www.charlestondailymail.com Health http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers CAMC training staff to deal with Ebola http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM01/141029735 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM01/141029735 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:14:38 -0400 By Charlotte Ferrell Smith Charleston Area Medical Center, like other hospitals throughout the country, will train staff in the wake of a potential Ebola threat.

"The best news at this point is there are no new Ebola patients in the country," said David Ramsey, president and chief executive officer. "More people will die this year from the flu. I would be more concerned about getting a flu shot."

Dr. Pinckney McIlwain, chief medical officer, made a presentation on Ebola training during the regular meeting of the CAMC Board of Trustee on Wednesday morning. He said information arrives daily from the Centers for Disease Control.

One challenge health officials face is that the initial symptoms of Ebola mirror those of the flu with fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to Ebola with unexplained bleeding or bruising eventually added to the list. The deadly Ebola virus is spread by exposure to blood and other bodily fluids.

While the mortality rate is high in Africa, it is much lower in the United States with proper supportive medical care, he said.

"The ability to keep people hydrated has a dramatic influence on survival," he said.

When screening patients for Ebola, he notes to ask about their symptoms as well as whether they have traveled to West Africa.

"There is a clear need to educate staff," he said. "Every person employed at CAMC has been taught to use personal protective equipment. There will be additional training with high level protective equipment as it becomes available."

He said officials must try to suppress speculation and panic.

"You can imagine during a bad flu season how many people would have to be screened," he said.

Officials recommend flu shots as well as frequent hand washing.

In other business, Ramsey reported that Dr. John Linton has accepted the position of dean of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center West Virginia University Charleston Division.

Also, board members received a booklet entitled "The Evolution of Heart Surgery at Charleston Area Medical Center" by Dr. Jamal H. Khan.

University of Charleston President Ed Welch, who heads the quality committee, reminded the board of an upcoming event at UC.

The UC Speaker Series at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 will examine "how healthy is health care." Among topics to be covered are how local health care has been affected by the national Affordable Care Act, advances in medicine, and providing services to remote areas of the state. Speakers will be Ramsey and Steve Dexter, CEO of Thomas Health System. The event is free and open to the public. The series is sponsored by Dow Chemical Company Foundation.

Prior to Wednesday's meeting, Ramsey presented a "Heart and Soul" award to Gina Diddle, a nurse practitioner who works in the palliative care program. She was recognized for going the extra mile to care for an elderly patient who wanted to be at home with family during her final days. The patient's husband was suffering from cancer and too ill to visit her in the hospital. Diddle communicated with family and coordinated with Hospice to see the patient's wishes were fulfilled.

Diddle said her team deals with similar matters regularly and her co-workers should share in the award. She said she has heard it said that if you choose a job you love that you will never have to work a day in your life.

"That is what I have," she said.

Following the meeting, several board members toured the new Cancer Center, which is expected to begin receiving patients in May of 2015.

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlotte@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1246.

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Health officials recommend flu shot for pregnant women http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM01/141029787 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM01/141029787 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:14:56 -0400 By Samuel Speciale At about 50 percent, West Virginia has the third highest adult flu vaccination rate in the country, but state health officials are increasing their efforts to encourage even more citizens to get a shot this season.

Chief among them is pregnant women, who during the course of pregnancy experience changes to their immune system that make them more susceptible to influenza strains.

Jeff Necuzzi, director of Immunization Services for the Bureau of Public Health, said even when otherwise healthy, pregnant women are at high risk for contracting the flu. He also said the virus is more likely to affect them severely, causing hospitalization or in rare cases, death.

There's also increased risk to the unborn baby, Necuzzi said. He later added that complications brought on by the flu could cause premature labor and delivery.

That's why the bureau's latest vaccination campaign is called "For Baby's Sake, Get a Flu Shot." Aimed at soon-to-be mothers, the bureau hopes to improve the vaccination rate in pregnant women, which sits at 52 percent nationally.

Necuzzi said the state doesn't track the flu vaccination rate in pregnant women, but was confident in saying it is similar to the rest of the country.

The vaccine can be administered during any trimester and does not harm the baby. In fact, it can extend protection to the infant during the first few months of its life.

The vaccine comes in several forms, but it is not recommended a pregnant women receive it through a nasal spray.

Pregnant women who get flu-like symptoms are urged to contact their health care provider immediately.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers West Virginia to be one of the states best prepared to combat the flu, Necuzzi isn't satisfied with only 50 percent of the population being vaccinated.

Because flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months or older and are easily obtained, local health officials have recently said there is no reason for someone not to get vaccinated.

Necuzzi echoed those remarks Tuesday by highlighting the flu vaccine's research-proven safety.

"All the more reason for pregnant women to get the shot," he said.

Because the vaccine contains a "killed" virus, a person cannot catch the flu from getting the shot, Necuzzi said.

"In some circles, there's a myth that the shot will give you the flu," he said. "That's unfounded."

Necuzzi admitted there is potential for injection site soreness and swelling, though he said it is a mild inconvenience compared to becoming infected with influenza.

Influenza is highly contagious, infects hundreds of thousands each year and kills an estimated 36,000 people annually, though some officials claim those numbers are inflated by flu-like symptoms being mistaken for the flu itself.

Many forgo treatment, and while flu symptoms can be treated with antiviral medication, health officials do not recommend doing so.

Flu shots can be procured from local health departments as well as most area doctor's offices and pharmacies. Health departments also sponsor clinics at various businesses.

Spread of influenza can be prevented by using standard hygiene like thoroughly washing hands, cleaning shared surfaces and sneezing and coughing into one's arm.

Earlier this month, cases of the flu were reported in Maryland and Kentucky, months before the season's typical December start. When asked if there were any indications of this year's season getting an early start, Necuzzi said he wouldn't speculate.

"The first rule of influenza is that it's impossible to predict," he said. "We never know how a particular flu season will play out."

The 2013-2014 flu season started early last year in mid-November.

Flu season typically lasts until spring and can last as late as May.

Locally, shots are available at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department on Lee Street Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Contact writer Samuel Speciale at sam.speciale@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4886. Follow him at www.twitter.com/wvschools.

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Beijing marathoners don face masks to battle smog http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/ARTICLE/141019138 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/ARTICLE/141019138 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 14:58:36 -0400

By LOUISE WATT

The Associated Press

BEIJING - Despite heavy pollution blanketing Beijing on Sunday, an international marathon went ahead, with face masks and sponges among the equipment used by competitors to battle the smog.

The 34th Beijing International Marathon began at Tiananmen Square with many of the tens of thousands of participants wearing face masks. The 42-kilometer (26-mile) course ended at the Chinese capital's Olympic Park, on a day when buildings across the city disappeared into the gray-tinged mist.

"Actually, on a normal day, nobody would run in such conditions," said participant Liu Zhenyu, a computer engineer. "But the event is happening today, so what can we do?"

About 30,000 people were expected to take part in the marathon and the half-marathon. The organizing committee made 140,000 sponges available at supply stations along the marathon route so runners could "clean their skin that is exposed to the air," the Beijing News reported.

The men's and women's marathon winners were both from Ethiopia. Girmay Birhanu Gebru won the men's race in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 42 seconds, while Fatuma Sado Dergo won the women's in 2:30:3.

"Today the smog did have a little impact on my performance, but not a major one," said China's Gong Lihua, who came in third in the women's race.

An update Saturday night on the official microblog of the marathon, which was hosted by the Chinese Athletic Association and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports, said "there might be slight or moderate smog." It asked competitors to take measures according to their own health, and advised the elderly and people with respiratory diseases to carefully consider whether to participate.

But the air Sunday was deemed severely polluted, according to the real-time monitoring of Beijing's environmental center. It was the most serious level on China's air quality index, and came with a warning for children, the elderly and the sick to stay indoors, and for everyone to avoid outdoor activities.

The U.S. Embassy, which tracks the Beijing air from a monitoring station on its roof and uses a different air quality index, said the air was hazardous. It gave a reading of 344 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5 particulate matter. The World Health Organization considers 25 micrograms within a 24-hour period a safe level.

The marathon's organizing committee said late Saturday that postponing the event would be difficult because of all the planning that had gone into it, and asked competitors to understand, the Beijing News reported. It said 46 percent of the competitors had traveled from abroad and other parts of China to take part.

China's pollution is notorious following years of rapid economic development. Combating the problem has shot up the agenda of the ruling Communist Party, which is under pressure from citizens who are tired of breathing in smog.

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West Virginia health officials preparing for Ebola http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141017/ARTICLE/141019247 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141017/ARTICLE/141019247 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:43:43 -0400

By MATT STROUD

Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - No Ebola cases have emerged in West Virginia, but hospitals, state health official and residents are preparing for the worst.

West Virginia University's public affairs office sent an email Tuesday to the entire campus community - more than 35,000 people - going over protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those include washing hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; not touching the blood or body fluids sick people; and avoiding items such as clothes, bedding, needles, or medical equipment that may have come in contact with a sick person's blood or body fluids.

Those are excellent suggestions for students and West Virginia residents in general, says Tony Gregory, a spokesman for the West Virginia Hospital Association. But for hospitals, he said, the potential challenges are more complicated.

CDC guidelines for Ebola infection control were updated Aug. 1 to ensure, among other things, that hospitals have personal protective equipment including disposable gloves, gowns, eye protection and facemasks that protect against direct skin contact. While hospitals are prepared for infectious diseases, the CDC guidelines for Ebola are more specific. That's why Gregory says hospitals are generally prepared but "in the process of improving" standards.

Hospitals statewide participated in a conference call with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services Thursday to coordinate the response if an Ebola patient is found in West Virginia.

"We're getting new information daily if not hourly," Gregory said. "We're making sure that we're prepared and we're sharing any new information we receive with all the departments and hospital leadership."

That's the best anyone can do for now, said DHHS spokesman Toby D. Wagoner.

"Preparedness is the focus," Wagoner said in an email to the Associated Press.

A DHHS epidemiologist, on-call 24 hours per day, can help West Virginia hospitals with guidance if they receive an Ebola patient, Wagoner said.

"Residents need to know that Ebola is serious, but to remember to keep it in perspective," Wagoner said. "The DHHR is monitoring the situation and is ensuring the public has the latest information. There is a lot of misinformation on social media. If they have questions, they should speak to their health care provider or their local health department. They could check out the website for more information."

Rumors of Ebola in several passengers on an Atlanta flight into Charleston's Yeager airport and rumors of Ebola patients in Morgantown both turned out to be false.

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W.Va. health care cuts total $40 million http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141017/ARTICLE/141019259 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141017/ARTICLE/141019259 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:50:05 -0400 CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Public hearings are scheduled to begin next month on $40 million in cuts to health care benefits with the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

The agency's finance board on Thursday approved a menu of possible cuts to present at the hearings and ahead of a December vote on the 2015-16 benefits package. Hearings are scheduled to begin Nov. 10 in Beckley.

"We're going to ask our constituents how they want these $40 million of benefit cuts distributed," PEIA Executive Director Ted Cheatham said. "These are going to be difficult public hearings."

The new plan would need to cut $30 million in benefits for active employees, $3 million for county and municipal employees covered by PEIA, $4.5 million for pre-65 retirees and $4 million for Medicare retirees.

For active employees, the menu of cuts includes increasing out-of-pocket maximums for family coverage, increasing deductibles and increasing primary-care office visit co-pays. Officials also are looking at instituting a Healthy Tomorrows program, which would increase the annual deductible by $500 for employees who fail to meet standards to encourage healthy lifestyles.

"PEIA is finally getting to the place where we have the tools for members to take care of themselves," Cheatham said.

Part of the reason for the benefit cuts is that employer premiums for PEIA have not increased in three years, said Josh Sword, a member of the agency's finance board.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the agency couldn't consider a increase this year because the governor's budget recommendations don't include additional funding for employer premiums.

Public hearings also are scheduled for Nov. 13 in Huntington, Nov. 17 in Martinsburg, Nov. 18 in Morgantown, Nov. 19 in Wheeling and Nov. 20 in Charleston.

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W.Va. mental health care workers to receive pay raises http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM02/141019574 DM02 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM02/141019574 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:37:58 -0400 By Andrea Lannom Nearly five years after being ordered to do so, the state Department of Health and Human Resources is giving pay raises and retention incentives to health care workers at two of the state's psychiatric hospitals.

DHHR attorneys appeared Tuesday before Circuit Judge Duke Bloom to provide an update on the department's recently adopted pay plan.

The case, E.H. v. Matin, also known as the "Hartley case," dates back to 1981 and has focused on mental health services providers. The case focuses on staff shortages and the treatment of mental health patients at the Mildred Mitchell Bateman Hospital in Huntington and William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston.

Bloom ordered the DHHR in 2009 to give pay raises to staff in certain classifications.

In Tuesday's hearing, Dan Greear, who represents DHHR, informed Bloom of the department's pay plan. Attorneys explained that last week, the DHHR got approval by the Board of Personnel to increase base salaries and provide retention incentives to health services workers, nurses and physicians.

New hire rates should be established by Nov. 1, and the new salary increases and retention incentives could be in place by Jan. 1, DHHR human resources director Monica Robinson said during the hearing.

This plan is estimated to cost the department $2.9 million the first year.

The DHHR previously appealed the issue of having to come up with the plan to the state Supreme Court.

Attorneys took a lengthy break Tuesday to discuss another issue regarding Legal Aid advocates' access to patient records. Lydia Milnes, an attorney with Mountain State Justice who represents the patients in this case, explained these advocates investigate grievances filed by patients and are required to conduct periodic audits.

She said DHHR recently changed its policies so that advocates couldn't access records without having written authorization. The DHHR cites patient privacy requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Bloom previously found written authorization isn't needed because of Legal Aid's role. DHHR has appealed this as well to the state Supreme Court, which has stayed Bloom's order.

The state Supreme Court has not yet set oral arguments but has set briefing schedules on two of the three issues. Milnes says it could be spring before an argument hearing is set.

DHHR will provide further updates on the pay plan at a status hearing scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 3.

Contact writer Andrea Lannom at Andrea.Lannom@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/AndreaLannom.

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Flu season may get an early start in WV http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141012/DM01/141019819 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141012/DM01/141019819 Sun, 12 Oct 2014 15:50:26 -0400 By Samuel Speciale Recent reports of flu cases in Maryland and Kentucky could mean West Virginia's season may start sooner than expected, despite there not yet being any reported cases of influenza-like illnesses around the state.

Flu season typically starts in November or December and can last well into the spring, but recent years have seen outbreaks come as early as September or October.

While the severity of a flu season is difficult to predict, health officials say West Virginia is one of the states best-prepared to handle an outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks West Virginia third among states for having the highest number of immunized adults. About 52 percent got a flu shot during the 2013-2014 season compared to only 42 percent nationally.

Officials are hoping to keep that trend going.

Backed by the CDC's recommendation that all people 6 months and older get a flu shot, Dr. Rahul Gupta, health officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said there is no excuse for someone to not get vaccinated.

John Law, spokesman for the department, added to Gupta's comments Friday by saying the department has gone to great lengths to make this year's flu shots readily available for every Kanawha County resident.

They can be procured from the department as well as most area doctor's offices and pharmacies. The shots also are available at health department-sponsored clinics at local schools, businesses and churches.

Law noted the vaccine comes in thee forms that cover most patients' preferences.

"We have the trans-dermal shot and a nasal spray," he said. "We also have a vaccine not grown in eggs for those who have allergies."

Law was unable to provide specific numbers on the number of vaccinations last year, but he said the public has responded positively to the wealth of options.

"Participation is good."

Flu vaccines are usually distributed in the early fall a few weeks before the season's expected start date because it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. The CDC recommends inoculation as soon as health providers stock the shot.

Law said the department has increased focus on students and seniors by regularly going into schools and nursing homes.

"If you get them, you have a big chunk of the population and the ones most susceptible to the flu," he said.

The flu is highly contagious and infects hundreds of thousands each year. It also can be deadly, killing an estimated 36,000 people annually. The 2013-2014 season was especially harsh and claimed the lives of 61 children.

The flu can be treated without a vaccination with antiviral medication, but health officials say getting a shot is the best way to protect one's self from getting the flu.

Its spread can be prevented by using standard hygiene like thoroughly washing hands, cleaning shared surfaces and sneezing and coughing into one's arm.

Shots are given at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The department bills each patient's insurance provider, but Law said those without coverage won't be turned away.

Contact writer Samuel Speciale at sam.speciale@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4886. Follow him at www.twitter.com/wvschools.

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Fighting Ebola means sweating in protective suit at 115 degrees http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM01/141009215 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM01/141009215 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 16:17:25 -0400

By MAKIKO KITAMUR

Bloomberg News

BRUSSELS - Inside the eight-piece protective suits worn by doctors on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak, the temperature reaches at least 115 degrees Fahrenheit. But one of the most dangerous moments on the job is going through the 12 steps to take the suit off, which can take 30 minutes.

On a fallow field behind a logistics warehouse in Brussels, Doctors Without Borders runs a training camp for medical staff heading to Ebola hot spots in West Africa. After a full day of classroom instruction on everything from preparation of chlorine solutions to how to safely bury the dead, 12 participants gather inside a tent that simulates an emergency treatment center.

They're here to learn that if they wear glasses, they need anti-fog spray to cope with 90 percent humidity. Not an inch of skin can be exposed, and the protective hood should cover the eyebrows. They should breathe and move slowly to deal with the suffocating heat. They're advised to bring lots of extra socks as they'll become soaked in sweat, and wet socks can lead to blisters.

"The first 15 minutes I was just hot," said Douglas Lyon, a physician and epidemiologist from Portland, Oregon, on his way to Sierra Leone. "After that I was hot and had a wicked headache. Each breath in was a mix of a hint of cool relief and the feeling of suffocation. Each breath out was as warm and hot and humid as the rest of you."

In the current Ebola outbreak, the worst ever, more than 300 health workers have been infected and about half have died, highlighting the need for protective gear and proper training on wearing and removing it. Doctors Without Borders had never had a case of Ebola infection among its international workers until earlier this month, when the non-profit aid group said a French staff member had the disease. It's investigating how that occurred.

One of the riskiest steps is taking off the suit without touching the yellow exterior that may be compromised with infectious blood or other fluids. Participants at the training, sweat pouring down their faces, were visibly frustrated trying to remove pant legs over boots without using their hands. In between stripping off each item - the first of two sets of gloves, apron, goggles, hood, coverall, mask, boots - hands must be washed in chlorinated water, a crucial step that's easy to neglect.

"When you're putting it on, it's all clean, so if you make a mistake, you can readjust things," said Lyon, whose work with Doctors Without Borders began in 1994 at a Hutu refugee camp in Zaire amid a cholera epidemic. "But taking it off, you can't make a mistake. Even though you've been sprayed with chlorine, there's always a chance there's something on you."

For a novice, the removal process can take 30 minutes. Doctors repeat the steps as many as four or five times a day, as the 115-degree (46 Celsius) heat and humidity sap their concentration at every stage.

"Believe it or not, many people don't know how to remove protective clothing in a way that keeps them safe," said Ian Lipkin, an infectious disease and outbreak response expert at Columbia University in New York.

Failing to get it right obviates the need for wearing protective equipment in the first place, said Lipkin, who was chief scientific consultant for the film "Contagion," a thriller about the rapid spread of a virus. "You need to make certain these people are well-trained."

Inadequate instruction - and in some cases a lack of availability of the protective gear - are among reasons that health workers have been infected, according to the World Health Organization.

A shortage of workers means they are overburdened and make mistakes when tired, said the Geneva-based group, which last month issued a "rapid update" of 2008 guidelines for dealing with Ebola patients. The group advises national health authorities and trains local health workers.

Doctors Without Borders, which trains all of its medical- care providers in using the clothing, recently ordered 25,000 sets, figuring that's a two-month supply for operating one Ebola care center in Liberia and doing community outreach.

The International Medical Corps, another group fighting Ebola, says a treatment facility with 70 patients goes through about 200 sets of protective clothing a day. A 50-bed treatment center costs about $1 million a month to run, the group said.

The protective items cost about 60 euros ($77) a set, and Doctors Without Borders, largely supported by private donations and known as Medecins Sans Frontieres in much of the world, pays the bill. After each use, the clothing is incinerated with other medical waste. Manufacturers include DuPont for full-body suits, Dunlop for boots, Uvex Group for goggles and Kanam Latex Industries for gloves.

Doctors perform blood tests to confirm Ebola cases, and then give supportive care such as antibiotics and intravenous fluids or oral rehydration with solutions that contain electrolytes.

Since the start of the outbreak in December, the virus has infected 5,864 people, killing 2,811, according to a Sept. 22 WHO report. The disease has reached five West African countries, accelerating in cities including Monrovia, Liberia's capital. Most cases have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The outbreak could spread to hundreds of thousands more people, according to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate. There may be 550,000 to 1.4 million cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone by January, using a model that assumes a significant failure of public health efforts and underreporting of cases.

The World Health Organization saidlast week there may be 21,000 cases by November - in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea - if control efforts aren't quickly increased.

There is no cure for the virus, which is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. The hope is that a patient's immune system will fight off the aggressive attack. Ebola causes fever, diarrhea, muscle pain and vomiting, and as it progresses can lead to bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose.

Beyond the health crisis, the World Bank warned that economic costs may escalate to "catastrophic" proportions and U.S. President Barack Obama has said that Ebola poses a threat to global security.

As infection numbers spiral upward, doctors will be challenged with overflowing caseloads and increasingly limited time with each patient. And they won't be able to interact with the sick the way they are accustomed to.

"In my spacesuit, I won't be able to connect and provide reassurance with a smile, body language or a concerned look," Lyon said. "I won't be able to provide a reassuring human touch or even listen to their lungs or heart and what I believe to be my best physician strength - cool clarity of mind. This will be much harder to find."

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Woman with cancer plans to take her life in Oregon http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/ARTICLE/141009295 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/ARTICLE/141009295 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 17:51:03 -0400

By STEVEN DUBOIS

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. - Brittany Maynard will not live to see if her advocacy makes a difference.

The 29-year-old woman expects to die no later than Nov. 1. If the brain cancer from which she suffers does not kill her in October, she plans to take advantage of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act and end her own life on the first of November - a few days after her husband's 30th birthday.

Maynard and her husband, Dan Diaz, uprooted from Northern California and moved north because Oregon allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with lethal medications prescribed by a doctor.

Rather than silently await death in Portland, she has become an advocate for the group Compassion & Choices, which seeks to expand death-with-dignity laws beyond Oregon and a handful of other states.

A nationwide media campaign featuring Maynard's story began Monday, and has gone viral.

"I can't even tell you the amount of relief that it provides me to know that I don't have to die the way that it's been described to me, that my brain tumor would take me on its own," she says in an online video.

Oregon in 1997 became the first state to make it legal for a doctor to prescribe a life-ending drug to a terminally ill patient of sound mind who makes the request. The patient must swallow the drug without help; it is illegal for a doctor to administer it.

More than 750 people in Oregon used the law to die as of Dec. 31, 2013. The median age of the deceased is 71. Only six were younger than 34, like Maynard.

The state does not track how many terminally ill people move to Oregon to die. One of the "frequently asked questions" on the state Public Health Division website is: "How long does someone have to be a resident of Oregon to participate in the act?"

There is no minimum residency requirement, but a patient must prove to a doctor they are living in the state. Some examples of documentation include a rental agreement, an Oregon voter registration card or a state driver's license.

Maynard said she and her husband were newlyweds actively trying for a family when she learned on New Year's Day that she had brain cancer. By spring, she was given just six months to live.

"I hope to enjoy however many days I have on this beautiful earth and spend as much of it outside as I can surrounded by those I love," Maynard said in the video.

Barbara Coombs Lee, the author of Oregon's law and the president of Compassion & Choices, said Maynard approached the group in August.

"Our campaign now is to build public awareness, build public support so great that the politicians can no longer deny it," she said.

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First Ebola patient diagnosed in the US has died http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/ARTICLE/141009325 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/ARTICLE/141009325 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 15:25:04 -0400

By NOMAAN MERCHANT

The Associated Press

DALLAS - The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States died in a Dallas hospital Wednesday, a little more than a week after his illness exposed gaps in the nation's defenses against the disease and set off a scramble to track down anyone exposed to him.

Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, was pronounced dead at 7:51 a.m. at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been kept in isolation since Sept. 28.

"Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease," hospital spokesman Wendell Watson said in a statement.

Duncan carried the deadly virus with him from his home in Liberia, though he showed no symptoms when he left for the United States. He arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20 and fell ill several days later. His condition worsened during the weekend from serious to critical.

Others in Dallas still are being monitored as health officials try to contain the virus that has ravaged West Africa, with more than 3,400 people reported dead. They also are trying to tamp down anxiety among residents frightened of contracting Ebola, though the disease can be spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an already sick person.

Health officials have identified 10 people, including seven health workers, who had direct contact with Duncan while he was contagious. Another 38 people also may have come into contact with him. The four people living in the Dallas apartment where Duncan stayed were moved to another home and are in isolation.

"The past week has been an enormous test of our health system, but for one family it has been far more personal ... They have our sincere condolences, and we are keeping them in our thoughts," Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in statement. "We'll continue every effort to contain the spread of the virus and protect people from this threat."

Of the six Ebola patients treated so far in the U.S., Duncan was the only one not cared for in one of the special hospital units set up to deal with highly dangerous germs. That's because health officials knew the others had Ebola at the time they decided where the patients should go, whereas Duncan sought care at the Texas hospital on his own.

Health officials also have said that any hospital with isolation capabilities can treat Ebola patients, but Duncan's death is sure to renew attention on the Texas hospital's response, especially missing the chance to treat him sooner, when he first sought care.

There is no way to know whether any specific treatment or step might have saved his life, just as whether any experimental drug he did or did not receive helped. He was getting advanced care - dialysis to treat kidney failure, a breathing machine and an experimental antiviral drug - when he died.

Officials have said everyone who potentially had contact with Duncan is being monitored for 21 days, the normal incubation period for the disease.

Duncan passed an airport health screening in Liberia, where his temperature registered as normal and he showed no signs of Ebola symptoms. But a few days after he arrived, he began to have a fever, headache and abdominal pain.

He went to the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas on Sept. 25, but was sent home. By Sept. 28, his condition had worsened and an ambulance took him back to the hospital where he stayed in isolation.

Duncan's family visited Texas Health Presbyterian earlier this week and glimpsed Duncan using a camera system, but said Tuesday they had declined to view him again because the first time had been too upsetting.

"What we saw was very painful. It didn't look good," Duncan's nephew, Josephus Weeks, said Tuesday.

The hospital has changed its explanation several times about when Duncan arrived and what he said about his travel history. The hospital staff did not initially suspect Ebola, even though Duncan told them on his first visit that that he came from West Africa.

The Dallas County medical examiner's office will not be receiving Duncan's body, but investigator Steven Kurtz said he did not know Wednesday what the alternate arrangements would be.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that bodies of Ebola victims not be embalmed and instead suggests they be cremated or promptly buried in a hermetically sealed casket.

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W.Va. gets grant for lead poisoning prevention http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/ARTICLE/141009341 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/ARTICLE/141009341 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 14:31:10 -0400 BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia will receive a $196,000 federal grant aimed at preventing lead poisoning in children.

Congressman Nick Rahall announced the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources will use to the funding for a blood lead surveillance program. The DHHR and local health departments will collect and analyze data to identify high-risk areas that would lead to housing and health code enforcement and property improvement.

Rahall says that while lead paint use for homes and in children's toys has been banned since 1978, exposure to lead in older buildings still happens today.

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CAMC doctors office building to be closed through Friday http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM01/141009351 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM01/141009351 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 13:39:57 -0400 The Medical Staff Office Building at 3100 MacCorkle Ave. in Kanawha City will likely remain closed through Friday, officials said.

"Crews continue working on a power problem at the building which is next to CAMC Memorial Hospital," said spokesman Dale Witte.

Electrical power went out at the building sometime on Wednesday morning when a circuit breaker failed, Witte said. All electricity went out at the facility, better known to the public as the doctors office building. He did not know exactly what time the power outage occurred or the cause. It was his understanding that staff in the various offices would call patients to inform them of the situation and reschedule appointments as needed.

Later on Wednesday, he said the building would likely be closed through Friday as crews continued to work to solve the problem.

"Patients who have an appointment with a doctor at that building should call before going to that appointment," Witte said. "David Lee Cancer Center patients are being contacted directly for scheduling."

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Officials discuss Ebola preparedness http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM01/141009385 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM01/141009385 Tue, 7 Oct 2014 20:41:08 -0400 By Ashley B. Craig Representatives from local health care facilities met to discuss Ebola preparedness in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, heath officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Putnam County Health Department, said health officials have been monitoring the Ebola crisis in West Africa for several months and have been closely watching the rapidly evolving situation in Dallas, where a Liberian man traveled from Africa with the disease.

"We realized at a local level we need to ensure that the partners in place are working together and that the planning and preparedness are on the same level," Gupta said.

Gupta said they wanted to take the opportunity to bring in other health care partners like local urgent cares and Putnam County facilities, to see where they stood.

Representatives from Charleston Area Medical Center, Thomas Health Systems, Highland Hospital, MedExpress, Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, Putnam County Emergency Services, Charleston Fire Department and Kanawha-Charleston and Putnam County health departments were in attendance.

The main goal was to ensure "seamless communication and coordination" between agencies in the area, according to a statement from the health department.

"We talked about how to protect those within the health care system, the public at large and provide the highest standard of care if and when they do present suspected cases of Ebola," Gupta said.

He said it is important that the public and health care workers not panic but instead stay informed.

Gupta said the health department is assessed every summer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its ability to dispense medical countermeasures in the event of a mass casualty situation and that Kanawha-Charleston Health Department scored a 99 out of a possible 100 points in 2014.

He said the health department and facilities in the area are "second to none" but that there is always room for improvement in being more proactive instead of reactive.

"We believe in a proactive approach," Gupta said. "Better prepared communities respond better."

Ebola, which has a fatality rate between 25 percent and 90 percent, is spread by direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, according to the World Health Organization.

Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms of the virus, which initially include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. The illness gets progressively worse after, as vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney or liver function and in some extreme cases internal bleeding begin, according to WHO's website.

The task force discussed infection and reiterated that it could take between two and 21 days for those symptoms to appear.

The outbreak in West Africa has resulted in the deaths of thousands in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and the infection of thousands more. The CDC estimated that without additional interventions or changes in community behavior in Liberia or Sierra Leone, there will be approximately 550,000 people with the virus.

Ebola cases are doubling every 15 to 20 days in Liberia and every 30 to 40 days in Sierra Leone, according to the CDC's website.

While several Americans with the virus have returned to the United States for treatment, Thomas Duncan, who traveled from Liberia to Dallas to visit friends, is the only person diagnosed with the virus in the U.S.

A nurse in Spain is the first known person to contract the virus outside of Africa. She worked on a team treating two men who recently traveled from Africa.

"Travel history to the affected West African countries is the most vital information to raise suspicion in the healthcare system of a possible Ebola infection," Gupta said in the release.

Asking about travel is key in determining if a person has Ebola as opposed to another illness, Dr. David Seidler, CAMC's medical director for emergency services, said in a statement.

"We'll see thousands of people in our community with symptoms consistent with Ebola; the key question is to ask about travel in Africa," Seidler said.

Both CAMC and Thomas Health System already have developed plans to isolate and treat any patient with suspected Ebola.

The task force acknowledged that there already are preliminary preparedness measures in place and that they would continue to plan as a coordinated effort to enhance any other measures as needed, the statement said.

"We hope for the best but we're prepared for the worst," Gupta said.

The task force will meet again in three to four weeks but future meetings will be dictated by world and national events, Gupta said.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.craig@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4850.

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Ebola's victims may include dog in Spain http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/ARTICLE/141009402 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/ARTICLE/141009402 Tue, 7 Oct 2014 18:33:45 -0400

By MARILYNN MARCHIONE

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ebola's victims may include a dog. Officials in Madrid got a court order Tuesday to euthanize the pet of a Spanish nursing assistant with Ebola because of the chance the animal might spread the disease.

At least one major study suggests that dogs can be infected with the deadly virus without having symptoms. But whether or how likely they are to spread it to people is less clear.

Lab experiments on other animals suggest their urine, saliva or stool might contain the virus. That means that in theory, people might catch it through an infected dog licking or biting them, or from grooming.

"Clearly we want to look at all possibilities. We have not identified this as a means of transmission," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nursing assistant and her husband have been in isolation since she tested positive for Ebola earlier this week. The Madrid regional government got a court order to euthanize their dog, saying "available scientific information" can't rule out it could spread the virus.

The dog's owners don't want it killed. Carlos Rodriguez, a Spanish veterinarian and host of a talk show about animals, said the husband messaged him from the hospital, trying to grant him temporary custody of the dog, a mixed-breed named Excalibur. But now that there is a court order, "I can't stop this happening," Rodriguez said. The husband "asked me, crying, to at least make sure the animal does not suffer."

The Spanish animal rights group Animal Equality complained the authorities wanted to "sacrifice the animal without even diagnosing it or considering the possibility of placing it in quarantine."

It's not clear how effective quarantine would be, since infected dogs don't show symptoms and it's not known how long the virus can last in them, or how long tests would have to be done to check for it.

Dr. Peter Cowen, a veterinarian at North Carolina State University who has advised global health experts on animal infection disease risks, says killing the dog is "clearly an overreaction."

"I think it's very unfortunate they are thinking of euthanizing that dog. They should really study it instead," he said.

"Ebola has never been documented to be spread by a dog," and that's clearly not a major route of spread in the outbreak in Africa, he said.

Ebola's source in nature hasn't been pinpointed. The leading suspect is a certain type of fruit bat, but the World Health Organization lists chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines as possibly playing a role in spread of the disease. Even pig farms may amplify infection because of bats on farms.

The possibility of spread by dogs - at least in Africa - was raised by a 2005 report. Researchers tested dogs during the 2001-2002 Ebola outbreak in Gabon after seeing some of them eating infected dead animals. Of the 337 dogs from various towns and villages, 9 percent to 25 percent showed antibodies to Ebola, a sign they were infected or exposed to the virus.

"I think it's possible" that dogs might spread Ebola, but it's not likely in the U.S. or other places where dogs aren't near corpses or eating infected animals, said Sharon Curtis Granskog, a spokeswoman for the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In Dallas, health officials are monitoring 48 people who may have had contact with Ebola patient Thomas Duncan, but "we are not monitoring any animals at this time," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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Spanish nurse contracts Ebola http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141006/ARTICLE/141009519 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141006/ARTICLE/141009519 Mon, 6 Oct 2014 18:38:21 -0400

By JORGE SAINZ

The Associated Press

MADRID - In what is the first reported incident of Ebola transmission outside Africa, a Spanish nurse who treated a missionary for the disease at a Madrid hospital tested positive for the disease, Spain's health minister said Monday.

The female nurse was part of the medical team that treated a 69-year-old Spanish priest who died in a hospital last month after being flown back from Sierra Leone, where he was posted, Health Minister Ana Mato said.

The woman went to the Alcorcon hospital in the Madrid suburbs with a fever and was placed in isolation. Mato said the infection was confirmed by two tests and that the nurse was admitted to a hospital on Sunday.

The woman's only symptom was a fever, Antonio Alemany, Madrid director of primary health care, told a news conference. Alemany said authorities are drawing up a list of people the nurse had contact with.

The Spanish priest the nurse helped treat was Manuel Garcia Viejo, who died Sept. 25, becoming the second Spanish missionary to fall victim to the deadly virus. In August, a 75-year-old Spanish priest, Miguel Pajares, was flown back to Spain from Liberia, but died after being treated with the experimental Ebola medicine ZMapp.

World Health Organization officials couldn't immediately be reached after office hours to comment on the case.

The virus that causes Ebola spreads only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms.

In West Africa, the disease has spread quickly to family members who cared for the sick or handled their bodies after death.

The World Health Organization estimates has the latest Ebola outbreak has killed more than 3,400 people.

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CDC confirms cases of enterovirus in Kanawha, two other counties http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141003/DM01/141009744 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141003/DM01/141009744 Fri, 3 Oct 2014 12:14:35 -0400 By Samuel Speciale The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday three additional cases of Enterovirus D68 in Kanawha, Lincoln and Raleigh counties less than two weeks after reporting its initial spread into West Virginia.

Out of 12 suspected cases at Charleston-area hospitals, three tested positive for EV-D68, said Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

One of the patients is a child who resides in Kanawha County, who was admitted earlier in September, treated and discharged. Health officials in Lincoln and Raleigh counties have been notified of the other two confirmed cases.

EV-D68 is a virus that causes respiratory inflammation, fever, runny nose, sneezing and coughing as well as muscle and body aches. An uncommon strain of the virus that causes the common cold, EV-D68 is especially severe for children with asthma or a history of wheezing. While it mostly afflicts children under the age of 5, older children and teenagers also can be susceptible.

This report comes less than two weeks after the CDC confirmed the virus' spread into West Virginia. Those initial cases were in Greenbrier, Wirt and Wood counties.

Specimens from 32 West Virginia counties were tested last month. Samples were taken from sick people in Calhoun, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mercer, Raleigh, Wirt and Wood counties.

The virus, like the common cold, is spread person-to-person through airborne respiratory secretions or those on a contaminated surface. While usually not deadly, the spate of hospitalizations has health officials on alert.

Infection can be avoided by following standard hygiene practices like frequently washing hands with soap and water and covering coughs and sneezes.

There is no vaccine or medication that specifically treats the illness, but mild symptoms can be remedied by over-the-counter medication. Those with severe symptoms may need to be hospitalized.

The revelation that a Kanawha County child contracted the virus has the school system on alert, said Brenda Isaac, head of school nurses.

She said nurses and other school officials have taken extra precautions and that "vigilant" cleaning of bathrooms, desks, doorknobs and other shared surfaces is being stressed, especially in younger grades.

EV-D68's quick spread through the country after nearly 50 years of few cases has health officials puzzled, but Isaac said the precaution is normal for this time of year when cold season is at its peak.

Other enteroviruses like hand, foot and mouth disease have spread through the school system, Isaac said.

"So, whenever we see something like this, we double up," she said.

"With this situation,we will monitor the classroom of a student we find out is infected," Isaac added. "We'll follow up with parents to make sure there aren't additional cases."

If a school nurse identifies a student with symptoms, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will be notified.

"Hopefully, we won't see more cases," Isaac said. "But we could. That's the way virsuses work."

Since mid-August, there have been nearly 500 cases of the infection in 43 states, up from 22 just two weeks ago. As of Friday, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Tennessee are the only states without confirmed cases.

Contact writer Samuel Speciale at sam.speciale@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4886. Follow him at www.twitter.com/wvschools.

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National Hemophilia Foundation opens W.Va. chapter http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141002/ARTICLE/141009849 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141002/ARTICLE/141009849 Thu, 2 Oct 2014 11:46:35 -0400 MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A national group dedicated to helping people with bleeding disorders has opened an office in Morgantown.

The National Hemophilia Foundation says the addition brings to 52 the number of community-based chapters across the country.

The foundation says there are about 300 people in West Virginia who have bleeding disorders. State chapter executive director Amber Tichnell says the goal is to educate, support and help provide easy access to services for patients.

The state chapter has a partnership with hemophilia treatment centers at Charleston Area Medical Center and at West Virginia University's Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center in Morgantown.

The state chapter plans open houses on Oct. 19 in Charleston and Oct. 26 in Morgantown.

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W.Va. recovery center for addicted newborns opens http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141002/ARTICLE/141009850 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141002/ARTICLE/141009850 Thu, 2 Oct 2014 11:46:10 -0400 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A recovery center for babies born addicted to drugs has opened in Huntington.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday for Lily's Place. The privately operated facility weans infants off opiates and other drugs. It also offers support for mothers.

WCHS-TV reports Lily's Place accepts tax-deductible gifts such as diapers and monetary donations.

The facility has treatment agreements with Cabell Huntington Hospital and the Prestera Center.

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Health care advocate set to retire http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141001/DM01/141009903 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141001/DM01/141009903 Wed, 1 Oct 2014 19:37:42 -0400 By Whitney Burdette Consumers should have a voice in their health care and - thanks to Perry Bryant - residents of West Virginia have the opportunity to have a seat at the table.

Perry, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, is set to retire at the end of the year. But as a result of his and the organization's efforts, West Virginians have been able to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and take part in several initiatives to improve their health. Bryant worked for the West Virginia Education Association for about 20 years, representing school service personnel and teachers for the Public Employees Insurance Agency. He said he saw firsthand how union organizations were well represented in the health care discussion, but the same couldn't be said for the average consumer.

"It was apparent to me everybody was represented except for consumers," he said. "There was nobody working full time for health care issues for consumers. Union organizations paid attention to health care issues, but had a whole lot of other things they needed to do. I thought it was important to have one more organization that could represent the interest and work exclusively to represent the interests of consumers on health care issues."

Bryant teamed with others, including former state Sen. Dr. Dan Foster, health care administrator Renate Poore and Sam Hickman, who works with social workers, to form West Virginians for Affordable Health Care. Bryant said the group started out with the goal of getting the Legislature to pass a style of health care similar to what is seen in Vermont. Although Massachusetts is generally seen as the leader for state-sponsored health care, Vermont's plan included aspects the group thought were important to West Virginia.

"We went to the Legislature and convinced them to set up a select committee on health care reform," Bryant said. "We were successful in getting them to hire Ken Thorpe, a health care economist who was the architect of the Vermont legislation. Most people think of Massachusetts as the leading edge of health care reform at a state level. Really, Vermont was a far more important health care reform piece than Massachusetts was. Both expanded health insurance, but Vermont really focused on trying to deal with chronic illness. In West Virginia, you absolutely have to deal with chronic illness to make health care affordable. That's where we spend most of our money."

Bryant said Thorpe's estimates show West Virginia spends 75 percent of health care dollars on chronic diseases, including diabetes and congestive heart failure. One thing Bryant would like to see his successor accomplish is the creation of a multi-payer chronic disease management program. Insurance companies would work together with dietitians, nurse practitioners and the like to address health care issues before they become a bigger problem. Patients would be connected with specialists who understand their unique issues and create a support system of sorts for the patient.

"That is badly needed so we can change the culture in West Virginia," Bryant said. "You can see sprouts of that occurring, but you don't see systemic changes in delivery of health care that I think are really important."

The group also works to educate newly insured patients about the health care system. Because of the Affordable Care Act, many more West Virginians have access to health insurance, either through the market exchange or expanded Medicaid. Either way, Bryant said the group has partnered with the Department of Health and Human Resources and Office of Insurance Commissioner for a Coverage to Care initiative that aims to show new patients how to navigate what can be a complex and cumbersome system.

"We're working to fund focus groups, what are the barriers to health care now that people have an insurance card whether through the marketplace, private products or Medicaid coverage? What are the barriers to coverage? Are they having difficulty finding physicians? Transportation? Do they understand preventive measures are free with no copay or deductible? What preventative measures are available to them?"

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 - leaving the group's efforts for a state-sponsored health care system null and void - West Virginians for Affordable Health Care has worked to educate consumers about the complex and changing law. They've sponsored several training sessions across the state to help health care navigators better assist the newly insured.

"We've done an enormous amount of public education around the Affordable Care Act," he said. "We had town meetings in 2010 and 2011 all across the state to educate people about what was actually in the Affordable Care Act. In 2012, we had trainer sessions across the state to train several hundred people in the details of the Affordable Care Act. Going into the enrollment last year, we had an enrollment summit in Flatwoods in may of 2013 that attracted 250 people. We went through the nuts and bolts of enrollment. There were holes in our knowledge because not everyone knew all the details."

To say that Bryant has been busy is an understatement. In addition to public education, part of his job includes fundraising, creating programs and running the day-to-day operations. In retirement, he's looking forward to gardening, hiking and traveling and hopes to leave the organization to someone younger "with more energy."

"In a couple of weeks I'll be 68. It does take an enormous amount of energy and effort to keep this organization up and running and keep up with the success we've had," he said. "To be honest I don't have that level of energy anymore. I'm getting old and slowing down. It's time for someone younger with more energy and enthusiasm."

Contact writer Whitney Burdette at 304-348-7939 or whitney.burdette@dailymailwv.com. Follow her at www.Twitter.com/wburdette_DM.

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State health care facilities to receive federal money http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140925/DM0104/140929468 DM0104 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140925/DM0104/140929468 Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:39:40 -0400

Health care facilities across West Virginia are set to receive $5 million from the federal government.

The money, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration, will be used to continue operations and improve preventive care at 16 health centers across the state. Sens. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Health Care, and Joe Manchin announced the grants Thursday.

"Community health centers across our state serve some of our most rural areas, making them a critical access point for care," Rockefeller said. "Federal funding supports these centers in their mission to keep West Virginians healthy. I'm so pleased to see several centers receive this funding for their preventive and primary health care services."

The competitive grant provides financial assistance to community health centers offering comprehensive primary and preventive health care services in underserved or rural areas.

"Improving the quality, affordability and accessibility of health care resources is critical for the people of West Virginia, especially our children, seniors, veterans and those living in our rural communities," Manchin said. "This funding will help facilities all across our great state provide the best possible preventive care, treatment and health services to residents."

The following health care centers will receive funding:

$208,052 - Belington Community Medical Services Association - Belington, W.Va.

$230,032 - Cabin Creek Health Center - Cabin Creek, W.Va.

$212,000 - CHANGE - Weirton, W.Va.

$254,970 - Community Care of West Virginia - Rock Cave, W.Va.

$219,202 - E.A. Hawse Health Center - Baker, W.Va.

$1,368,630 - Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center - Grantsville, W.Va.

$214,398 - Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers - Fairmont, W.Va.

$202,406 - Pendleton Community Care - Franklin, W.Va.

$214,014 - Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers - Grafton, W.Va.

$212,482 - Ritchie County Primary Care Associates - Harrisville, W.Va.

$204,362 - Roane County Family Health Care - Spencer, W.Va.

$283,998 - Shenandoah Valley Medical Systems - Martinsburg, W.Va.

$198,026 - St. George Medical Clinic - St. George, W.Va.

$209,848 - Valley Health Care - Mill Creek, W.Va.

$550,205 - Wirt County Health Services Association - Elizabeth, W.Va.

$265,316 - Womencare - Scott Depot, W.Va.

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Consumers in Wayne County will soon see extended water service.

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., announced Thursday the Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded $1.5 million to the Crum Public Service District to extend service to residents in the Lincoln Magisterial District. The grant completes funding for the Route 152 Phase II Water Extension Project, one of several projects recently constructed for development by the Crum PSD to provide water to all customers in Wayne County. Another $1.9 million in federal funding was previously announced for this project.

"Clean drinking water is absolutely essential to the health and well-being of our families and communities. These are exactly the kind of investments we should be making to attract new businesses and create jobs," said Rahall, top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The project will consist of 83,175 linear feet of waterline, two 35-gallon-per-minute pump stations and 28 fire hydrants and will provide water for 165 households, two businesses, a post office and the Dunlow Elementary School, which is the last public school in Wayne County to receive public water service. Water will be supplied from Mingo County Public Service District via a connection to an existing water main.

COMPILED BY WHITNEY BURDETTE

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