Public Health

Low-Income Seniors, Kids Receive Free Shots

Sep 9, 2016
Sarah Parks

A special partnership is now providing free immunizations and other health related aid to children and seniors in Reno who are in need. Reno Public Radio's Sarah Parks reports.

Renown Health is providing Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada with a grant that covers all expenses of the vaccinations, which according to Wendy Damonte, can otherwise come with a hefty fee.

"If you go out to a pharmacy and have to pay for them, they can be expensive, upwards of a couple hundred dollars each, so for them to be able to have this service brought to them is key."

Alexa Ard

The Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, recently announced that it's opening some doors for research into cannabis, but at least for now, the drug will remain listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. Our contributor Brook Bentley of Northern Nevada Business Weekly breaks down what this all means.

Renown Health has a received $7.5 million  from the William N. Pennington Foundation to hire and retain pediatric doctors. 

On average in the U.S., there are 15 pediatricians for every 100,000 people, but in Reno, there are less than 10 pediatricians per that many residents.

That shortage is even more profound when you look at more specialized care.

coniferconifer / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Washoe County Health District has confirmed the first pregnancy affected by the Zika virus in this area. In a press release, district officials say that a woman traveled to a country with documented Zika virus transmission and then returned to Washoe County.

The case is actually the fourth confirmed instance of Zika virus infection in the county caused by travel.

Tarek Mahmud/Flikr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

State officials have released a report showing West Nile Virus infections in two horses. The infections found in Churchill and Clark Counties indicate some risk for humans and other horses, but Nevada's head veterinarian says there is no cause for alarm. 

Ken Lund / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Doctor shortages in Nevada have caused critical access issues for rural communities.

Tonopah closed its only hospital last year, leaving residents 100 miles away from the nearest facility. Now health care officials are working to find solutions.

GM, Flickr (CC by 2.0)

It's one of the most universal recommendations in all of public health: Floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities.

Except there's little proof that flossing works.

Still, the federal government, dental organizations and manufacturers of floss have pushed the practice for decades. Dentists provide samples to their patients; the American Dental Association insists on its website that, "Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums."

Nevada ranks near the bottom nationwide in overall child well-being. That’s according to a study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

CASAT

The Department of Justice recently awarded 27 schools, including The University of Nevada, Reno, grants to fight sexual violence. UNR received $300,000 and the money will go to the Center for Application of Substance Abuse Technologies.

 Our reporter Marcus Lavergne sat down with CASAT's project coordinator, Justine Hernandez, to talk about the university's efforts.  

Hernandez says part of the problem is that there's an assumption that sexual assaults in college are usually violent acts committed by strangers. 

Renown Paying $9.5 Million In Medicare Fraud Suit

Jul 1, 2016
Renown Health

The operator of the largest hospital and healthcare network in northern Nevada has agreed to pay the Justice Department $9.5 million  to settle allegations of patient-overcharging and Medicare fraud.

The agreement settles a federal whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Reno-based Renown Health submitted false Medicare claims over an eight-year period beginning in 2006.

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