Media outlets report on news from Oregon, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, California, Iowa, Georgia and Hawaii.
The Wall Street Journal: After Abuse Allegations, Oregon Brings Back Foster Kids Sent Out Of State
Foster children in Oregon who were sent to privately run group homes out of state are now being brought back following numerous allegations of abuse. Oregon is one of several states that in recent years began relying on faraway residential treatment centers to house children with severe behavioral and psychiatric issues for whom adequate care couldn’t be found nearby. But the state’s child welfare agency didn’t regularly monitor their treatment and now two of the largest companies in the field have closed down facilities in Utah and Montana after staff members were accused of physical abuse and frequent use of drug injections to control the children, according to state regulators. (Elinson, 10/14)
Kansas City Star: Planned Parenthood Says Denial Of Missouri License Was Political
Lawyers representing Planned Parenthood can question Gov. Mike Parson’s campaign manager under oath about his involvement in the decision earlier this year to deny a new license to the state’s lone abortion provider, an administrative hearing commissioner ruled last week. Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi dismissed a motion by the state attorney general’s office to block a subpoena of Steele Shippy, who served as communications director for Parson’s office for 14 months before becoming his campaign manager. (Hancock, 10/14)
ProPublica: Doctor Who Advocated ‘Unethical’ Care Of Vegetative Patient Is Placed On Leave
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center placed the director of its heart transplant program on administrative leave Thursday while the hospital awaits the results of investigations into whether a vegetative patient was kept alive to boost the program’s survival statistics. “As the most prudent course of action to ensure the complete independence of these internal and external assessments, we have placed the program’s director, Dr. Mark Zucker, on administrative leave pending the conclusion of our review,” Barry Ostrowsky, chief executive of the hospital’s affiliated network, RWJBarnabas Health, and Newark Beth Israel CEO Darrell Terry wrote in an email to employees Thursday night. (Chen, 10/11)
NH Times Union: Hepatitis A Outbreak In NH: Are You At Risk?
As the hepatitis A outbreak continues to spread in New Hampshire, health officials are reminding the public that there’s a safe and effective vaccine against the contagious liver disease. Since the state health department declared the outbreak last November, 232 cases of hepatitis A have been reported here, and one person has died. Cases have been reported in every county, with most of them in the more populated counties of Hillsborough, Strafford, Merrimack and Rockingham. (Wickham, 10/12)
The Star Tribune: U Tests New Apps To Help Teen Brains Fight Psychosis
Teens struggling with hallucinations and delusions will receive mobile phone apps that offer brain training and social support — part of a new University of Minnesota research focus that emphasizes non-drug solutions for severe mental disorders. Testing the apps will be the U’s unique contribution to a new federal study of teens and young adults experiencing their first episodes of psychosis. (Olson, 10/14)
Reuters: Ohio Ban On Down Syndrome Abortion Blocked By U.S. Appeals Court
A divided federal appeals court on Friday said Ohio cannot enforce a 2017 law banning abortions when medical tests show that a fetus has Down syndrome. Upholding a preliminary injunction, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said the law was invalid under Supreme Court precedents because it had the purpose and effect of preventing some women from obtaining pre-viability abortions. (10/12)
North Carolina Health News: DEQ, Greensboro Won’t ID Pollution Source
State regulators and Greensboro officials refuse to identify an industry they say accidentally released a large amount of a likely carcinogen into the Cape Fear River basin, temporarily fouling drinking water for Pittsboro, Fayetteville and perhaps other cities downstream. …The release happened on or before Aug 7. That’s the date Greensboro officials took a water sample that was later found to contain 1,4 dioxane at a concentration of 957 parts per billion. That level was 2,700 times higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s cancer risk assessment of 0.35 parts per billion in raw surface water. (Barnes, 10/14)
San Francisco Chronicle: Losing Summer: 10 Months. Nearly 30 Visits To San Francisco’s Psychiatric ER. And A Suicide
San Francisco’s Behavioral Health Services system helps many of the 30,000 people it works with every year, and many receive high-quality or even lifesaving treatment. But Summer’s experience highlights weaknesses in the $370 million system — a system Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors say is broken. (Lange, 10/13)
MPR: Minneapolis And St. Paul Move Toward Ban On ‘Conversion Therapy’
Minneapolis and St. Paul are proposing new city ordinances that would ban gay conversion therapy, the controversial treatment designed to change people’s sexual orientation or sexual identity. The move comes after state lawmakers failed to pass a law banning the practice during the last legislative session. (Roth, 10/11)
Iowa Public Radio: State Public Safety Department Vehicles Lacked Secure Devices To Store Weapons
Fewer than half of the vehicles from the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s two largest law enforcement divisions were equipped to give officers the option of locking up weapons in those vehicles with designated equipment such as locking rifle racks or handgun vaults as recently as May 2019, an IowaWatch investigation revealed. Vehicles purchased since 2017 have locking devices to secure firearms beyond locking a vehicle’s door or trunk. (Rambo, 10/14)
Modern Healthcare: California Hospitals Rely On Generators During PG&E Power Outages
Hundreds of California hospitals have been running on generators and hundreds of thousands of residents have been without electricity after power companies temporarily shut off services Wednesday to prevent fires during windy weather. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said 248 hospitals were located in areas where power was turned off, so they likely lost power and relied on generators. More than 200,000 customers were affected by the outage, according to PG&E data, although crews were working to restore services. (Bannow, 10/11)
KQED: How The Disability Community Supported Each Other When The Power Went Out
De Grace-Morris went to Katie Savin’s home near the Oakland-Emeryville border, which didn’t experience any service interruptions. Savin had put her name on a shared “mutual aid” spreadsheet that was started by several community activists a day before the first round of shutoffs. …The list was largely created to help people with disabilities, many of whom depend on power for essential resources like breathing and mobility devices, said Savin, a social worker and disability activist who has diabetes and needs her insulin supply refrigerated. (Green and Hossaini, 10/11)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia EPD Doubted Ethylene Oxide Cancer Risks. Other States Acted.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division also kept the NATA report from then-Gov. Nathan Deal and incoming Gov. Brian Kemp, according to interviews with state officials, despite state law that says the agency has a duty to counsel the governor on environmental concerns affecting the state. By the time Colorado had convinced its medical sterilization plant to enact pollution controls, records show, Georgia was still three months away from even meeting with the operators of two metro Atlanta sterilizers that were also emitting potentially dangerous levels of the cancer-causing gas according to the EPA’s 2018 assessment. (Edwards and Trubey, 10/11)
The Associated Press: Increased Number Of STDs In Hawaii Linked To Online Dating
Hawaii officials say an increase in sexually transmitted diseases to the highest numbers reported in decades can be linked to the prevalence of online dating. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday that cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased significantly in the state. (10/13)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.