Advocates make renewed call for $1 tobacco tax increase

By Lydia Nuzum, Staff Writer, Charleston Gazette-Mail Thursday, April 28, 2016 Proponents of a $1 increase in West Virginia’s tobacco tax said Thursday that the struggling proposal is a “no-brainer” for the state with some of the highest rates of smoking among both teens and adults and an existing tax lower than that of 45 other states. On Thursday, a … Read More

WV Tobacco tax proponents say measure will save money

By Rusty Marks Posted: Apr 28, 2016 2:29 PM EDT Updated: Apr 28, 2016 3:23 PM EDT West Virginia will save tens of millions of dollars in medical costs if lawmakers increase the taxes on tobacco products, local health care providers say. Members of the policy research group West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy and local health care providers … Read More

Pass the Buck: Pregnancy Care Providers Want WV to Up Tobacco Tax

Dan Heyman, Public News Service – WV April 29, 2016 CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia pregnancy-care providers want lawmakers to “pass the buck” by raising the state cigarette tax by $1 a pack.  With a big hole in the state budget, the $150 million more a year in tobacco revenue looks appealing. But doctors here also hope to reduce the … Read More

Controversial Fetal Assault Law Discontinued by TN Lawmakers

From NPR, “A small but pivotal group of Tennessee representatives voted Tuesday to discontinue one of the state’s most divisive criminal laws. Known as “fetal assault,” the measure empowered prosecutors to arrest women who abuse heroin or pain pills during pregnancy, if their babies were born dependent. A one-of-a-kind statute that criminalized drug use by pregnant women is now on … Read More

Senate advances bill to aid drug-dependent newborns

From Reuters, “A bipartisan bill designed to improve the health and safety of babies born to mothers who used heroin or other opioids during pregnancy was approved by a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday. …Reuters found 110 cases of children who were exposed to opioids while in the womb and who later died preventable deaths at home. No more than nine states comply … Read More

Shaken baby syndrome in WV more common than we think

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “After a father allegedly shook his son and caused bleeding on the 4-month-old’s brain last weekend, health experts said the way to prevent the next occurrence won’t be by pretending such a traumatic incident can only happen to other families. …Dr. Sharon Istfan, associate chief medical officer at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Hospital, … Read More

Recovery Point of Charleston dedicates Stockton Street building

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “Rachel Thaxton, program coordinator of Recovery Point of Charleston, said the facility will start the bidding process on the project within the next month, and will likely begin construction within six weeks after the bids close. The main building will have 92 treatment beds, which will be opened about 10 beds at a time initially, and … Read More

DHHR Launches New Initiative to Address Smoking While Pregnant

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “A new initiative to address West Virginia’s staggering smoking rates among pregnant women launched on Wednesday, and represents the first of its kind in the nation to focus on the problem, which plagues West Virginia more than any other state. …Karen Bowling, secretary of the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources, said the purpose of … Read More

Dr. Laura P. Finnegan – WVU Palladino Lecture & Research Day

Dr. Loretta P. Finnegan will be speaking at WVU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Palladino Lecture & Research Day. Dr. Finnegan is President of Finnegan Consulting, which addresses education, research and treatment in issues relating to women’s health and perinatal addiction. She is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in these fields and is credited with the development of … Read More

Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 Signed Into Law

From ACOG, “The bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark (D- Mass.) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), takes proactive steps to help reduce the number of newborns born exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and to improve their care. Specifically, the bill directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to identify and make available recommendations for the prevention … Read More