in a unique twist, gives private citizens the right to intervene in that choice to terminate... Read More

Funds Increase for COVID-19 Telehealth Program
Health
Funds Increase for COVID-19 Telehealth Program
May 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Federal Communications Commission recently closed applications for health care providers to apply for a second round of funding for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. “For over a year, health care providers have fought on the front lines of this pandemic and have had to rapidly innovate... Read More

Earlier Cardiac Rehab Program Shows Benefits for Heart Failure Patients
Health
Earlier Cardiac Rehab Program Shows Benefits for Heart Failure Patients
May 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

An innovative cardiac rehabilitation intervention started earlier and more custom-tailored to the individual improved physical function, frailty, quality-of-life, and depression in hospitalized heart failure patients, compared to traditional rehabilitation programs. Supported by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National institutes of Health, these new... Read More

Researchers Conduct Survey to Understand Menstruation Changes from COVID-19 Vaccine
Science
Researchers Conduct Survey to Understand Menstruation Changes from COVID-19 Vaccine
May 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Questions are emerging as to whether women's menstrual cycles are impacted by COVID-19 vaccines, and two women researchers are conducting a survey to figure out if there are impacts and if so, why they are happening. “A lot of people still think of periods as …... Read More

WHO Launches Updated Framework for Testing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
Health
WHO Launches Updated Framework for Testing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
May 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The World Health Organization Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health launched an updated  framework  for testing genetically modified mosquitoes as a way to foster quality and consistency in the processes for testing and regulating... Read More

Expanding Access to Methadone Treatment in Jails and Prisons
Discrimination
Expanding Access to Methadone Treatment in Jails and Prisons
May 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The ACLU of Illinois held a media availability this week with Christine Finnigan, who continued to receive her 'medically, necessary physician-prescribed methadone treatment' in DuPage County Jail following a lawsuit brought against the DuPage Sheriff's Office by the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations. The... Read More

Supreme Court Agrees to Take Up Major Abortion Rights Case
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Agrees to Take Up Major Abortion Rights Case
May 18, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear an abortion case next term that could dramatically alter abortion jurisprudence. In 2018, Mississippi enacted a law that banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It was one of a wave of similar laws passed in conservative,... Read More

Report Looks at Why Antipsychotics Are Being Overprescribed in Nursing Homes
Aging
Report Looks at Why Antipsychotics Are Being Overprescribed in Nursing Homes
May 17, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent report from the Health and Human Services Department finds that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs to improve data used to monitor antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes, as insufficient data underestimates the scope of the antipsychotic overprescribing epidemic.  “This report from HHS... Read More

CDC: No Masks, No Social Distance If Fully Vaccinated
Health
CDC: No Masks, No Social Distance If Fully Vaccinated
May 13, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume life without any restrictions.  "The science is clear: if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you... Read More

Researchers Developing Sensor Able to Detect COVID-19 in the Air
Health
Researchers Developing Sensor Able to Detect COVID-19 in the Air
May 12, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Researchers from Emory University are working on a National Institutes of Health-supported project to develop a sensor capable of detecting COVID-19 in the air, called Rolosense.  “It’s tricky to anticipate what the real-world implementation will be of this technology, but we anticipate this will fill a... Read More

Study: Children up to Age 9 Unlikely to Spread COVID-19
Research
Study: Children up to Age 9 Unlikely to Spread COVID-19
May 12, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

According to a recent study which followed a cohort of Israeli children there is little chance that kids up to age 9 will spread COVID-19 while returning to school.    “The main question was whether school reopening was accompanied by higher rates of COVID-19 infections in children,... Read More

FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Emergency Use in Adolescents
Health
FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Emergency Use in Adolescents
May 11, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for emergency use for adolescents ages 12 to 15 years of age.  “Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available... Read More

Nitrate in Drinking Water May Increase Odds of Preterm Birth
Health
Nitrate in Drinking Water May Increase Odds of Preterm Birth
May 11, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent study from Stanford University indicates that nitrate in drinking water is associated with increased odds of spontaneous preterm birth.  “One single study does not conclusively prove that nitrate exposure causes preterm birth, but it is a clear indication that we should continue to investigate... Read More

Biden Strengthens Protections for LGBTQ Health Care
Health
Biden Strengthens Protections for LGBTQ Health Care
May 11, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Biden Administration announced Monday it will interpret federal non-discrimination provisions as protecting the LGBTQ community against discrimination in health care.   The move, which was announced through the Department of Health and Human Services, means the Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557... Read More

How Income Volatility Impacts Health Decisions
Health
How Income Volatility Impacts Health Decisions
May 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics released data that the U.S. birth rate is the lowest it’s been since 1979, and one theory on why this is happening is younger individuals who are of childbearing-age are putting off... Read More

Women in the Rockies Use Horses for Healing
Mental Health
Women in the Rockies Use Horses for Healing
May 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

About 6 miles outside of a tiny town called Granby, Colo.,  is a little ranching community called C Lazy U Ranch nestled 8,000 feet high aside the cusp of the towering Rocky Mountains.  Entering the ranch is a dusty dirt road that leads to a vista... Read More

How the Pandemic Is Shaping Policies for Smoke-Free Air in Casinos
Health
How the Pandemic Is Shaping Policies for Smoke-Free Air in Casinos
May 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Nathan Moose, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, developed permanent lung damage equivalent to that of a heavy smoker, despite never having smoked a day in his life.   Moose was an employee of a casino for 11 years that allowed indoor smoking, and in 2013... Read More

Sensor Tool Lights the Way For Non-Hallucinogenic Drug Development
Science
Sensor Tool Lights the Way For Non-Hallucinogenic Drug Development
May 5, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Last week researchers at the University of California, Davis, published a study about a genetically encoded sensor called “PsychLight,” capable of detecting hallucinogenic compounds in the brain of mice, and how those compounds bind to receptors.  “The most shocking thing was the fact that it worked,... Read More

Walgreens and Uber Team-up To Combat Vaccine Wastes
Health
Walgreens and Uber Team-up To Combat Vaccine Wastes
May 4, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Last week, in partnership with Walgreens, Uber announced the launch of a new way to transport individuals to get their vaccine shots, and to donate rides to those who aren’t able to get to and from their scheduled appointments.  “Our whole goal is to make sure... Read More

How a Federal Law to End Surprise Medical Billing Will Change Existing State Policies
Congress
How a Federal Law to End Surprise Medical Billing Will Change Existing State Policies
April 30, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Janet Solie, 62-year-old retired physician assistant from Calabasas, Calif., went to a lab at an in-network hospital in Los Robles with complaints of acute abdominal pain, only to later be slammed with a large ER bill.  “The physicians who supervised the inpatient lab were out-of-network. Now... Read More

Second Shot in Different State Could Be Skewing Total Vaccination Numbers
Health
Second Shot in Different State Could Be Skewing Total Vaccination Numbers
April 28, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Stefani Jahjahrova, a 30-year-old Costco employee, received her first vaccine shot in Denver only five days before transferring to a new work location in Virginia.  “I was told I need to reach out to arrange an appointment, and it’s up to me to make that second... Read More

Reducing C-Sections for First-Time Mothers
Health
Reducing C-Sections for First-Time Mothers
April 27, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Mimi Murphy, a 32-year-old first time mother from Pittsburg, Pa., gave birth to her son Arlo last Friday through a planned cesarean section.  “My delivery was exceptionally more difficult than predicted, and we already anticipated some trouble ahead of time,” said Murphy.  The C-section was scheduled... Read More

Air Pollution Disproportionately Impacts Communities of Color
Health
Air Pollution Disproportionately Impacts Communities of Color
April 26, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A new report from the American Lung Association finds that more than four in 10 people in the U.S. live with polluted air, placing their health and lives at risk. Even more concerning was that, of the 135 million people currently living in places with polluted... Read More

Airbnb Trends Show Boom in Staycations This Memorial Day
Travel
Airbnb Trends Show Boom in Staycations This Memorial Day
April 23, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent "trends" report from Airbnb suggests that the ongoing roll out of the coronavirus vaccine is spurring a renewed interest in travel, particularly when it comes to "open air" or "off-the-grid" locations.  In fact, the online rental marketplace said it is witnessing something of a... Read More

Senators Pressure Biden to Release Vaccine Formula
Health
Senators Pressure Biden to Release Vaccine Formula
April 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON - A group of senators is urging President Joe Biden to support an international push to make the basic formula for the COVID-19 vaccine available to less affluent countries that are experiencing vaccine shortages. “Simply put, we must make vaccines, testing, and treatments accessible everywhere... Read More

Health Effects from Cannabis Addressed by THC Potency Caps
Science
Health Effects from Cannabis Addressed by THC Potency Caps
April 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Whether or not cannabis is harmful to human health is a continuing question for researchers, as some studies say smoking can have therapeutic effects, while others say long-term cannabis smokers experience anxiety at higher doses.  “There hasn’t been clear science showing demonstrated significant reason to suggest... Read More

COVID-Killing Air Cleaning Technology Could Be Harmful to Health
In The News
COVID-Killing Air Cleaning Technology Could Be Harmful to Health
April 19, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The company Big Ass Fans designed a giant, steel overhead fan which runs on ultraviolet light and ionization claiming it, “kills 99.99% of SARS-CoV-2,” but skeptics such as the Environmental Protection Agency say that the ionizing COVID-killing technology, valued up to nearly $9,500, may not be... Read More

Material Hardship Can Cause  Adverse Health Outcomes in Young Adults
Mental Health
Material Hardship Can Cause Adverse Health Outcomes in Young Adults
April 15, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

An Urban Institute survey covering the first year of the coronavirus pandemic found that despite a steep drop in employment, the share of young adults reporting food insecurity or problems paying utility and medical bills actually declined compared to previous studies.  “Measures of hardship look at... Read More

Are Biden’s Plans for Electric Vehicles Worth the Money?
Infrastructure
Are Biden’s Plans for Electric Vehicles Worth the Money?
April 14, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON - On Monday, Biden held an infrastructure meeting to work on a compromise between the Democrats and Republicans, but representatives like David Price, D-N.C., told reporters that, “the main obstacle for a bipartisan deal is how to pay for it all.”  The proposed $2 trillion-plus... Read More

Enhanced Risk of PTSD for Frontline Health Workers
Mental Health
Enhanced Risk of PTSD for Frontline Health Workers
April 13, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A new study, led by University of Utah Health scientists, suggests that more than half of doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in COVID-19 care could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and... Read More

More Research Needed on Impact of COVID-19 on HIV
Health
More Research Needed on Impact of COVID-19 on HIV
April 9, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

BETHESDA, Md. - The National Institutes of Health released a call for research on how COVID-19 may be indirectly and directly impacting those with HIV. According to the written statement the, “COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people with or at risk for HIV by interfering with HIV... Read More

Individuals with Disabilities at High Risk of Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault
Individuals with Disabilities at High Risk of Sexual Assault
April 9, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Bureau of Justice Statistics issued a report stating those with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than those without disabilities.  “Persons with developmental disabilities are at highest risk of sexual assault in this country,” said Nora Baladerian, the founder and... Read More

Wild Songbirds Spreading Salmonella Infection
Health
Wild Songbirds Spreading Salmonella Infection
April 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The CDC has issued a report finding that small, yellow-tinged songbirds from the finch family were linked to 19 infections of salmonella across the U.S.   Rachel Curtis-Robles, a public health educator and outreach officer for the California Department of Wildlife, advised residents of San Mateo... Read More

High Schools Transform Into Vaccination Sites
Health
High Schools Transform Into Vaccination Sites
April 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON - Last Thursday, President Biden announced new vaccine goals of “200 million shots in one hundred days,” and has nearly surpassed that goal with about 154 million shots administered as of this week. "I know it's ambitious – twice our original goal – but no... Read More

How COVID-19 is Changing Biologic Workspaces
Health
How COVID-19 is Changing Biologic Workspaces
April 1, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

SAN DIEGO – The past four days, hundreds of keynote speakers in academia, biotech, and pharma virtually gathered for the Festival of Biologics.   Unlike other years, many of the top-producers in the biopharma and life sciences industries discussed how work practices have changed as a result... Read More

Vaccine-Induced Antibodies Effective in Protecting Newborns
Health
Vaccine-Induced Antibodies Effective in Protecting Newborns
March 31, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

Renee Poligone, a 30-year-old tax examiner from Harrisburg, Pa., will soon be faced with the decision of whether or not to get a vaccine six months into her pregnancy.   “I am open to getting a vaccine if I wasn’t pregnant, but with being pregnant I am... Read More

Posting Vaccine Cards Online Could Attract Scammers
Privacy
Posting Vaccine Cards Online Could Attract Scammers
March 29, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

As vaccine eligibility expands to those 16 and over in many states, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning those getting shots against posting photos of their vaccine cards online.  “I’ve seen people wanting to be proud and show off that they got their first vaccine,... Read More

Tribal Communities Have ‘Worst of Both Worlds’ in Pandemic
Health
Tribal Communities Have ‘Worst of Both Worlds’ in Pandemic
March 26, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

A recent Harvard study found that when it came to the combined economic and health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, tribal communities “are having the worst of both worlds at the same time.” On Thursday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee grappled with how... Read More

Senate Vote for Gun Violence Reform is Complicated by Filibuster
In The News
Senate Vote for Gun Violence Reform is Complicated by Filibuster
March 23, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON-  The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on common sense gun prevention after two mass shootings occurred in Atlanta and Boulder this past week.  Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., started the hearing with a moment of silence and a call to action. “We are senate... Read More

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