Health

A sign at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, seen on July 21, expresses appreciation for healthcare workers. UAA has several training programs, including one focused on rural Alaska, and the university is one of the partners in a $9.7 million federal grant secured by the Alaska Primary Care Association. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska health organization secures $9.7 million grant to train new workers

BY: - August 8, 2022

Alaska health care organizations have an injection of federal money to help recruit and train more workers to fill a variety of in-demand positions. The Alaska Primary Care Association has won a $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Good Jobs Challenge program for a wide-ranging project to expand health care opportunities by […]

A vial containing the monkeypox vaccine is seein on July 23, 2022, in London, England. This type of vaccine, called JYNNEOS or Imvanex, is available in Alaska for anyone who has been in contact with infected individuals. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Monkeypox arrives in Alaska with Anchorage man as state’s first patient

BY: - July 29, 2022

Alaska has recorded its first case of monkeypox, the viral disease that is currently causing a global epidemic. An Anchorage man has tested positive for the disease and is isolating at home, the Alaska Department of Health and Anchorage Health Department said in a joint statement Friday. The patient had not traveled recently but was […]

Alaska Health Commissioner Adam Crum, speaking at a Wasilla news conference on May 3, explains how fentanyl's extreme potency makes it possible for even a tiny dose to be fatal. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Report details Alaska demographics hurt most by 2021 spike in drug-overdose deaths

BY: - July 28, 2022

In Alaska, the state with the nation’s biggest increase in drug overdose deaths from 2020 to 2021, certain demographic groups have been at higher risk, according to a newly released report: men more than women, Alaska Natives more than other ethnic groups and Anchorage and Gulf Coast residents more than those in other parts of […]

This digitally colorized electron microscopic (EM) image depicts monkeypox virus particles, obtained from a clinical sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. It was a thin section image from of a human skin sample. On the left were mature, oval-shaped virus particles, and on the right were the crescents, and spherical particles of immature virions. (Photo by Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery and Hannah Bullock/U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Congress mostly silent as states struggle to contain monkeypox

BY: - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — Two months after doctors diagnosed the first case of monkeypox in the United States, Congress has yet to hold a hearing, or give any significant attention to the painful and debilitating virus that’s spread to more than 4,600 people.  Public health officials in the Biden administration have held several briefings, expanded testing capacity […]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks at a press event where Democratic senators spoke in favor of the Right to Contraception Act on July 26, 2022, in Washington, D.C. To the left of Klobuchar is Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. In back of Klobuchar is Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and to the right is Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

Bill guaranteeing right to birth control blocked in U.S. Senate by Republican

BY: - July 27, 2022

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Senate Democrats tried to pass legislation Wednesday that would guarantee women can continue using contraception if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the long-standing precedent, the way it did with abortion.  But Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst blocked their efforts by objecting to Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey’s request for unanimous consent to […]

COMMENTARY
(Getty Images photo)

Lives hang in the balance as time runs out for action on health insurance

BY: - July 26, 2022

Five years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Yet I’m the lucky one. I could afford to get treatment. Too many people in America don’t have the health care they need, even today. The 2021 American Rescue Plan included subsidies to make health insurance more affordable than ever, resulting in a record-breaking […]

A northern red-backed vole scampers through a forested area of the Kenai Peninsula. Voles and other small mammals are the likely reservoirs of Alaskapox virus, a recently identified and much more rare relative of the monkeypox virus. (Photo by Colin Canturbury/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Alaskapox a subject of scientific intrigue while world copes with more dangerous monkeypox

BY: - July 18, 2022

Monkeypox, a potentially deadly disease caused by a virulent strain of a virus in the Orthopoxvirus genus, is spreading at an alarming rate, with over 1,800 U.S. cases identified as of mid-July in all but seven states. Farther north, there is a much rarer, much more recently discovered and apparently much more benign cousin of […]

This image shows someone dialing 988 on a cell phone. The three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crisis support is operational in Alaska and across the nation as of July 16, 2022.

Alaskans can now dial 988 to reach mental health crisis hotline

BY: - July 16, 2022

Alaskans who find themselves in a mental health crisis can now call or text 988 to access a trained crisis counselor. Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to individuals of all ages. The three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crisis support became operational in Alaska and across the […]

The U.S. Capitol building.

U.S. House passes bills to ensure nationwide abortion access, interstate travel

BY: - July 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed legislation Friday that would reinstate access to abortion, though it’s highly unlikely the two bills approved on mostly party-line votes — or more that will come in the weeks ahead — would clear the 50-50 Senate.   One measure that House members engaged in passionate debate over Friday would make […]

Same-sex marriage and contraception at risk after abortion ruling, U.S. House panel told

BY: - July 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Advocates told Congress on Thursday that a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a landmark abortion rights case is likely only the beginning, and could be followed by similar action by the high court on same-sex marriage, contraception and more. Witnesses at a U.S. House Judiciary Committee advised that to prevent that from happening, […]

U.S. Senate panel wrestles with questions about abortions needed to save a patient’s life

BY: - July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. Senate panel that oversees health care sharply disagreed Wednesday over how Congress should respond to confusion among doctors about compliance with state abortion bans.  State abortion restrictions, some of which were written long ago and don’t account for complicated medical situations, don’t make it clear when a […]

Panelists at a town hall meeting at the University of Alaska Anchorage on June 30, 2022, discuss findings from a first-ever report specific to Black Alaskans' health status. The report was released by the Alaska Black Caucus. From left to right: report co-author Amana Mbisi, an assistant professor of social work at UAA; Ty Roberts, a licensed doula in Anchorage; Monique Andrews, a licensed counselor; and LaShanda McGowen, a mental health counselor.

Report focusing on Black Alaskans’ health describes challenges that create disparities

BY: - July 13, 2022

A new report examines the health status of Black Alaskans, summarizing disparities that create chronic problems for a demographic that comprises 3.4% of the state population, as well as some positive trends that safeguard health.  The report, which combines survey results with official state data, was prepared for the Alaska Black Caucus, a nonprofit working […]