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Health

Patient Satisfaction Surveys Earn a Zero on Tracking Whether Hospitals Deliver Culturally Competent Care

Each day, thousands of patients get a call or letter after being discharged from U.S. hospitals. How did their stay go? How clean and quiet was the room? How often did nurses and doctors treat them with courtesy and respect? The questions focus on what might be termed the standard customer satisfaction aspects of a …

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At 988 Call Centers, Crisis Counselors Offer Empathy — And Juggle Limited Resources

On a Friday evening at a call center in southeastern Pennsylvania, Michael Colluccio stirred his hot tea, put on his headset, and started up his computer. The screen showed calls coming in to the suicide prevention lifeline from around the state. Colluccio, 38, said he knows what it’s like to be on the other end …

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‘It’s Becoming Too Expensive to Live’: Anxious Older Adults Try to Cope With Limited Budgets

Economic insecurity is upending the lives of millions of older adults as soaring housing costs and inflation diminish the value of fixed incomes. Across the country, seniors who until recently successfully managed limited budgets are growing more anxious and distressed. Some lost work during the covid-19 pandemic. Others are encountering unaffordable rent increases and the …

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Organ Transplants Are Up, but the Agency in Charge Is Under Fire

For the past decade, Precious McCowan’s life has revolved around organ transplants. She’s a doctoral candidate studying human behavior in Dallas who has survived two kidney transplants. And in the midst of her end-stage renal disease, her 2-year-old son died. She chose to donate his organs in hopes they would save a life. Now her …

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Meet Mary Wakefield, the Nurse Administrator Tasked With Revamping the CDC

It’s been a rough couple of years for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facing a barrage of criticism for repeatedly mishandling its response to the covid-19 pandemic and more recently monkeypox, the agency has acknowledged it failed and needs to change. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has tapped Mary Wakefield — an Obama …

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‘He Stood His Ground’: California State Senator Will Leave Office as Champion of Tough Vaccine Laws

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California lawmaker who rose to national prominence by muscling through some of the country’s strongest vaccination laws is leaving the state legislature later this year after a momentous tenure that made him a top target of the boisterous and burgeoning movement against vaccination mandates. State Sen. Richard Pan, a bespectacled and …

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In the Rush to Curtail Abortion, States Adopt a Jumbled Stew of Definitions for Human Life

As life-preserving medical technology advanced in the second half of the 20th century, doctors and families were faced with a thorny decision, one with weighty legal and moral implications: How should we define when life ends? Cardiopulmonary bypass machines could keep the blood pumping and ventilators could maintain breathing long after a patient’s natural ability …

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A Needle Exchange Project Modeled on Urban Efforts Aims to Save Lives in Rural Nevada

ELKO, Nev. — Richard Cusolito believes he’s saving lives by distributing clean syringes and needles to people who use drugs in this rural area of northeastern Nevada — but he knows some residents disagree. “I’m hated in this town because of it,” said Cusolito, 60. “I’m accused of ‘enabling the junkies,’ pretty much is the …

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Congressman’s Wife Died After Taking Herbal Remedy Marketed for Diabetes and Weight Loss

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The wife of a Northern California congressman died late last year after ingesting a plant that is generally considered safe and is used as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, including diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol, KHN has learned. Lori McClintock, the wife of U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, died from …

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Wastewater Surveillance Has Become a Critical Covid Tracking Tool, but Funding Is Inconsistent

To look at recent data posted on Clemson University’s covid-19 dashboard, one might assume that viral activity is low on the Upstate South Carolina college campus. The dashboard, which relies on positive covid tests reported by local laboratories and on-campus medical offices, identified 34 positive cases among students during the third week of August and …

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