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Health & Environment

Stroke System of Care working in ND

May 19, 2015

Health officials say North Dakota’s Stroke System of Care is working to increase the chances that someone who suffers a stroke can recover from it.

The system was created by the Legislature in the 2009 session. Dr. Ziad Darkhabani is a neurologist with Essentia Health in Fargo – and he chairs the Stroke System of Care Task Force. He says the system allows hospitals to work together to make sure stroke patients get the care they need as quickly as possible. Darkhabani says the system works – very well.

Corps asked to speed up releases from Sakakawea

Oct 29, 2014

The chief engineer of the North Dakota Water Commission is asking the Army Corps of Engineers to move more water out of Lake Sakakawea before the Missouri River freezes up for the winter.

"We had way above normal runoff in August," said Todd Sando. "Our tributaries have been putting a lot of water into the Missouri. That's water that needs to be dealt with right now."

Sando says his main concern is along the stretch of the Missouri between Garrison Dam and Lake Oahe. He says groundwater could be a problem.

Sando: Move water out of Lake Sakakwea now

Oct 27, 2014

State water commission engineer Todd Sando says he will be asking the Army Corps of Engineers to step up flows from Lake Sakakawea before the Missouri River ices over this winter.

Sando will be presenting that message to the Corps Tuesday at a meeting in Bismarck.

Prairie Public news director Dave Thompson talked with Sando -- and here is that interview.

ND nurses urged to share research findings

Oct 24, 2014

When you think of nursing, the term “research” may not come to mind.

But the executive director of the North Dakota Center for Nursing says nurses are involved in a lot of different research.

"One is quality improvement -- looking at the processes within the health care facility to make sure thye;re working well," said Patricia Moulton. "Also, evidence-based practice -- looking at new ways to do practice. And your basic nursing research as well."

Health community prepares for disasters

Aug 22, 2014

Representatives of the hospitals in North Dakota and the state Health Department says if disaster strikes, the state’s facilities are ready to respond.

The hospitals say there are good lines of communication between them and local and state emergency managers – as well as among hospitals themselves.

St. A's to be come 'affiliate' of CHI

Aug 21, 2014

St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck has signed an agreement with Catholic Health Initiatives to become a “direct affiliate” of the CHI health system.

This is the next step in the process announced earlier this year that the two health systems were looking at affiliation.

"Now everything is in the hands of the regulatory boards," said Julie Jeske, the vice-president for community service at St. A’s. "It's a wait and see."

Gambling addiction growing in ND, nationally

Jul 21, 2014

Gambling addiction is a growing problem in North Dakota – and nation-wide.

As Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson reports, agencies that treat problem gamblers are hoping more of them seek help.

“We know that nationally, approximately 2 to 3 percent of people struggle with problem gambling,” said Pam Sagness, the Substance Abuse lead for the state Department of Human Services. “And so, if you put that in context for the state of North Dakota, it would mean that we’re looking at approximately 14 to 21,000 people that may be suffering from problem gambling.”

10,000 have signed up for Medicaid expansion in ND

Jul 18, 2014

As of July first, about 10,600 North Dakotans have enrolled in expanded Medicaid.

The 2013 Legislature approved the expansion of Medicaid to provide medical insurance for lower income North Dakotans.

"Our projections prior to the expansion were around 20,500," said Julie Schwab, the director of the state Department of Human Services' Medical Services Division. "The Kaiser Foundation had a little higher projection, 32,000."

Schwab says at this point, it’s only speculation as to why the numbers weren’t close to the projections.

North Dakota State University has been awarded a three-year 1-point-4 Million dollar grant to help establish a public health resource center for American Indians. The grant funding – from the Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust – will be matched with 720-thousnad dollars in state funding. NDSU President Dean Bresciani says the new “American Indian Public Health Resource Center” will be a “game changer”…

Wiedrich: State doing well in emergency response

Jun 5, 2014

The chief of the state Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness and Response section says the last year has been a busy one.

Tim Wiedrich says there have been a dozen situations where the Health Department’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated.

"We've responded to a wide variety of incidents," said Wiedrich. "Things like train derailments, water emergencies, tornadoes and a wide variety of other types of emergencies -- including communicable disease."

And Wiedrich says the state, in partnership with local emergency personnel, has handled things well.