Health & Environment

25% of North Dakota in 'moderate drought'

Jun 2, 2017

The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL. Edit | Remove

The latest US Drought monitor now shows about a quarter of North Dakota is in a moderate drought.

Flu season approaches

Sep 27, 2016

Flu season is nearly upon us.

Already, clinics and pharmacies are offering flu vaccine.

This year’s vaccine has changed.

"They've changed the 'A' strain vaccine, because of what is circulating in the southern hemisphere," said state Health Department infuenza coordinator Jill Baber. "They've also switched which influenza 'B'  is in the trivalent vaccine."

Baber said there are two types of the 'B" strain. She said both are in the quadrovalent vaccine.

With school starting, the North Dakota Health Department is reminding parents to make sure their children’s vaccines are up to date.

"When you;re in a school, you have a situation where a vaccine-preventable disease could be introduced," said Health Department Epidemiologist Lexie Barber. "If kids aren't up to date on their vaccinations, that disease can spread quickly throughout that school."

West Nile Virus Nearing Peak Season For Activity

Jul 27, 2016

Officials with the State Health Department say the recent reports of West Nile Virus among humans is following the normal pattern for the disease this summer in North Dakota. Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports...

An award for the Public Service Commission’s Abandoned Mine Lands program.

The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has given the PSC its “Small Project Award” for a drilling and grouting project at the Halleck Mine, five miles north of Bowman.

The Halleck Mine was an underground mine, that was in operation between 1919 and 1944.

"The coal seam there was 30 to 40 feet thick, with only 10 to 50 feet of overburden," Commissioner Randy Christmann said. "So, obviously, that is going to cause sinkholes over time."

CHI-St. Alexius becoming a regional health care system

Apr 20, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Catholic Health Initiatives is forming a regional health care system for central and western North Dakota.

What this means: CHI-St. Alexius of Bismarck, CHI Mercy Medical Center in Williston, CHI-St. Joseph's in Dickinson, CHI-Carrington Health, CHI Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, as well as hospitals an clinics in Turtle Lake, Minot, Mandan and Washburn will now be under the CHI-St. Alexius name.

The first of its kind in North Dakota.

Altru – the Grand Forks Medical center – and Medica – an insurance company – are setting up what’s called an “Accountable Care Organization” – the first of its kind in North Dakota.

"It's a way to incent providers, patients and insurers to work together to manage population health, rather than each entity focusing on their own function," said Altru Chief Financial Dwight Thompson.

Thompson says the ACO was created for employers. He says the insurer and provider will work together – and it will help provide better medical care.

Leonard, ND to get a new water supply

Mar 14, 2016

The state Water Commission has approved a project to provide the city of Leonard, in Cass County, a new water supply.

The city had been getting its water from wells. But those wells have high levels of arsenic.

Duane Wadeson is from Leonard. He became ill in December, 2014.

"High fever, hair loss, nausea, high white blood count" were Wadeson's symptoms. He says at first, doctors couldn't find the problem. Then, he asked for a poison test.

"The arsenic in my body came up way, way high," Wadeson said. "It was higher than they'd ever seen in this area.'

The chairman of the Legislature’s interim Water Topics Overview Committee says he has a major concern over the state-versus-local funding split for the planning costs of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project.

That project would bring Missouri River Water to the Red River Valley in times of drought. The project’s backers say the planning costs would be 90 percent covered by state dollars, with the remaining 10 percent from local sources – in this case, the Lake Agassiz water board.

The St. Paul District Commander for the Army Corps of Engineers says he’s confident federal money will be there for the F-M Area Diversion Project.

Col. David Koprowski told the Legislature’s interim Water Topics Overview Committee – the diversion project was one of six new project starts okayed by the Corps.

"Giving us one of those six new starts really demonstrates a federal commitment to this project," Koprowski said. "And that's important."

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