Media outlets report on news from New York, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, California, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
The Wall Street Journal: City Flags Jewish Circumcision Ritual Following New Herpes Cases
Four recent cases of neonatal herpes infection following a Jewish circumcision ritual have health officials once again urging parents in New York City’s ultra-Orthodox population to avoid the practice or at least limit its risks. Health officials on Sunday said there have been three cases of herpes simplex virus 1 infections in infant boys reported to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since Dec. 1, 2019. The fourth case was reported in September 2019. (West, 2/23)
The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Lawmakers Mull Bill That Would Make Life Easier For Kids Who Need Medical Cannabis At School
A controversial statewide bill inspired by two Millersville teenagers who suffer seizure disorders could ensure students across Maryland who qualify for medical marijuana get easier access during the school day. House Bill 617 would require the State Department of Education and the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission to develop written guidelines for public schools on administering medical cannabis during school hours, at school sponsored after-school events, and on school buses. (Sanchez, 2/24)
NBC News: Probe Into Abuse At America’s Oldest Deaf School Finds ‘Appalling Truths’
An investigation into inappropriate conduct at America’s oldest school for deaf people corroborated multiple allegations of sexual and physical abuse that stretched decades, school officials said say. In a report, officials at the American School for the Deaf, in West Hartford, Connecticut, said Friday that the allegations involved former dorm supervisors, a maintenance worker, a dean and the school’s longtime executive director. (Stelloh, 2/23)
NH Times Union: UNH Researchers: Synchronization Of Memory Cells Critical For Learning
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire took a closer look at the hippocampus, the part of the brain critical for long-term memory formation, and found that the neurons involved in so-called Pavlovian learning shift their behavior during the process and become more synchronized when a memory is being formed. According to a UNH news release, this finding helps people better understand memory mechanisms and it provides clues for the development of future therapies for memory-related conditions like dementia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder. (2/23)
San Francisco Chronicle: California’s New Labor Commissioner Discusses AB5 Gig-Work Law, Worker Protections
Lilia Garcia-Brower spent the past two decades fighting to make sure janitors got paid fairly. As executive director of Los Angeles’ Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund, a statewide watchdog, she oversaw probes into unfair and illegal practices in the cleaning industry. Now as California labor commissioner, she is taking that same mission to the entire state, enforcing labor laws to ensure just pay and fair treatment for workers. Her staff of 700 investigates and adjudicates workplace violations ranging from unpaid wages to retaliation. (Said, 2/22)
Los Angeles Times: A Look Behind California’s Mixed Record On Lung Cancer
It was a bewildering moment for Zach Jump, the American Lung Assn.’s national director of epidemiology and statistics. The numbers leaped off the computer screen and prompted an immediate question: How could California, a leader in reducing lung cancer cases, fall so short on early diagnosis and treatment of the disease? “It’s like you’d found the needle in the haystack of results,” Jump said. “I don’t know if anyone knew this was going to show up.” (Kreidler, 2/21)
Detroit Free Press: 4th Person Dies Vape-Related Lung Injury Michigan
A fourth person in Michigan has died from a vaping-related lung injury, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced. The department was notified of the death of an adult female on Feb. 19. No further information has been released for confidentiality reasons, according to MDHHS. (Spelbring, 2/21)
Georgia Health News: Wellstar Seeking Partnership To Boost Atlanta Medical Center
Wellstar Health System is looking for a partner to help transform Atlanta Medical Center… The nonprofit Wellstar took over the AMC facilities in its 2016 acquisition of five Tenet Healthcare hospitals in the area. The Marietta-based health system said it will explore a variety of strategic options for Atlanta Medical Center, which experts say could include a joint venture or even a sale. (Miller, 2/21)
The Baltimore Sun: Hundreds Of Maryland Sexual Assault Survivors Signed Waivers From Police. Now State Lawmakers Want To Ban The Forms.
It was long a common practice among some Baltimore-area police departments: Offer sexual assault victims a waiver form to document that they didn’t want to go forward with their case. Now some Maryland lawmakers want to ban police from using such waivers in sexual assault cases so that victims aren’t discouraged to report and prosecute the crimes. In some instances, experts say, detectives misused waiver forms to pressure victims to stop pursuing charges or to get cases off their plate without a thorough investigation. (Knezevich, 2/24)
North Carolina Health News: Addressing NC’s Rural Maternity Unit Closures Crisis
Since 2013, at least nine maternity units across the state have closed and a 10th is slated to shutter in the coming months. Addressing this growing crisis requires a systems approach, providers in western and eastern North Carolina say. (Engel-Smith, 2/24)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Can Milwaukee Curb Domestic Violence Before More Deadly Incidents?
After two high-profile cases of domestic violence, concerned Milwaukee leaders came together three times this week to talk about possible solutions. A critical question emerged: Had they diverted too many resources away from domestic violence? Last year, Milwaukee saw a continued decline in homicides, with 97 victims. Nevertheless, nearly 20% of those cases — one in five — had a link to domestic violence, a proportion that appears to be higher than before. (Luthern, 2/21)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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