An exercise station at Anchorage's Westchester Lagoon is seen on Oct. 2, 2023. The Fitness Cluster offers opportunities for strength and cardiovacular training, and signage gives fitness information and advice. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Report: Alaskans dogged by chronic diseases and many lack healthy lifestyles or regular screenings

BY: - October 3, 2023

Alaskans have high rates of chronic health conditions that can lead to death, and they are failing to follow lifestyles that would keep those chronic conditions at bay, according to a newly released state report. Two-thirds of Alaska adults are overweight or obese, nearly a third have high blood pressure and 27% have high cholesterol, […]

The offices of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are seen in Juneau on Friday, July 1, 2022.

Alaska Department of Health turns down new hospital facility in South Anchorage

BY: - October 2, 2023

The Alaska Department of Health has rejected a new $18 million emergency hospital facility in South Anchorage, saying in an analysis that there isn’t enough demand for it. In a public notice published Friday, the state said it will not issue what is known as a “certificate of need” for the facility. Alaska is one […]

Newborns rest in the nursery of a recovery center. States are seeing an alarming surge in cases of congenital syphilis, a preventable infection that can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death — or lifelong complications such as blindness or deafness. (Photo by Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)

Congenital syphilis rates are soaring, but resources to stem infections are lacking

BY: - October 2, 2023

States are seeing an alarming surge in cases of congenital syphilis, a preventable infection that can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death — or lifelong complications such as blindness or deafness. Congenital syphilis, which occurs when a pregnant mother infected with the sexually transmitted infection syphilis passes it on to her fetus, disproportionately affects Black and […]

Emily Gebel was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2022. She opted to have surgery and start chemotherapy in Seattle, the closest major American city to her home in Juneau, Alaska. When the travel became too draining, Gebel moved her treatment to the public hospital in Juneau and discovered it was priced much higher than the cost of the treatment in Seattle. (Photo by Ash Adams for KFF Health News)

She received chemo in two states. Why did It cost so much more in Alaska?

BY: - September 29, 2023

Emily Gebel was trying to figure out why she was having trouble breastfeeding. That’s when she felt a lump. Gebel, a mother of two, went to her primary care doctor in Juneau, Alaska, who referred her for testing, she said. Her 9-month-old was asleep in her arms when she got the results. “I got the […]

A construction worker works on a new city hall on Sept. 21, 2023, in Huntsville, Alabama. (Photo by Eric Schultz for Alabama Reflector)

Behind the hardhats: High suicide rates plague the construction industry

BY: - September 26, 2023

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, call, text or chat the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Alaska resources are available at 988 and Careline. For help with grief and loss, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers advice and resources. This article was originally published by Alabama Reflector, which like the Alaska […]

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Proposal would prevent physician assistants from providing appropriate care in rural Alaska

BY: - September 25, 2023

Two years ago, the Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants entered into discussions with the Alaska State Medical Board with the goal of updating Alaska’s regulations of physician assistants. Now, the ASMB is proposing regulations which would render it virtually impossible for PAs to practice in rural areas, and which could deprive many Alaskans of needed […]

A marijuana activist holds a flag during a march on Independence Day on July 4, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alaska relaxes rules for marijuana ads, allows free samples

BY: - September 25, 2023

Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom has signed new regulations that allow the state’s legal marijuana businesses to advertise more widely and to distribute free samples of marijuana at retail stores. The regulations, signed Sept. 8, go into effect Oct. 8, and are part of a broad wave of regulatory changes affecting the state’s marijuana industry. […]

Afternoon traffic is seen in downtown Fairbanks on March 1. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

U.S. Department of Labor asks federal judge to force inspections of Fairbanks-area gold mine

BY: - September 22, 2023

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is asking a U.S. District Court judge for an unusual court order requiring a Fairbanks gold mine to open its gates for inspectors. On Sept. 8, attorneys representing the Department of Labor asked Judge Josh Kindred for speedy consideration of their request. According to court documents, mine operator […]

A sign at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium campus in Anchorage, seen on Sept. 19, 2023, advises patients that a testing site that once operated there is now closed. COVID-19 is no longer considered a new disease, and health-care providers are no longer required to report cases to state officials, under updated Alaska Division of Health regulations. But some different testing requirements have been added to the regulations. The public health reporting requirements are updated every few years, and the latest update went into effect on Sept. 3. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska regulations drop some COVID-19 reporting requirements, add requirement for RSV reports

BY: - September 20, 2023

Alaska medical providers no longer need to report patients’ COVID-19 cases to the states, but there are some new requirements for reporting other diseases and emerging health concerns, under new regulations that went into effect earlier in the month. COVID-19 slips out of the reporting requirements for two main reasons, said Louisa Castrodale, an epidemiologist […]

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, speaks at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday alongside individuals advocating for the extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) program. (Photo by Samantha Dietel/States Newsroom).

Americans sickened by radioactive waste press Congress for action on assistance

BY: - September 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — Victims of nuclear contamination rallied in the nation’s capital on Wednesday in support of bipartisan legislation that would extend compensation for those harmed by radioactive waste. U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, and Ben Ray Luján, a New Mexico Democrat, held a rally and press conference outside the U.S. Capitol as part […]

A nurses station is seen in an undated image. (Photo by FS Productions/Getty Images)

As Alaska works through post-pandemic Medicaid renewals, only about a third of people stay covered

BY: - September 19, 2023

When Brandy Barnes got the first notice that she might be dropped from Medicaid, she was worried. One of her teenage sons is autistic and needs significant care to lead a full life. “My main concern is that my son is disabled,” she said. “He has therapies, medications, doctor appointments that cannot be dropped. I […]

A nurses station is seen in an undated image. (Photo by FS Productions/Getty Images)

Hospitals plead with Congress to avert $8 billion in cuts in Medicaid funding

BY: - September 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — Health care representatives from across the United States are urging Congress to halt cuts to funding that helps hospitals care for uninsured or low-income patients who rely on Medicaid. More than 250 hospitals and health systems appealed to House and Senate leadership in a letter Thursday asking the lawmakers to avert or delay […]