Public Health

Help for rural governments tackling the opioid crisis

The Reaching Rural Initiative helped officials in Harnett County, North Carolina, develop an opioid emergency response plan and a program to direct formerly incarcerated individuals to treatment.

How a different kind of drug testing can help communities stave off overdoses

Insights from advanced drug-testing services are proving essential for public health officials struggling to contain an evolving crisis.

Study: Gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers produce as much pollution as long car trips

A report from the Maryland Department of the Environment report recommends that state and local governments promote the use of electric lawn equipment instead of air polluting tools like leafblowers.

New health care grants look to reform how hospitals are paid

The program wants to increase primary care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients while reducing hospital and emergency room visits.

How paid sick leave helps cure economic instability

Cities and states are enacting paid leave policies that prevent low-wage workers from choosing between rest and recovery or work and a paycheck.

Evolving overdose crisis shakes previously effective treatments

Synthetic drugs are killing more Americans as they render treatment options less effective.

Sununu’s ‘Recovery Friendly Workplace’ serves as model for new national institute

A new national institute will provide training and resources for companies willing to hire and help people in substance-abuse recovery, and the White House's model legislation will help states create recovery-ready workplaces.

‘Tripledemic’ dashboards set health agencies up for flu season

COVID, influenza and RSV—oh my! Fall and winter bring an increase in respiratory illnesses, so state health departments are revamping their COVID dashboards for enhanced insights into their communities’ health.

‘Worse than people can imagine’: Medicaid ‘unwinding’ breeds chaos in states

States have terminated Medicaid coverage for more than 10 million Americans since March, leaving families and individuals scrambling to seek alternative health insurance plans or apply for coverage renewals.

After hottest summer on record, local governments are underreporting heat deaths

Bexar County’s medical examiner blames lack of data for the decision not to list heat as a cause on any summer deaths.

Why support for local public health leaders is higher than you think

COMMENTARY | Health departments fight for policies that make it easier for all people to live their healthiest lives: safe schools and communities, livable wages, affordable housing and healthy food.

COVID-19 vaccine mandates have come and mostly gone in the US: Here's why their messy rollout matters for trust in public health

COMMENTARY | Vaccine policies fall on a spectrum, from mandates to recommendations. Deciding what to use and when is not so much a science but a balancing act between personal autonomy and public good.

Tree nurseries sprout up as a climate mitigation strategy

New Mexico’s Climate Ready Trees Program helps officials identify which tree types are most likely to survive in future climate conditions.

Texas quietly moves to formalize acceptable cancer risk from industrial air pollution. Public health officials say it’s not strict enough.

Without public hearings, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is proposing to adopt its 17-year-old standard that scientists and public health officials say fails to account for cumulative air pollution.

States grapple with impacts of medical debt

With so many adults struggling with unpaid medical bills, states are taking steps to protect consumers from the negative financial impacts of hospital debt.

Graying prisons face accelerating health care needs

Rapidly growing numbers of older inmates with diabetes, dementia and liver disease are forcing states to reevaluate early release policies and the social safety nets that might prevent incarceration.

More schools stock overdose reversal meds, but others worry about stigma

Eight states currently require all or some schools to offer naloxone in a bid to curb opioid overdoses. But some experts question the effectiveness of such policies.

Amid a youth mental health crisis, teachers get schooled

Educators, who are on the front lines of the issue, are increasingly being trained in how to recognize signs of mental distress in their students.

California enters the ring of drug manufacturing. Could others follow?

As insulin prices have skyrocketed, states have intervened to lower them with price caps. Now, California’s decision to manufacture its own is leading other states to consider similar steps in an effort to ensure essential medicines are affordable to the public.