Health

Health
12:16 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

First Person: Raising a Child With Cerebral Palsy

Elena Adams lives in East Austin and has three children. Her youngest was born prematurely with cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affect the brain and nervous system.

Adams was shocked when she found out, because her other two kids are healthy. Doctors told Adams her son Smith would not be able to walk or talk.  

But Smith is slowly proving them wrong. He can speak and is trying to walk on his own. 

Adams has a hard time affording treatment, but she gets a little bit of state money and help from organizations like Any Baby Can.

Now, she's optimistic about the future.

“You can’t really stress about a lot of problems,” she said. “You just have to let them go the way they’re supposed to go.”

Jeff Heimsath shot and edited KUT's video interview with Adams. Check it out above. 

Health
4:06 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Austin Marks World AIDS Day

Photo by Graham via http://www.flickr.com/photos/gragsie/

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. Since 1988, December 1st has been observed around the globe as a day to draw attention to the continuing battle against HIV and AIDS, as well as to those who've lost that battle.

According to Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services, about 200 people contract HIV in Central Texas each year. There are a handful of events around Austin Thursday, giving people a chance to learn about the struggles of living with HIV and also to honor those who have died of AIDS.

One all-day event, World AIDS Day: Austin Remembers, Austin Responds, will take place at the For the City Center at 500 E. St Johns Ave. from 8:30 am until about 9:00 pm. 

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Health
4:00 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

New UT Cancer Institute To Focus On Drug Research

The new Institute for Applied Cancer Science will be located at the south campus of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Photo courtesy of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

The University of Texas is committing $75 million to kick start the new Institute for Applied Cancer Science, which will focus on speeding up the discovery and delivery of effective cancer drugs at a time when pharmaceutical companies have scaled back research and development.

Gov. Rick Perry, taking a break from his busy pursuit of the GOP presidential nomination, was on hand for the announcement at the south campus of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, site of the new facility, in Houston on Monday. Perry said the institute would help Texas cement its position as a leader in cancer research and scientific innovation.

“I believe this state represents a unique crossroads, a place where academic research can come together with a very vibrant private sector to tap into this steadily growing biosciences sector. We’re just scratching the surface of its potential,” Perry said. “We’re creating a culture that will help ensure that great ideas that are born in Texas will stay in Texas, from the laboratory to the marketplace, and then we will export them around the world.”

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Health
12:13 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Supreme Court To Decide Constitutionality Of Health Care Law

Coming soon to the Supreme Court: Is the federal health overhaul constitutional?
dbking Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 9:57 am

Who didn't see this coming?

The Supreme Court has added a case challenging the constitutionality of the provision of last year's health overhaul requiring nearly every American to have health insurance beginning in the year 2014 to the list of cases it will hear this term.

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Health
10:54 am
Mon November 14, 2011

First Person: Working With Autism

This morning on KUT, we reported on the challenges people with autism face when trying to find gainful employment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports increases in the prevalence of autism. Meanwhile, the state legislature slashed spending that would help people afflicted by the disorder.

One of the people we talked to was Daniel Shackelford. He has Asperger’s Syndrome but was able find gainful employment at Seton Medical Center through a privately run program called Project SEARCH. You can hear more from Shackelford in the video above, shot and edited by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News.

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Health
4:24 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Five OB/GYN Groups Merge Into One

Photo by Daquella Manera http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/

Five obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) groups in the greater Austin-area hope to reduce costs and improve their quality of care by merging into a single network called Central Texas OB/GYN Associates or CTOA for short.

The five OB/GYN groups are Austin Area Obstetrics, Gynecology & Fertility, Oakwood Women’s Centre, Renaissance Women’s Group, the OB/GYN Group of Austin, and Women Partners in Health.

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Health
4:20 pm
Sat October 15, 2011

Austin Medicare Workshop Helps With Enrollment

People living in Central Texas nursing homes and assisted living centers compete in games annually. President Obama pulled an insurance option out of the new healthcare law that would have given people money to help pay for nursing home costs.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

Austin Groups for the Elderly held a Medicare workshop Saturday, the first day of the annual Medicare enrollment period. This year the annual enrollment period is earlier than usual. It also ends earlier, December 7th.

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Health
1:34 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Half of Texas Doctors Would Drop Medicare Patients If Cuts Come

Photo by Rosemary http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/

Medicare payments to doctors are scheduled to be slashed by almost 30 percent in January unless Congress does something to stop that from happening. A new poll of Texas doctors shows that half of them would stop taking Medicare patients if the cuts take effect.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to about 47 million people over the age of 65. It also costs taxpayers $452 billion a year.

“Our Medicare patients are like family to us, but most doctors in Texas run small businesses,” former Texas Medical Association (TMA) president Sue Bailey told KUT News. “We have employees to pay. We have rents and utilities to pay just like any small business.”

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Health
12:19 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Chagas Disease on the Rise in South Texas

A triatomine bug, also known as a kissing bug, the main vector for spreading Chagas disease.
Photo by Linda Tanner http://www.flickr.com/photos/goingslo/

A disease transmitted by blood sucking parasites may be more common in Texas than scientists previously thought. New research released by the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin suggests suggest South Texas in particular is an area of high risk for Chagas infection.

The tropical parasite triatomine is known commonly as the "kissing bug" because it loves biting faces. Here’s a of one of the bugs to give a sense of scale. 

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Health
5:12 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

US Supreme Court Could Rule On Health Law Before Election

The U.S. Supreme Court
Photo by Jarekt https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/wiki/User:Jarekt

Texas joined 25 other states today in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the the health care overhaul championed by President Obama is unconstitutional. The U.S. Department of Justice filed its own appeal of a lower court ruling, arguing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should stand as is. The showdown could provide an up-or-down vote on the law in the middle of the 2012 campaign season.

The filling from the 26 states targets three core provisions of the act:

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Health
5:17 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Report: 41 Percent of Texas Child Cancer Patients Use Medicaid

Photo by Images of Money http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/

More than two out of five children with cancer in Texas rely on Medicaid for health care, according to an analysis of Medicaid in Texas by Families USA, a non-profit organization that advocates for affordable health care. The report comes as a showdown looms in Washington over how to manage costs of the chronically underfunded program.

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Health
1:09 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Services For Sex Assault Victims Lacking, UT Study Finds

Photo by breahn http://www.flickr.com/photos/rueful/

Services for sexual assault victims are significantly lacking in Texas, according to a new survey out of the UT-Austin. 

The study said, for example, that emergency room wait times for sex assault victims are so long that they often leave before receiving treatment and reporting the assault.

"Sexual assault crimes persist as a social problem in Texas and the need to propel this issue to the public's attention is pressing," the study's lead investigator, Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz said in a press release.

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Health
10:08 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Is the UT System Preparing for a New Medical School?

Speculation has gone on for year whether Austin will get its own teaching hospital. Photo By Daniel Reese.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News.

Lawmakers and local leaders are hopeful a plan unanimously adopted at Thursday's University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting means they could finally get what they've long been waiting for: a new medical school.

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Health
4:26 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Study: Romantic Sexual Relationships Deter Teen Delinquency

Photo by Flickr user ElenahNeshcuet

A new study co-authored by a University of Texas at Austin psychologist finds sexually active teenagers in romantic relationships are less likely to exhibit anti-social behavior than their peers who have casual sex.

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Health
12:26 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

Time To Get Your Kids Vaccinated For School

Photo by Sanofi Pasteur http://www.flickr.com/photos/sanofi-pasteur/

It’s almost time for children to return to school, and students entering kindergarten or pre-K and the 7th grade are required to be vaccinated. Parents may also request an exemption from state vaccination requirements using this form.   

Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services offers vaccinations at two locations in Austin: St. John Community Center on 7500 Blessing Ave and the Far South Health Clinic at 405 West Stassney.  Call 972-5520 to make an appointment. It costs $10, but they won’t turn away people who can’t pay. 

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Health
12:42 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Texas and 25 States Win Ruling Against Health Care Law

Originally published on Fri August 12, 2011 12:37 pm

A U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of 26 states that filed suit to challenge a requirement in President Barack Obama's healthcare law that forced individuals to own health insurance. The law's "individual mandate" portion was declared unconstitutional, according to Reuters.

The court has apparently ruled that the remainder of the law, without the individual mandate, can stand, Reuters reports.

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Health
12:48 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Study: Nine Out of Ten Preschoolers' Lunches At Unsafe Temperatures

Lunches like this one should contain at least two ice packs according to a new UT study.
Photo by Kelsey Sheridan

A University of Texas study found that 90 percent of bag lunches brought to school by preschool students were kept at temperatures that could result in food-borne illnesses.

The researchers took the temperatures of 700 preschoolers lunch's at nine different Texas child care centers. Forty-five percent of the lunches had at least one ice pack and 39 percent had none.

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Health
12:01 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Major Ground Turkey Recall Includes Brands Sold in Austin

This brand of Honeysuckle White ground turkey is sold in Austin stores and was included in the product recall.
Photo courtesy Cargill Meat Solutions

In one of the largest meat recalls in American history, Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey products that may have been contaminated with a drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.  Many of the products are sold at HEB, Randall’s, and other local grocery stores.

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Health
1:09 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Nine Illnesses in Texas Linked to Ground Turkey

Ground turkey is often used as a replacement for beef in recipes for tacos, burgers, and meatballs.
Photo by m_morgavan http://www.flickr.com/photos/m_morgavan/

The federal government has issued a public health alert, warning people about eating ground turkey. The Food Safety and Inspection Service has not named specific brands, but says it is monitoring an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg that appears to be linked to consumption of the meat.

Seventy-seven illnesses, including one death, have been reported in 26 states. But no recall has been issued.

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Health
6:03 pm
Sat July 30, 2011

Children's Mental Health Center Celebrates Anniversary

The Austin Child Guidance Center celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

The Austin Child Guidance Center celebrated its 60th anniversary this weekend with an open house at its 45th Street location. The Center has help treat 130,000 Austin children with mental health issues. This year may be one of the most challenging for the Center. Executive Director Russell Smith says 84 percent of the children that come to the Center live at 200 percent the federal poverty level or below. Most can qualify for some type of state health program such as CHIP or Medicaid.

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