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 coordinatorRead More →

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 upRead More →

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 itRead More →

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 dayRead More →

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)Read More →

Many North Carolina parents who have lost their children to drug overdoses are fighting to prevent other families from feeling their same pain. Debbie Dalton holds a photo of her son Hunter who died from cocaine laced with fentanyl in 2016. He spent seven days in the hospital after his overdose hooked up to life support. Photo credit: Taylor KnopfDebbie Dalton was sitting at her kitchen table in Cornelius writing Christmas cards the week after Thanksgiving 2016 when she received a devastating phone call. The caller ID said “Hunter,” the name of her then-23-year-old son who recently graduated college and moved to Raleigh to workRead More →

New Bern ranks second in North Carolina and 75th in the nation for EMT and paramedic services, according to Security Choice. Among North Carolina cities, Greenville ranked 19th, New Bern 75th, and Asheville ranked 83rd. The survey took into account all of the data available for 645 cities across the nation. The final categorization was based primarily on five categories which were weighted by level of importance to those in the profession: 35% Mean Salary of EMTs Paramedics/EMTs by City 5% FBI Crime Data 25% Location Quotient for Paramedics/EMTs (Share of employment in the City vs National Average) 15% Paramedic Job Projection 20% Cost of Living “Paramedics and Emergency Medical TechniciansRead More →

A bill seeks to address the problem of people languishing in hospital EDs, waiting for a psychiatric bed, but mental health advocates decried the process. North Carolina Health News In the waning days of this year’s legislative work session, lawmakers abruptly revived and passed a bill aimed at revising North Carolina’s laws to address the flood of people with mental health crises in hospital emergency departments. Officials from the state’s hospital association had convened administrators, advocacy organizations, academics, mental health professionals and others over several years to examine some legislative fixes. Those leading that effort say they’ve come up with a bill that will improveRead More →

Photo courtesy Mesh, flickr creative commons North Carolina Health News Mental health advocates are concerned that a bill to enhance prison safety could disproportionately hurt inmates with severe mental illnesses. A bill making its way through the General Assembly would have imposed automatic felony charges, with time in prison added to the sentences of inmates who masturbate in front of or throw bodily or unknown fluids toward a correctional officer. These felony charges could have added up to two years to an inmate’s sentence for each offense, which would be served consecutively. The concern was that this could potentially add more than a decade to an inmate’sRead More →

Most North Carolina counties are losing people to opioid overdoses. Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services North Carolina Health News As the number of drug overdoses in North Carolina and across the country continue to climb, state lawmakers rolled out a second piece of legislation aimed at curbing the flow of prescription opioids into the illegal drug market. The Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement (HOPE) Act aims to give law enforcement more tools to stop the diversion of prescription pills by allowing expanded access to the Controlled Substance Reporting System, which tracks the identifying information of people who are prescribed opioids. TheRead More →