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Students in four Arkansas school districts could help shape the future of medicine in the state.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Department of Education are partnering to pilot a telemedicine program in Jasper, Lee County, Malvern, and Magazine School Districts. The four districts were chosen partly because they have existing school-based health centers.

Tina Benton with the UAMS Center for Distance Health says the program is designed to reach students in rural parts of the state.

Arkansas voters approved medical marijuana earlier this month and the governor says he’s open to seeing if the voter-approved tax structure should be changed in January’s legislative session. Speaking to reporters at the state Capitol on Monday, Governor Asa Hutchinson said he hasn’t yet made up his mind on new taxes or shifting where marijuana revenue should go.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Future social workers are being challenged to work with lawmakers to make healthcare more available for residents living in rural Arkansas.  The challenge was issued to attendees of the 4th annual Health Disparities Conference at Arkansas State University.  The theme of the conference was “Bridging the Gap Between Health Disparities in the Delta.” 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

What do California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, North Dakota, and Montana have in common with Arkansas this election season?  In those states, voters will decide on issues revolving around marijuana.  Voters in Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, and Montana will specifically decide on the medicinal uses for the cannabis plant. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The Arkansas Supreme Court in a 5-2 opinion has disqualified the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act – Issue 7 – from the November ballot, with the majority opinion saying the act sponsors “failed to meet the constitutional requirements” related to the signature gathering process.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows that opposition remains stronger than support for two medical marijuana proposals that will be on the November ballot.

The poll, conducted statewide among 463 likely Arkansas voters on October 21, 2016, has a margin of error of 4.6%.

Johnelle Shaw is a 27-year-old first-time mother with a two-month old son, Logan. She is visiting a lactation consultant at The Pulaski County Health Unit in Southwest Little Rock. Logan has a cold and is back for a breastfeeding check-in.  The consultant weighs him in at 7.6 ounces, a full pound bigger than he was at his last visit a month before.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment survived an Arkansas Supreme Court challenge in an opinion issued Thursday, but the court pulled an amendment that would allow casino operations in three Arkansas counties.

Dr. Amy Pearce

The 3rd annual Arkansas Science Festival is the state's only science festival.  It is a two week event meant to be a celebration of science.  Dr. Amy Pearce is professor of psychology at Arkansas State University and the festival's organizer.

"The goal is to bring people to our events where they can have fun,"  said Pearce.  

Pixabay

Sexual assault and domestic violence crimes are on the rise across the nation, and Arkansas is no exception. 

Around the start of the Fall 2016 semester, A-State students were alerted of a sexual assault incident that took place on campus, which had many shaken up.  In the wake of the incident, KAIT reported that the victim of the incident along with students will hold a gathering to raise more awareness of the crime.

Funding cuts for mental health services through Medicaid are taking effect October 1, despite a last-ditch effort at the state legislature Friday to walk back a change that some say could have dire consequences.

The cuts, finalized last week, would limit group therapy length from an hour and a half to an hour and set a cap of 25 counseling visits per year for Medicaid recipients who might otherwise go every week.

The vote to revisit the decision failed to gain two thirds from the Arkansas Legislative Council Friday morning.

Arkansans are being asked to spend the week of September 26-30 feeding themselves on no more than $4 dollars per day to better understand food insecurity in the state.

What used to be known as food stamps is now the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. In Arkansas, qualified low-income individuals receive an average of $3.74 per day from SNAP to help them afford groceries.

Arkansas’s Legislature took a step toward its pledge to trim $835 million from the state’s Medicaid budget over five years today when it voted to limit group therapy for about 10,000 low-income Arkansans from 90 minutes to 60 minutes, 25 times a year.

The third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer is medical errors, a set of Johns Hopkins University researchers concluded in a paper published this spring in The BMJ. So how much should we be able to sue for our pain and suffering when doctors make mistakes, and should the state legislature get to decide?

While a better Arkansas economy has helped lower the state’s 2013-2015 food insecurity rate to 19.2% from the 19.7% in the 2010-2012 period, national and regional food bank officials say more help is needed and the rates remain above pre-recession realities.

With virtually no notice from the Arkansas Health Department and no word from the media, legislators reversed direction last month and renewed the state’s contract with Denver-based National Jewish Health and its 1-800-QUIT-NOW hotline for smokers.

A contract worth more than $1.8 million was reviewed by a Legislative Council subcommittee on Aug. 16 and accepted by the entire council three days later. The new expiration is June 30, but state Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs) says the end is nearer than that.

Governor Asa Hutchinson is staying neutral for now but says he’ll likely reveal his position on a ballot issue to limit damages awarded in medical injury lawsuits before the election. 

Pixabay

The Arkansas Department of Health has placed the City of Hoxie under a boil order.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

120 students in white doctor coats stood proudly on the Riceland Hall stage in the Fowler Center, reciting the “student pledge of commitment” with the goal of accomplishing a dream.  A dream to practice medicine.

The students are the culmination of a dream for a medical school to be in Northeast Arkansas at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.  They are the inaugural class of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at A-State—the first Osteopathic Medical school in the state.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

A 9th case of the Zika Virus has been contracted in Arkansas.  The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed the case Tuesday, according to their website.  

Twice a day, Angela and Nate Turner of Greenwood, Ind., put tiny strips that look like tinted tape under their tongues.

"They taste disgusting," Angela says.

But the taste is worth it to her. The dissolvable strips are actually a drug called Suboxone, which helps control an opioid user's cravings for the drug. The married couple both got addicted to prescription painkillers following injuries several years ago, and they decided to go into recovery this year. With Suboxone, they don't have to worry about how they'll get drugs, or how sick they'll feel if they don't.

Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce targets specific sectors to lure job creators

Aug 3, 2016
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The Jonesboro metro area has enjoyed historically low unemployment during the last two years, but city leaders knew wage stagnation was a problem, and there was a need to be proactive in creating new job opportunities.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

  The Arkansas Department of Human Services could be reorganized soon.   Earlier this year, Lt. Governor Tim Griffin was directed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to look at how to make the state agency more efficient.  

Mark Smith, KASU News

In this congressional interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with the Libertarian candidate, Mark West.  He is challenging Rick Crawford in the First Congressional District House race.  West gives his thoughts on the nation's debt, signing a pledge to end the U.S. Department of Education, and the Affordable Care Act and Arkansas Works.  Click on the Listen button to hear the interview.  

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The look of downtown Jonesboro is changing.  A $130 million renovation of St. Bernards is underway.  The work is being done in four phases and is expected to be complete by 2019. 

Construction is taking place on the Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center and it should be finished this fall. 

Initial work on phase two is also underway, which includes adding new catheterization labs, hybrid labs and additional invasive services to the Heartcare Center.  That will be complete in the winter of 2017. 

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