Health & Environment

'Affordable Care Act' takes effect Oct. 1

Sep 19, 2013

On October first, enrollment begins for the new “Affordable Health Care Act.”

The act is designed to cover people without health insurance. The act set up insurance “exchanges” – where people can pick the coverage they want or need. But Michael Fierberg with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services says there’s some confusion on how the marketplace works.

North Dakota’s exchange is through the Department of Health and Human Services. Fierberg says a person can long on to “healthcare-dot-gov,” and start looking at the available options.

E-Cigarettes Raising Concerns in ND

Sep 11, 2013

Troubling… that’s how state Health Department officials describe recent reports of increased use of electronic cigarettes by teenagers. Prairie Public Reporter Todd McDonald has details…

Journalists learning about conservation in ND

Sep 11, 2013

Several journalists from around the country -- who cover the outdoors and the environment – are in North Dakota for a “Western Media Summit.”

The Summit was organized by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. President and CEO Whit Fosburgh says the Summit is to give the journalists more insight into issues facing conservation.

"These issues are easy to stereotype," said Fosburgh. "Ducks versus oil and gas, or mule deer versus oil and gas, or farmers versus pheasants. It's not that simple."

Journalists learning about conservation in ND

Sep 11, 2013

Several journalists from around the country -- who cover the outdoors and the environment – are in North Dakota for a “Western Media Summit.”

The Summit was organized by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. President and CEO Whit Fosburgh says the Summit is to give the journalists more insight into issues facing conservation.

"These issues are easy to stereotype," said Fosburgh. "Ducks versus oil and gas, or mule deer versus oil and gas, or farmers versus pheasants. It's not that simple."

New flu vaccine to be available

Sep 4, 2013

Flu season is approaching.

And this year, there is a new vaccine. It'ss called “quadrovalent” – meaning it covers four different flu strains.

"The flu vaccine that we had before covered three strains -- two 'A' strains and one 'B' strain," said Abby Pierce, the manager of children's vaccines with the state Health Department. "This year, it covers four strains -- two 'A' and two 'B.'"

Pierce says the four-strain vaccine was developed because some people who got the flu shot contracted influenza anyway – and it was for a second “B” strain that was in the community.

The director of Mental Health America of North Dakota says people with mental illnesses often get caught in what she describes as a “revolving door.”

"Between the ER (emergency room) and the in-patient treatment, jail or maybe the state hospital, they just keep revolving through the system," said Susan Helgeland. She says stopping that revolving door is the purpose behind a two year grant the association received to work with the Cass County Jail. Helgeland says the money will help the jail staff assist inmates with mental health issues to receive some post-release planning.

Hoeven, Heitkamp hosting new Interior Secretary

Aug 6, 2013

Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) are hosting new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell this week on a tour of western North Dakota.
The group will visit oil and natural gas wells, talk with energy industry representatives and tour Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Hoeven says it’s to help Jewell understand the state’s comprehensive approach to energy development.

A Minot doctor is trying to raise awareness of “fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.”

Dr. Justin Boseck is a resident in neuropsychology at Minot’s Trinity Health. He says national statistics show one in 100 children suffer from the disorder. That compares to one in 88 for autism.

Three Affliliated Tribes looking at medical services

Jul 26, 2013

People who live within the Fort Berthold reservation will be surveyed by phone next week – about adequacy of health care services.

The survey is being done for the Three Affiliated Tribes by the Common Enterprise Development Corporation of Mandan. CEO Bill Patrie says about 500 people will be surveyed – including tribal members and non-tribal members. Patrie says one of the main areas will address concerns about the availability of emergency services within the boundaries of the MHA Nation.

Trinity Health now a member of the Mayo network

Jul 24, 2013

Minot’s Trinity Health has become the 20th member of the Mayo Clinic Health Care Network.

"We wanted to bring Rochester, MN to Minot, ND," said Trinity President and CEO John Kutch. He said the collaboration came about through patient demand.

"Many time we heard from our patients that they didn't want to travel out of the region for care," said Kutch. "With this partnership, our patient population will not have to travel for care unless it's absolutely necessary."

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