public health

A pregnant woman sitting on a bed.

ADPH asks judge to reconsider ruling on birth center regulations

BY: - October 5, 2023

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) asked a Montgomery circuit court judge Thursday to reconsider a ruling preventing ADPH from withholding licensure for birth centers. Judge Greg Griffin’s order prevents ADPH from withholding licenses from birth centers — facilities that offer expectant mothers an option between home and hospital deliveries — that “demonstrate substantial […]

Newborn babies in a line of incubators in a hospital

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 […]

Doctor discusses a lawsuit filed against public health department in front of monument

Montgomery judge allows lawsuit over Alabama birth center regulations to move forward

BY: - September 29, 2023

A Montgomery judge will allow a lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) over birth center regulations to move forward. Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Greg Griffin denied a motion Thursday from ADPH to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges that ADPH has effectively made birth centers – facilities that provide an in-between option for […]

A pregnant woman sitting on a bed.

Alabama leads nation for arresting, punishing pregnant women, according to report

BY: - September 22, 2023

Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina lead the nation in arresting and criminally punishing women for allegedly posing a danger to their fetuses, according to a report released by advocacy group Pregnancy Justice. Nationwide, nearly 1,400 people were arrested or subject to disparate bail, sentencing and probation for conduct related to their pregnancies between 2006 and […]

A man in a blue collared shirt and a white lab jacket stands in a lab with equipment all around him.

University of Montana working on vaccine for fentanyl, heroin overdose

BY: - September 18, 2023

A vaccine to prevent overdosing on fentanyl and one for heroin are in the works at the University of Montana and partner institutions. Human trials are expected to start in early 2024 for both vaccines, according to UM. UM researcher Jay Evans, who leads a campus center working on the vaccines and co-founded university corporate […]

A open opening the glass door of a clinic.

Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note

BY: - September 15, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. — Just before Portland’s city council approved a ban on public drug use last week, Mayor Ted Wheeler described what he’d observed on his way to work that afternoon: “The last time I saw somebody consuming what I believe to be fentanyl publicly on our streets was less than five minutes ago, three […]

Registered Nurse Orlyn Grace (L) administers a COVID-19 booster vaccination to Jeanie Merriman (R) at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on April 06, 2022 in San Rafael, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

New round of COVID-19 booster shots on the way after CDC recommendation

BY: - September 13, 2023

WASHINGTON — Americans older than six months should get an updated COVID-19 booster this fall, according to a recommendation the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Tuesday. The vaccine should be available by later this week, the CDC said in a statement. “We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from […]

A nurse in a face mask and wearing blue gloves administers a shot to an older woman wearing a blue mask.

Food and Drug Administration approves COVID boosters for upcoming season

BY: - September 12, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the latest round of COVID-19 boosters, as public health officials brace for another cold and flu season. An advisory panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to vote on recommendations Tuesday, the final step in the process before people will […]

A crisis center office, with people on headsets sitting at desks.

Most states have yet to permanently fund 988. Call centers want certainty

BY: - September 11, 2023

This story was produced by KFF Health News. Since the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned a year ago to the three-digit crisis phone number 988, there has been a 33% increase in the number of calls, chats and texts to the hotline. But even with that early sign of success, the program’s financial future is […]

A woman sitting on a couch in a playroom looking out the window. A stitched rug of children's faces sits in front of her.

Dangers and deaths around Black pregnancies seen as a ‘completely preventable’ health crisis

BY: - August 30, 2023

HOUSTON — Tonjanic Hill was overjoyed in 2017 when she learned she was 14 weeks pregnant. Despite a history of uterine fibroids, she never lost faith that she would someday have a child. But, just five weeks after confirming her pregnancy, and the day after a gender-reveal party where she announced she was having a […]

A line of people holding signs and marching on a concrete walkway near a large green field. A six-story office building and parking lot are in the background on the left; a line of trees can be seen on the right.

Despite federal warnings, red and blue states aggressively cull Medicaid rolls

BY: - August 25, 2023

Despite federal warnings to slow down, both red and blue states have cut off Medicaid coverage for nearly 4 million people because they lack the proper paperwork. In at least four states, half of all the people who have lost coverage for any reason are children. During the pandemic, the federal government directed states not […]

A woman looks over racks of clothes in a tiled room with a desk at center.

Abortion-ban states pour millions into pregnancy centers with little medical care

BY: - August 24, 2023

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, Louisiana Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell looked for a way to address her state’s abysmal record on infant and maternal mortality, preterm births and low birth weight. Louisiana has one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Mizell […]