Health, Science, Environment

Obituary
10:46 am
Thu September 25, 2014

James R. Drake, M.D.: Internist Practiced What He Preached: Happy Health Care

Dr. James R. Drake with students
Credit Provided by Saint Louis University School of Medicine

For the past 20 years, a clinic for St. Louisans who cannot afford basic health care quickly filled with patients every Saturday morning.

On many of those mornings, James R. Drake, M.D., a professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University and a general internist, supervised medical, social work and physical therapy students at the nation’s only entirely student-run free health clinic.

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Environment
8:07 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

What The EPA Has To Say About The West Lake Landfill ― And Why Everything Is Taking So Long

A temperature monitoring probe is installed at the Bridgeton Landfill on Sep. 16, 2014.
Credit Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Quite a bit of information has come out over the past month about the West Lake and Bridgeton Landfills ― some of it contradictory and confusing.

So when EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks offered up an interview ― about something else ― I took advantage of my time with him to try to clear up some of that confusion.

We talked about the underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill; about the firebreak that’s supposed to keep it from reaching the radioactive waste at the adjacent West Lake Landfill; and about groundwater contamination in Bridgeton.

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Affordable Care Act
10:45 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Insurance ‘Navigators’ Gear Up For Second Enrollment Season

Dana Taylor of the Missouri Foundation for Health.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

At a YMCA in North St. Louis, Nancy Kelley of the Missouri Foundation for Health coached about 50 navigators on how to encourage people to purchase health insurance this year.

“In some ways, we got the easy people last year. Maybe they were motivated, maybe they had some knowledge about the marketplace. So we need to get creative,” Kelley told the crowd.

152,335 people bought health insurance on the federal exchange last year, according to the Cover Missouri Coalition. The organization’s goal is to bring the amount of uninsured Missourians below 5 percent in five years.

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Wildlife
1:47 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

That Strange Cloud Over St. Louis Last Week? Migrating Monarch Butterflies

Monarch butterflies fill the skies at their overwintering grounds in Mexico.
Credit Lincoln Brower

Last Friday, the St. Louis office of the National Weather Service picked up something pretty unusual on its radars.

As first reported by Citylab’s John Metcalfe, meteorologists detected a cloud-like formation that kept moving around and changing into odd shapes. After some analysis, they concluded that the “cloud” was in fact a giant swarm of monarch butterflies, headed south on its annual migration to Mexico.

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Law Enforcement & Mental Health
12:16 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Five More Questions With Sgt. Jeremy Romo On St. Louis Mental Health Officers

Along with mental health advocates and law enforcement officials, St. Louis County Police Sergeant Jeremy Romo coordinates the St. Louis-Area Crisis Intervention Team program.

The program trains officers to respond to people in a mental health crisis. As St. Louis Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reported for NPR Tuesday morning, the need for this service becomes more pronounced as funding for mental health services declines in many communities.  

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Environment
1:24 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Missourians Participate In National Climate March

Limiting the consumption of fossil fuels is one of the goals of some environmental activists attending the People's Climate March.

Missourians are joining people from across the country in New York City Sunday for the People’s Climate March. Tens of thousands are expected to demonstrate in a call to halt global warming in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit, which begins Tuesday.

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Audubon Study
6:39 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Report: Climate Change Threatens Dozens of Missouri Birds

The White-Throated Sparrow is commonly seen in the St. Louis area during fall and winter, but a new report says climate change could reduce its breeding habitat.
Credit Dave Inman, Flickr Creative Commons

A recent report finds climate change is threatening dozens of birds that call Missouri home.

The National Audubon Society says more than half of the 588 North American bird species studied over the course of seven years are at risk. About 50 species common to Missouri are identified in the report as being threatened.

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Hospital-Acquired Infections
4:56 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Early-Stage Wash U Vaccine Could Prevent The Most Common Hospital Infection

In hospital patients, a plastic tube called a catheter can be inserted into the bladder through the urethra, to empty the bladder of urine.
Credit A.D.A.M via the National Institutes of Health

Researchers at Washington University have developed a new vaccine to prevent urinary tract infections caused by catheters. This type of infection is the most common of all infections that patients can get during a hospital stay.

The vaccine is still in its very early stages and has only been tested on mice.

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Mental Health - Genetics
11:01 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Wash U Study: Genetics Shows Schizophrenia Is Really Multiple Disorders

A Washington University study has linked dozens of gene networks to eight different forms of schizophrenia.
Credit Jonathan Bailey, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH

New research from Washington University suggests that schizophrenia is actually a group of eight distinct disorders, each with a different genetic basis.

The findings could eventually open the door to earlier diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating mental disorder, which affects more than 3 million people in the United States.

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VA Town Hall
6:34 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Tensions High At VA Town Hall

Vietnam veteran, Chester Chunn, stands to speak at a veteran's town hall meeting in downtown St. Louis.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

Exceptionally long wait times, missing records and doctors who failed to diagnose serious conditions were among the complaints aired at a veteran’s town hall meeting in St. Louis Friday.

Veterans Affairs officials in St. Louis have been required to hold two forums following federal investigations of hospitals and the mishandling of veteran’s benefit claims. While providing a public venue for people to speak about their experiences with the system, representatives were also on hand to answer individual questions about benefits and vocational rehabilitation.

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