Arkansas Health

A new study shows counties in the northwest and central part of Arkansas tend to rank as the healthiest and counties in the south and east tend to rank as the least healthy. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s annual county health rankings report shows Benton County ranking number one in health and Phillips county ranking 75.

Asa Hutchinson healthcare
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Of the eight contested Republican primary races where Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s political action committee donated money in support of candidates supportive of his Arkansas Works initiative, six were winning Tuesday night, though at least two of those races were tight as of 11 p.m.

ASA PAC had contributed $5,400 to three Senate campaigns and five House races where the state’s Medicaid expansion was a central issue and where Hutchinson had supported candidates who agreed with his aims.


Governor Asa Hutchinson radio address
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of Feb. 26, 2016: 

There have been a lot of questions surrounding the recent outbreak of Zika virus. As governor, I value the health and safety of all Arkansans and want to do my part to provide people with information about how to help prevent the virus from spreading. 

Terry Bradshaw
Steve Brawner / Talk Business & Politics

NFL great and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw praised the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as hospital executives told the UA System Board of Trustees on Wednesday that $97 million is needed to address critical facilities needs.

U.S. Air Force

If Arkansas was hit by a major catastrophe that had more people needing emergency care than hospitals could handle, how would the medical community respond? State health officials and providers are working to complete planning for just such an emergency.

U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will not allow North Dakota to enforce a law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The justices on Monday turned away the state's appeal of lower court rulings that struck down the 2013 fetal heartbeat law as unconstitutional. The law never took effect, and abortion rights supporters said it was the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country.

U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is refusing to revive an Arkansas law that would have banned abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy if doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat.

The justices did not comment Tuesday in rejecting the state's appeal of lower court rulings that struck down the law. Federal judges called the law inconsistent with Supreme Court rulings that generally tie restrictions to the fetus' viability, not the presence of a heartbeat.

The main campus of the University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is one step closer to finding out if it wants to develop the state’s first dental college. The Arkansas Legislative Council Review Subcommittee on Tuesday approved a contract studying the viability of the school.

Provost Stephanie Garner said the college should only move forward if the consultant’s report supports it.

“I think this is the time to evaluate this. The amount is less than $50,000 for the first phase and we would not move to another phase if the consultant said it’s not possible,” said Garner.

A group rally against the bill at the Capitol today.
Nathan Vandiver

A federal judge is holding a hearing this week on an effort to block Arkansas' new law placing limits on the way the abortion pill is administered. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker scheduled a hearing for Wednesday afternoon in the lawsuit by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

The group has asked for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against the law, which requires abortion pill providers to follow guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

medical money medicine
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas achieved a check mark on six of 10 indicators for its infectious disease priorities, placing it above the middle of the pack, according to a December 2015 report, “Outbreaks 2015: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases” by the Trust for America’s Health and by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.