Arkansas Health

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas broke ground on a new $8.5 million housing facility on the campus of Arkansas Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.

The new facility, which houses families of sick patients at the pediatric hospital, will triple in size.

To date, roughly $7.5 million has been raised towards the $8.5 million goal. On Tuesday, Tyson Foods contributed $500,000 and announced it would stock the kitchen pantry of the House for a full year.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has received initial approval for its pre-licensure nursing program from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.

The school announced that enrollment in the program will be open for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year and prospective students who have completed the required prerequisite general education courses can submit applications.

School officials say the addition of the nursing program is among the recent academic improvements it has made within the past year on campus.

Baptist Health, Verizon Launch Wireless Diabetes Care Effort

May 26, 2015

A Baptist Health pilot program is assessing how mobile technology will improve diabetes patient management in Central Arkansas with help from a $427,000 grant in funds and technology from the Verizon Foundation.

The program was announced Tuesday at Baptist Health’s Hickingbotham Outpatient Center by Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health; Kristi Crum, Verizon Wireless region president; and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin.

Chad Causey with Catfish Farmers of America (left) and state Rep. Michael John Gray (D-Augusta) speaking in House Agriculture in 2015.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

More descriptive labels may be coming to catfish products in stores and restaurants after a voice vote in the House Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday easily advanced a bill to the House floor. 

World Down Syndrome Day Being Marked In Arkansas

Mar 20, 2015

World Down Syndrome Day is being observed Saturday with events in Arkansas and throughout the country.

Typically, a person has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Those with Down syndrome have an additional copy of a third chromosome, chromosome 21, according to Tim Kinnard, president of the Arkansas Down Syndrome Association. He said that’s why March 21 is a perfect day for the events.

"The purpose of the day is to let the world know what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives," Kinnard said.

Arkansas water providers would be able to opt out of providing cavity-fighting fluoride under a bill endorsed by a House panel.

The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor voted 11-5 on Tuesday to support the move despite pushback from the state Department of Health and the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Opponents told lawmakers that allowing providers to remove fluoride would cause more cavities and increase health care costs.

A pair of researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will study how opioids are prescribed and dispensed by doctors and pharmacists.

The $538,781 grant by the National Insitute on Drug Abuse will cover three years' of study by Geoff Curran and Bradley Martin at the UAMS College of Pharmacy.

Opioids are pain relievers that include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.

The Arkansas Department of Health says 25 people have died from flu-related illness in the state so far this season.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Health Department released its weekly influenza report on Friday. Of the 25 deaths, officials say 19 of the victims were over age 65, four were 45 to 65 years old and two were between the ages of 25 and 44.

The Arkansas Department of Health tracks the flu for one calendar year starting on Sept. 28, as well as from September through March.

Already Widespread In Arkansas, Flu Could Get Worse

Jan 7, 2015
A map showing the extent of flu activitiy in each U.S. state
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Arkansas may be on track to see a flu season just as bad, if not worse, than the 2013-14 season. The Arkansas Department of Health says so far, there have been 12 confirmed flu-related deaths. At least six of those were people over the age of 65. Spokeswoman Kerry Krell says the pattern is widespread.

“Predominantly this season we're seeing H3N2,” she says. “It is notorious for causing a lot of illness; causing a lot of hospitalizations, especially in the elderly population.”

For Smith National Historic Site / National Park Service

Arkansas’s second largest city, Fort Smith, will embark on 12-year, $255 million upgrade to its sewer and water treatment operations as part of a settlement regarding a decade of Clean Water Act violations. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talked to the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of the Municipal Enforcement Branch Loren Denton about where untreated waste ended up and the prospects of cleaner water.