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Rockingham County struggles with the same health issues that plague most of the state’s rural communities. Residents suffer from  high rates of diabetes and other chronic conditions. There aren’t enough local providers to ensure equitable access to care. The population is aging.  During a recent discussion at Rockingham Community College in Wentworth, the county of about 91,000 people was presented as a microcosm of rural health in North Carolina.

Kids in foster care often need mental health care. But options are limited in rural N.C.

Amanda Price and her husband were finally in the process of adopting their three daughters in 2022. The couple had fostered the girls for four years and had planned to adopt them in 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused delays.

People go to the annual North Carolina State Fair for all kinds of reasons. It might be the topsy-turvy rides. Or perhaps the Village of Yesteryear and the antique farm machinery. Often, though, the food is a major attraction.

Student organization delivers hope, support to hospitalized children

The idea formed when Jana Tagel-Din remembered the light in her mother’s eyes after seeing the flowers and cookies. Her mother was in the hospital — her second bout with cancer, this time Stage 4 colon cancer. Tagel-Din remembers visits to the hospital as draining. But then she saw how her mother lit up at an unexpected gift. That moment in May 2022 blossomed into the nonprofit Care to Care NC.

Will increased pay solve North Carolina’s home nursing shortage?

North Carolina does not have enough private-duty nurses to provide home-based services to Medicaid participants with complex medical needs, creating a crisis for many working families who cannot single-handedly manage their loved ones’ care.

Skyrocketing teen boy suicides linked to firearms access

Suicide rates were 3.2 times higher for teenage boys than teen girls between 2018 and 2020 — with guns increasingly playing an outsize role. Boys and young men represent  80 percent …

As Tropical Storm Ophelia showered the North Carolina Piedmont with a windy drizzle Saturday, dozens of people at High Point University gathered inside the Congdon Hall auditorium for an unusual ceremony. After several years of planning, campus leaders and guests were ready to break ground for the Workman School of Dental Medicine. The weather wasn’t cooperating, so they headed indoors, where 10 gleaming shovels on a table awaited them near a shallow dirt-filled pit on the patterned carpet.

NC researchers see a pathway to an AIDS-free world

Across the globe, scientists, doctors, public health practitioners and community-centered groups are continuing their work to combat the transmission of HIV.  And they’re turning the tide against the disease.

Understanding September’s asthma toll on children and communities of color

September is an exciting time for many, as summer’s long, hot days begin to give way to cooler temperatures and fall colors. Primary school and college students return to classes, and crowds pack high school bleachers and college stadiums on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons to cheer on their favorite fall sports teams, among other fun autumn activities. But for children and communities of color — especially Black Americans — experts suggest grabbing an inhaler before heading out to enjoy seasonal pastimes. 

With just hours left for Congress to come up with a funding deal, government observers say a government shutdown seems likely. This will mean certain non-essential employees will be furloughed, services will cease and more.

Approaches to student mental health vary on UNC campuses reeling from pandemic

Providing young people with the mental health resources they need is crucial, said Dan Marlowe, associate dean and chair of Behavioral Health at Campbell University, during an Aug. 24 town-hall meeting on mental health at the school.

On a Friday night in late July, Axe to Grind got a visit from the local police. Zaidoon Al-Zubaidy, co-owner of the Hamlet cafe, was presenting a local band in the back room. When he learned there were officers out front, he joked with his staff that a night out isn’t successful until the cops are called, but still, he was concerned. He had a packed house, and he didn’t want a scene. …

Greensboro tries new approach to curb gun violence

Arthur Durham is keenly aware of the impact that gunfire and other street violence can have on a community. As a boy growing up in Philadelphia, that was the world he lived in. His mother battled heroin addiction, and his father was absent. Now, he’s bringing the expertise he has accumulated from his childhood and work in Philadelphia and New York to Greensboro, where a new violence interrupter program is being launched.

A look at North Carolina’s first year with the 988 mental health crisis line

It’s been a little more than a year since  the  launch  of the national Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number , 988, and North Carolina saw a  31% increase  in calls for support during that time.  While the national hotline isn’t exactly new, the shortened number is. The previous 10-digit number was replaced by the easier-to-remember 988 in the hope that it will become as recognizable as the universal emergency number 911. 

Where have all the psychiatrists gone?

When a South Charlotte mom was looking for a psychiatrist to prescribe medication for her teenage daughter’s depression last year, she described sitting with her phone and going down the list of doctors listed as in network with her insurance company. Some weren’t taking new patients. Others never returned her messages. And a few said their first appointment was months away. 

Rising concerns: Loss of wetlands could increase inland flooding risks

A few months ago, Jemonde Taylor stood, like a proud shepherd, on a bank and looked down at a section of Walnut Creek that runs through Southeast Raleigh’s Rochester Heights community, where he s the rector at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church. As the chair of Raleigh’s Stormwater Advisory Committee, Taylor values wetlands’ vital role in flood mitigation, air and water purification, and wildlife habitat, among other things. For these reasons, he’s concerned about the potential loss of intermittent wetlands.

As state-designated advocates for North Carolina’s older residents, the  Senior Tar Heel Legislature  has a 30-year history of advocacy — and relatively limited clout in recent times. Now its leaders are working to become a more aggressive, diverse force for change in legislative sessions to come.

RALEIGH — State and local law enforcement officers will be out in force as part of the Labor Day Booze It & Lose It campaign, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Warmer seas drive more bacterial infections, threatening fishermen, health

Last month, three people died as a result of infections from a category of bacteria you’ve likely never heard of: Vibrio. It is commonly present in coastal and brackish water, especially during warmer months.

Old North Carolina policies, patterns keep hold on some seniors

Enduring threads of North Carolina’s past — such as bygone industries and separate public schools for whites, Blacks and Native Americans — still affect older state residents, as harmful holdovers and even, in some cases, as positive forces

Sampson County residents wary of landfill methane plan

Whitney Parker has had enough.  The Snow Hill resident lives close enough to the GFL Sampson County Regional Landfill to see the daily operations from his house.  Parker said that for decades, the landfill has cast an imposing  shadow over his community and destroyed its quality of life.

Mental health agencies agree to consolidate amid delayed launch of Medicaid plans

Two organizations that manage behavioral health services for people on Medicaid and for some uninsured people in different areas of North Carolina have agreed to merge into a single entity that will serve more than 100,000 people across 21 counties. 

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced plans to  accelerate the launch of Medicaid expansion  to Oct. 1, which is about three months earlier than expected.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley volunteered at blood drives before he was old enough to donate. Then he was a regular donor in high school and some of his college years. But that was years ago. For the first time in more than a decade, Kinsley, 38, rolled up his sleeve to donate blood recently.

According to research by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, recent moves by the Biden administration to deliver high-speed internet to rural communities will do more than connect homes to the internet: It may improve rural health. Associate Professor Carrie Henning-Smith with the university’s School of Public Health said in an interview with The Daily Yonder that access to high-speed internet will affect rural health in a number of ways, including direct access as well as more indirect health outcome-affecting factors.

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