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The Wellness Clinic in Roland
Anny Sivilay / Sequoah County Times

This story is part of a joint project by Oklahoma Watch and The Oklahoman, examining the state’s high rate of prescription painkiller overdoses.

If there were an official business model for a high-volume pain clinic, drug enforcers say, it would probably resemble the Wellness Clinic in Roland.

Should you get a blood test to see if you're deficient in vitamin D? It sounds like such a good idea, seeing as how most people don't get enough sunshine to make vitamin D themselves. And the tests are becoming increasingly popular.

But there are problems with making vitamin D tests a standard part of preventive medicine, a federal panel said. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said Monday there's not enough evidence of benefits or harms to recommend vitamin D testing for all.

NIAID / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is advising users of a Delaware County water system to boil water before consuming it after E. coli was found in the water system.

DEQ said Wednesday it's notifying users of the Red Dirt Public Water Supply to inform residents that they should boil water for at least one minute or use bottled water for consumption, food preparation, brushing teeth and washing dishes.

Mercy Health / Flickr.com

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded nearly $5 million in grants to Oklahoma to support programs aimed at preventing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will administer the grants, which are partially funded under the federal health care law.

The grants aim to strengthen local and state programs to reduce rates of death caused by tobacco use, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Oklahoma Youths Not Fit For Military

Sep 24, 2014
US Army Africa / Flickr.com

Nearly three out of four young Oklahomans are ineligible for military service for reasons related to obesity, lack of education or having a criminal record, a new study shows.

That percentage of ineligibility is the 14th highest in the country. The report was published by Mission: Readiness, a group composed of 450 retired generals and admirals who are championing the White House’s nutrition reform efforts as a way to combat obesity.

A rarely seen virus is sending children to the hospital with severe respiratory infections, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning doctors and parents to be on the alert.

"Hospitalizations are higher than would be expected at this time of year," Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of infectious diseases for the CDC, said Monday at a press briefing on enterovirus 68. "The situation is evolving quickly."

Ten states have asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate a rare virus suspected of sending hundreds of children in the South and Midwest to the hospital.

Dozens of people have been tested positive for Enterovirus EV-D68. There are more than 100 types of enterovirus, but this one is uncommon. It begins with cold-like symptoms and can cause serious respiratory problems.

The virus isn’t usually deadly, but there are fears that it could spread throughout the country.

One of the great dreams of the medical research world is to help paralyzed people who are unable to use their legs, to be able to walk again.

Implanting electrode stimulators into injured spinal cords has shown some promise. Stem cell spinal cord regeneration has been elusive so far. But one Massachusetts tech company is taking a completely different approach.

In a commentary published earlier this month in Nature, Harvard professor Sarah S. Richardson and six co-authors caution scientists, journalists and the public against drawing hasty conclusions from findings concerning epigenetic effects on human development.

New Studies: Low-Salt Diet May Be Harmful

Aug 14, 2014

A set of three studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that people who consumed less than 3,000 milligrams of salt per day were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, and more likely to die, than people who consumed between 3,000 and 6,000 milligrams per day.

Average U.S. daily salt intake is about 3,400 milligrams, but groups from the World Health Organization to the American Heart Association recommend significantly lower daily consumption.

New Superbug Skyrockets In Southeast

Aug 13, 2014

A new study out this month finds that cases of a new antibiotic-resistant superbug are sky-rocketing in community hospitals in the southeastern U.S.

The bacteria is called CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, and it kills about half of those who get it. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that it has increased five fold from 2008 to 2012 in the southeast.

stethoscope
Lora Zibman / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials with the medical examiner’s office say they are one step closer to reaccreditation under the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) with the hiring of two new staff members. 

Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the medical examiner’s office, told the Board of Medicolegal Investigations last week that two new full-time forensic pathologies have joined the state. Dr. Cheryl Niblo joined the Tulsa office in July and Dr. Clay Nichols will join the Oklahoma City home office in September.

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is marking its 40th year in operation with a celebration powwow. It will be held on the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds on August 16th.

The clinic started in 1974 with a handful of volunteer heath care providers looking to fill the need of urban Indians seeking medical care. David Toahty, Chief Development Officer for the clinic, said the first clinic was just a storefront on Hudson. Toahty said the clinic currently serves 18,000 patients and fills 240,000 prescriptions a year.

amboo who? / Flickr Creative Commons

The 2014 State of the State's Health Report released by the Oklahoma State Board of Health shows Oklahoma ranks 44th in overall health status of its residents compared to other states in the nation.

Unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors such as low physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption, along with a high prevalence of smoking and obesity, contribute to most of the state's leading causes of death. Significant health disparities among many of the state's population also contribute to Oklahoma's health status.

The report says, “Overall, Oklahoma has the fourth highest rate of death from all causes in the nation, 23 percent higher than the national rate. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that while Oklahoma’s mortality rate dropped five percent over the past 20 years, the U.S. mortality rate dropped 20 percent. So, Oklahoma is not keeping up with the rest of the nation.”

The annual study reports on a range of factors and details information by county.

Suzette Grillot, Joshua Landis, and Rebecca Cruise discuss this week's national elections in Iraq, and the growing ethnic tensions and violence in Western China.

Later, a conversation with historian and geographer Abigail Neely. Tuberculosis and HIV co-infection is one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest health challenges, but she questions how closely they’re related, and how poverty affects the immune system.

USAID U.S. Agency for International Development / Flickr Creative Commons

HIV/AIDS is commonly considered an individual affliction, however Abigail Neely says that HIV/AIDS needs to be considered within the social, cultural, and economic environment of South Africa.

In South Africa, HIV/AIDS is endemic. Neely says that over 30 percent of the population is infected with HIV, however co-infection with tuberculosis is also prevalent.

Americans are being released from hospitals quicker and sicker. That’s put new demands on the family members who care for them. PBS Newshour special correspondent Kathleen McCleery reports from Oklahoma.

Four paralyzed men who underwent an experimental treatment involving electric current were able to move their limbs and regain some control of their bowel and bladder function.

The revolutionary new treatment is being hailed as “groundbreaking” by experts. They say the results of the study, which will be published today in the journal Brain, are an important first step toward an eventual cure for spinal cord injury.

Lizzie279 / Flickr Creative Commons

A new public-private initiative is working to reduce heart attacks and stroke in a five-county area in southeastern Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Heartland Project combines public health personnel with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, hospitals and insurers to help patients reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke and live a longer, healthier life.

Counties participating in the initiative include Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Coal, Atoka and Latimer. The pilot project is funded through a grant from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

If you've ever tried to drink something through one of those little red coffee stirrers instead of a full-sized straw, you know what it's like to breathe with asthma.

Twenty-five million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. And for 10 percent of them, medications like inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists aren't enough to keep them out of the hospital.

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