Analysis provides a county-by-county update to 2014 data as North Carolina considers Medicaid expansion
Expanding Medicaid would create more than 37,000 new jobs and insure approximately 365,000 more people, according to a new non-partisan analysis. The report was prepared by researchers at The George Washington University with funding from Cone Health Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
Craven County alone would experience 169 new jobs and 5,720 more people covered by Medicaid by 2022. The county’s economy would grow by $35.5 million, and county tax revenues would increase by $390,000.
In addition to the new jobs created and the hundreds of thousands of uninsured residents gaining coverage, the researchers estimate that the state would increase its business activity by $11.7 billion in just three years, between 2020-2022. It’s money that could be spent on education, infrastructure and other needs.
“Medicaid expansion is a job creator and can extend health coverage to thousands of previously uninsured North Carolinians who are falling through the gaps in our current system,” said Susan Shumaker, president, Cone Health Foundation. “States that have already expanded Medicaid are better equipped to tackle critical health care concerns like opioid addiction and infant mortality rates, issues that need to be addressed here at home in North Carolina.”
The analysis updates a 2014 report, providing a county-by-county look at the number of jobs, new Medicaid enrollees and economic growth that would result from the state expanding Medicaid. With nearly one in six non-elderly adults in North Carolina uninsured (16%)—a rate that is above the national average (12%)—every county, urban or rural, stands to benefit. For example, both an urban county like Wake and a rural county like Burke will create jobs under Medicaid expansion, 4,076 and 456, respectively.
“This report confirms what we’re hearing from families across the state—increased access to quality health care and economic opportunities helps communities thrive, and research shows that expanding Medicaid delivers both,” said Laura Gerald, MD, president, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. “Every community stands to benefit fromMedicaid expansion. The evidence shows that closing the Medicaid gap will improve population health, support vulnerable North Carolina families and boost the economy across the major sectors.”
North Carolina remains just one of 14 states yet to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and according to experts at The George Washington University, Medicaid eligibility requirements in North Carolina are the ninth most restrictive in the country. As a result, nearly 1 million North Carolinians between the ages of 19 and 64 are uninsured.
A free annual event, Carnival of Colors, will be Saturday, March 30, from noon to 2 p.m. at the North Carolina History Center, 529 S. Front Street, New Bern. The event celebrates cancer patients, survivors and legacies.
The event includes New Bern Get Your Color On Board members, Cancer Resource Groups including CarolinaEast Hospital and CCHC, Local Business Sponsors, Music provided by Strung Together, Live Painting by local Artist Sarah Brumbaugh, event guests and more.
New Bern Get Your Color On (NBGYCO) is a community organization that strives to promote awareness and education as well as support hose affected by all types of cancer. Proceeds from our efforts are used to provide care and comfort to cancer patients within our community.
Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) Adult Enrichment Program (AEP) will host a symposium entitled “Stop the Cravin’!” in an effort to promote substance abuse education, prevention and intervention.
This free event will take place at Orringer Hall on the New Bern Campus from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14.
The event will feature a diverse panel of speakers from local health care providers, local and state law enforcement and community-based organizations. It will provide statistics for the area, health effects and the science behind the many aspects of addiction, case studies and firsthand accounts from those in the medical field. There will also be perspectives shared by former addicts, an emergency room charge nurse and local law enforcement.
Professional panelists include Kenneth W. Wilkins, Jr., MD, FACP, endoscopist and president of Coastal Carolina Health Care, PA; Matt Knight of the NC Task Force for Safe Schools and NC Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) branch; Henry D. Beckwith, PsyD, a licensed psychologist; and Nadine Williamson, a certified substance abuse counselor.
Those in attendance will have the opportunity to: participate in a Q&A, learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid and related substance abuse issues, how to intervene and prevent future addictions. Equipping people with knowledge so they know what to do in such situations can ensure that loved ones don’t become just another statistic.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of the substance abuse epidemic that is steadily increasing and affecting our community and communities throughout the country, and in turn aid in the prevention of their use,” said Megan Johnson, AEP coordinator. “It is our hope that this symposium will be of great benefit to those who have been touched by this crisis and who are impacted in their daily personal and professional lives.”
Preregistration is not required and CEUs are available for eligible professionals. Doors open at 7:45 a.m.
This event is sponsored by Craven Community College, the CCHC Foundation, the Harold H. Bate Foundation, ABC of Craven County, Coastal Coalition and Trillium Health Resources.
For more information, contact Johnson at 252-638-7273 or email@example.com.
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Valley Fine Foods, a Forest City, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 35,516 pounds of heat-treated, not fully cooked meat and poultry products that may be adulterated due to presence of spoilage organisms that have rendered it unwholesome and unfit for human food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The heat-treated, not fully cooked, refrigerated meat and poultry products were produced on various dates from Aug. 15, 2018 through Oct. 4, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:
• 12-oz. tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Chicken Penne Alfredo” with case code #19034, case UPC code 1-07-42753-34709-0, and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”. Unit UPC 7-42753-34709-3.
• 12-oz. tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Chicken Primavera” with case code #19033, case UPC code 1-07-42753-34708-3, and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”. Unit UPC 7-42753-34708-6.
• 12-oz. tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Italian Sausage Ziti” with case code #19035, case UPC code 1-07-42753-34711-3, and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”. Unit UPC 7-42753-34711-6.
• 12-oz. tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Rigatoni with Meatballs and a Mushroom Cream Sauce” with case code #19036, case UPC Code of 1-07-42753- 34710-6 and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”. Unit UPC 7-42753-34710-9.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “ P-22102B” or “M-22102B” on the side of the product package. These items were shipped retail locations in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and North Carolina.
The problem was discovered on Oct. 4, 2018 by the establishment’s research and development department during routine internal testing. FSIS was notified on Oct. 10, 2018.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumer’s refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.
Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Valley Fine Foods customer service line, at 844-833-6888.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.
George Alsberg, age 103, of Wilmington, was one of the oldest voluntary evacuees of Hurricane Florence. Photo credit: Taylor Knopf
NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS |
That’s the takeaway from a state-compiled list of the adults who died as a result of the catastrophic storm. It shows that two out of three North Carolinians who died during or as a result of Florence were 60 or older, and nearly half were 70 or older. The median age of adults who died during or as a result of the storm was 67, while the statewide median age is 38.3.
“Vulnerable adults are more likely to be impacted because of their social isolation, or not having the supports they needed in areas like transportation,” said Heather Burkhardt, program coordinator at Resources for Seniors in Raleigh.
The list of deaths tied to the catastrophic September storm grew to 39 on Oct. 1, when Gov. Roy Cooper announced two deaths, one of a Pender County man, 69, who fell off a roof Sept. 22 while repairing storm damage. A list supplied by the Department of Public Safety showed that people older than 65 represented:
Six of 11 people who drowned in motor vehicle accidents,
Five of six people who died of medical causes such as cardiopulmonary distress or COPD
A couple, 86, who died in a fire caused by the use of candles while power was out.
Three of the victims were infants and two others did not have listed ages. Of the 34 adult deaths with ages attached, 21 were older than 65.
Perhaps the most poignant death was that of a man, 82, who committed suicide in Carteret County after Florence devastated his home. “Shot self when house condemned,” read the terse DPS account of the death.
LONGLEAF POLITICS | Hurricane Matthew struck eastern North Carolina on Oct. 9, 2016.
A full 18 months later, some of the first federally funded repairs are slated to begin this June.
Hurricane Matthew has re-emerged as a political issue in Raleigh as thousands of people in eastern North Carolina await public money to rebuild.
The storm was one of the most devastating in North Carolina’s history, killing 31 people and caused more than $4.8 billion in damage. Matthew set rainfall records in 17 counties, and 2,300 people were rescued from floodwaters.
Why is recovery taking so long?
It mostly has to do with the processes set up to distribute the roughly $1.7 billion in recovery aid expected from the federal and state government.
While the initial response from the N.C. National Guard and FEMA came quickly, North Carolina has been in no hurry to distribute money intended for longer-term recovery.
And as it turns out, there’s a huge difference between money that’s been approved — and money that’s actually been used.
The breakdown of funding sources is an alphabet soup of agencies, each with its own policies and mechanisms and hoops to jump through. State governments have incentives to get roads repaired quickly. Homes, not so much.
Here’s a quick explanation of how disaster recovery works. It’s ordered by how quickly money has been distributed.
Though Florence has come and gone, people affected by the hurricane are still cleaning up and rebuilding. Those in affected areas with asthma and allergies must be extra careful during this time. There are many things to consider as they remove debris, clean up flood damage and make repairs.
Long after waters have receded, flood waters can leave behind chemicals, bacteria, viruses and mold. These can create long-term health issues if you have asthma and allergies.
Mold is one of the biggest concerns after a flood. Mold, a fungus, can grow in any damp environment. It is different from plants or animals in how it reproduces and grows. The “seeds,” called spores, travel through the air. Mold spores get into your nose and cause allergy symptoms. They also can reach your lungs and trigger asthma.
Here are some precautions to consider during the recovery process:
Mold grows quickly after flooding. As you remove flood damage, wear a mask with a particulate respirator. Look for NIOSH and N95 or P100 printed on the mask. It should have two straps and should cover your nose and chin.
Also wear a mask as you clean up debris. Many neighborhoods are still lined with debris from downed trees and damaged homes. These piles can harbor mold, pollen and toxic chemicals as you wait for your county or city to pick them up.
Don’t burn debris. Smoke and toxic materials can irritate your airways. If neighbors burn their debris, shield yourself from the smoke as much as possible.
Consider hiring a professional to do the cleanup.
Throw out furniture and other items that cannot be cleaned immediately.
If possible, find another place to stay until the mold has been cleaned up.
If your home has been flooded or has water damage, mold may start growing in places you don’t expect. It does not go away as the water dries. Mold may grow inside furniture or under carpet that got wet, making it hard to find. If not replaced, it can make you and your family very sick. Items that have gotten wet from a flood have to be thoroughly cleaned and dried or discarded. Many allergens and asthma triggers can stick around long after a hurricane has passed. Keep these tips in mind in the coming months as you rebuild. For more information, visit http://www.aafa.org/mold-allergy/.
A Disaster Food and Nutrition Services (DFNS) benefits program will be offered by Craven County Department of Social Services.
The services will be offered at 2818 Neuse Blvd. in New Bern beginning Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 through Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, then resuming on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 through Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, for those who suffered food losses, damage or destruction of the household’s home or self-employment, lost income, or will incur a disaster related expense which will not be reimbursed during the period of Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 8, 2018 as a result of Hurricane Florence.
The hours of operation each day will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What Are Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits?
Disaster FNS Benefits are being provided to residents of Craven County who suffered food losses, damage or destruction of the household’s home or self-employment, lost income, or will incur a disaster related expense which will not be reimbursed during the period of Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 8, 2018 due to Hurricane Florence. Not everyone will be eligible for these benefits, as certain eligibility criteria must be met. A person must have been living in the disaster area at the time of the disaster. You can only apply for benefits for those individuals who lived with you before Hurricane Florence occurred. If you are unable to apply in person, you may designate (with a signed statement from you) someone to represent you. Please be sure to include the individuals name as it is listed on their form of identification in your written statement if they are going to be your authorized representative. Individuals who are currently receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or more commonly referred to as Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) are NOT eligible to receive benefits nor be included on any DFNS application.
How Do I Apply?
You must file an application for benefits at a local department of Social Services that has been approved for a DFNS program. Your application information must be truthful. A Craven County Department of Social Services worker will interview you and go over your application with you. If you do not understand a question, ask the worker to explain it during the interview. Report all income accurately. Every household that receives disaster FNS benefits is subject to a federal and/or State review or audit.
Because long lines and wait times are possible, individuals are encouraged to bring medications and other necessary items. Due to limited space, individuals are encouraged to limit the number of people accompanying them and to consider arranging child care if possible. Residents should come prepared for inclement weather while waiting outdoors as limited outdoor shelter is available for those waiting in line.
No food vendors will be allowed in the parking lots at application locations. In addition, no donations will be accepted or distributed at application locations.
What Verifications Will I Need to Complete My Application?
Identification: Photo ID and other forms that are not limited to Social Security card, mail, or collateral statement. Identity of the head of household or authorized representative must be verified in order for an application to be made.
How Will We Determine Your Eligibility?
Your total income received (or expected to be received) between Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 6, 2018 plus available resources, minus a deduction for disaster-related expenses and shelter expenses, shall not exceed federal income limits. Individuals must have lived in the disaster area for the counties operating a DFNS program at the time of the disaster; must plan on purchasing food during the disaster period, and suffered food losses, damage or destruction of the household’s home or self-employment, lost income, or will incur a disaster related expense which will not be reimbursed during the period of Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 8, 2018 as a result of Hurricane Florence.
How and When Do I Get My Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits?
All Disaster FNS Benefits are placed on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. You will receive an EBT card from the worker if you are eligible, after you complete your application. If you need assistance with using your EBT card, you may contact the NC EBT Call Center at 888-622-7328.
What Can I Use the Food and Nutrition Services Benefits For?
You may use your EBT card at any store that accepts FNS EBT cards. Only food, seeds, or plants for a garden to grow food may be purchased with the EBT card. You may also purchase infant formula, ice, and drinking water. Prepared hot foods may be bought in stores that accept EBT cards until Oct. 31, 2018. Items that cannot be purchased include but are not limited to paper items, soap, vitamins, diapers, medicine, pet foods, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages with your benefits.
DO NOT give false information or hide information to get or to continue to get Food and Nutrition Services.
DO NOT give or sell your benefits or authorization documents to anyone not authorized to use them.
DO NOT alter any document to get Food and Nutrition Services you are not entitled to.
DO NOT use Food and Nutrition Services to buy unauthorized items such as alcohol or tobacco.
DO NOT use another household’s Food and Nutrition Services or authorization document for your household.
If you intentionally break any of the rules above you may not be able to get any more Food and Nutrition Services permanently, and may be fined up to $250,000 and/or jailed up to 20 years.
It is illegal to receive Disaster FNS Benefits twice for the same disaster. People who get benefits they are not entitled to will be required to repay them. All state and county social services employees who receive Disaster FNS Benefits will be audited at a later time.
Any household denied Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits is entitled to request a fair hearing at the Craven County Department of Social Services.
Ongoing Food and Nutrition Services Benefits
The application you make as part of this program is for Disaster Food and Nutrition Service Benefits only. If you want to apply for the regular FNS Program to receive ongoing benefits, if you are eligible, you must apply separately.
For questions or more information on the Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Program call the Craven County Department of Social Services at 252-636-4900.
NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS | Farmer markets around the state will have another month in the busy summer growing season to figure out how to keep accepting food assistance benefits electronically at their stands.
The National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) announced Thursday it will send a month’s worth of operating funds to technology company Nova Dia Group to keep its MarketLink software running until the end of August, according to a news release sent out Thursday.
The move came just two weeks before 1,700 farmers markets around the county, including 45 in North Carolina, would have to stop accepting the Electronic Benefit Cards (EBT) that many depend on. No permanent solution has been announced.
At farmers markets around North Carolina, the tables are piled high with tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peaches and more.
But even as the growing season is peaking, some folks who might want to buy will have a harder time bringing those fresh fruits and vegetables home.
That’s because the technology company that currently processes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) benefits at 40 percent of the country’s farmers markets will stop doing so at the end of July.
Left in the lurch in North Carolina are 45 farmers markets, farm stands and mobile markets and the low-income customers that use their SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer cards to buy that produce through a purchasing program that runs off of Apple iPads and iPhones, according to Lisa Misch, a program coordinator who works on food access issues for the Pittsboro-based Rural Advancement Foundation International.