Arkansas Health

The head of an Arkansas non-profit group dedicated to improving the quality of care for nursing home residents says an NPR series reinforces the need for stricter enforcement of an existing law.

The federal Nursing Home Reform Act was passed 27 years ago, saying antipsychotic medications should not be used to sedate residents suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

State Rep. John Hutchison (R-Harrisburg)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Members of the state legislature on Monday reviewed the potential impact of a proposed $2 billion, 750 mile interstate transmission line that would cross Arkansas from west to east from just north of Fort Smith to West Memphis.

Outgoing Republican State Representative John Hutchison (R-Harrisburg) has typically been against regulating the energy sector. However, Hutchison believes the Plains and Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project will bring problems to waterfowl, such as ducks, in the areas it crosses. That includes an area nearby his own property in northeast Arkansas. 

Flu Shot
Carmichael Yepez / U.S. Navy

The Arkansas Department of Health has scheduled vaccine clinics for areas throughout the state as the flu season begins to ramp up.

The flu shot clinics had been pushed back this fall because there was a delay in the shipment of the vaccines from manufacturers. The clinics are now set to take place in November and December at cities and towns throughout Arkansas.

One of the largest clinics will be held Dec. 4 at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock.

Flu Shot
Carmichael Yepez / U.S. Navy

Public flu shot clinics throughout Arkansas are being postponed because of a delay in the shipment of more than a quarter-million doses of the vaccine.

The Arkansas Department of Health says the shipment of 256,450 doses of the vaccine is expected to arrive no later than early November. But the health department says it already has more than 191,000 doses on hand that will be used in school flu shot clinics throughout the state.

Members of Arkansas' House delegation have sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging his administration to take more steps to protect Americans against the spread of the Ebola virus.

Republican congressmen Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Tom Cotton want the administration to consider implementing travel restrictions on countries affected by the virus and enforce immigration policies.

Friday's letter also expresses concern that people in affected countries could - possibly knowingly- be infected but not yet symptomatic and travel to the U.S.

The Arkansas Department of Health on Monday confirmed the state has its first case of enterovirus D68. The respiratory virus has spread over the last month, reaching states bordering Arkansas. Spokeswoman Kerry Krell said the symptoms, mostly in children, are similar to a cold but can be severe.

insurance.arkansas.gov / Arkansas Insurance Department

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford says the commission's conversion to a new system will mean a delay in issuing appointments, license renewals and the issuing of new licenses.

Bradford says the new system will mean an approximate 10-day stoppage in the processing of the documents beginning Oct. 10.

The department says those most likely to be affected are individuals and agencies with a health exchange license due at the end of September and agencies which normally renew Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Virginia Guard Public Affairs / flickr.com

More than 600 medical professionals, pharmacists, law enforcement officers and educators are gathering in Arkansas for the state's third annual summit on prescription drug abuse.
 
The summit is being held Wednesday at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock and includes discussions on residential treatment, prescription abuse trends, community response to drug abuse and other topics. The luncheon's keynote speaker will be Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who is president of the National Association of Attorneys General.
 

U.S. Sen. John Boozman
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Senator John Boozman said he plans to fight back against air pollution regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Republican from Rogers spoke to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas in Little Rock Thursday praising their influence and promising to try and halt the EPA’s plan to reduce carbon emissions in the state 44 percent by 2030.

Boozman, as he has done in the past, doubted the science behind carbon emissions and pointed to economic concerns.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek

State lawmakers are looking into problems with 911 systems across Arkansas. On Thursday, a legislative committee reviewed technological and staffing discrepancies between county systems.

State Senator Missy Irvin from Mountian View said some 911 call centers are run by police or fire departments. Others are run by volunteers that can’t consistently track the locations of incoming callers.

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