By Wendy Holdren/Beckley Register-Herald
In the past three years, Beckley ARH Hospital’s infectious disease consultant has seen a huge outbreak in HIV and Hepatitis C cases — in large part due to the rise in intravenous drug use.
“Southern, rural West Virginia is facing a huge problem, and it continues to get worse,” said Dr. Zonaira Gul.
She believes the problem will only continue to grow unless the community has an open, honest dialogue about getting tested, accessing treatment, and breaking the cycle of addiction.
Beckley ARH will host a forum, “Communicate: Hep C & HIV, A Community Response to a Public Health Crisis,” from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Gul will be one of the panelists, along with law enforcement officers, EMS personnel, health department officials and more…
Read the full story at www.register-herald.com
By WV MetroNews
A new medical cannabis director has been named in West Virginia.
Jason Frame will become the director of the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis under the state Department of Health and Human Resources.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, state Health Officer and Commissioner of the state DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health named Frame to the job this week. Gupta will oversee the office.
“We still have a lot of work to do in establishing the process for setting up dispensaries, growers, processors, and laboratories, and I believe Mr. Frame is ready to meet that challenge,” Gupta said in a statement.
This comes after Governor Jim Justice signed the Medical Cannabis Act into law last year. The law allows medical marijuana to be used by West Virginia residents with a serious medical condition…
Read the full story at WV Metro News.
Expanding the authority of West Virginia’s public health officials to address inappropriate prescribing of pain medications, requiring all first responders to carry naloxone, and supporting programs that help children and families affected by opioid addiction are just some of the recommendations that feature in the new Opioid Response Plan.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) submitted its final recommendations for the Opioid Response Plan to Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature following a period of expert study and public input.
Read more about the Opioid Response Plan at www.register-herald.com
Pharmacy giant CVS Health has agreed to buy Aetna in a $69 billion blockbuster acquisition that could rein in health-care costs and transform its 9,700 pharmacy storefronts into community medical hubs for primary care and basic procedures, the companies announced Sunday afternoon.
The pharmacy chain agreed to buy Aetna for about $207 per share, broken down into $145 in cash and the rest in stock. The deal — the biggest health-care merger announced in more than a year — is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to approval by shareholders and regulators.
If approved, the megamerger would create a giant consumer health-care company with a familiar presence in thousands of communities. Aetna chief executive Mark T. Bertolini described the vision in an interview as “creating a new front door for health care in America.”
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