Health+Harvest

NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board identified the subject of food and health as important subjects for coverage in 2012. Health+Harvest provides for community engagement on health and food issues along with reporting on farm, field and fuel.  From seed to plate, from farmer's markets to GMOs, central Illinoisans need to know how to stay healthy and what they are eating.  In 2013, NPR Illinois joined a consortium of public media in the Harvest Public Media network.  The network provides broader coverage to Midwest food issues.

By examining these local, regional and national issues and their implications with in-depth and unbiased reporting, Health+Harvest fills a critical information void.

Support for Health+Harvest coverage comes from Central Illinois Farm Bureaus and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  If you'd like to support this initiative, please contact Nice Bogdanovich at 217-206-9847.

Residents in 16 California counties have been warned that Wednesday may bring more intentional power shutoffs to over 200,000 customers. The announcement comes less than a month after utility company Pacific Gas & Electric cut off power for several days to nearly 800,000 customers across Northern and Central California.

The dispatch call from the Concord, N.H., police department is brief. A woman returning to her truck spotted a man underneath. She confronted him. The man fled. Now the woman wants a police officer to make sure her truck is OK.

"Here we go," mutters Officer Brian Cregg as he steps on the gas. In less than three minutes, he's driving across the back of a Walmart parking lot, looking for a man on the run.

Growing up in the Gambia in West Africa, Nabia Drammeh always knew she wanted to be a nurse. "My auntie was a nurse," she says. "I used to go to the clinic and see the way she works. I told her, 'I really want to be a nurse in the future!' So I've loved this job since when I was a child."

The 27-year-old graduated from nursing school in 2012 and has been a nurse ever since.

She now works at the Brufut health clinic just outside the Gambian capital of Banjul.

It's a modest government clinic housed in a cluster of single-story cement buildings.

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The Trump administration has announced a plan to divert water to California farmers, fulfilling a campaign promise by the president, but contradicting federal biologists who found the plan would drive endangered salmon closer to extinction and could harm other fish.

Allocating water is always a fraught issue in a state plagued by drought, and there's a lot at stake: irrigation for millions of acres of farmland in the country's biggest agricultural economy, drinking water for two-thirds of Californians from Silicon Valley to San Diego, and the fate of threatened wildlife.

In only the second climate change trial in the U.S., Exxon Mobil goes to court Tuesday accused of defrauding shareholders and the public. New York's attorney general brought the suit, which alleges that the oil giant misrepresented how carbon regulation would affect the company's financial outlook.

London says toxic air pollution has fallen by roughly a third inside a central urban zone where drivers are required to meet specific emission standards or pay a daily fine. The city launched the Ultra Low Emission Zone in April.

The city's report states that about 13,500 fewer polluting cars are driven in the zone daily, and that traffic has decreased overall in the bustling area.

When Claude Tayou Tagny was a young medical student on a rotation through clinics in rural Cameroon, he treated a woman during a difficult childbirth. She had lost, by his estimate, at least three pints of blood, triple the normal amount for childbirth and equal to roughly 30% of her total blood volume.

Tagny, with no supply of blood on hand, did the only thing he could: put out a call to the woman's family for emergency donations. He was only able to raise one pint.

"It was not enough," he says. The baby survived, but the woman did not.

Americans are losing trust in their doctors, says Dr. Marty Makary in his new book, The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care — and How to Fix It. The reason, he argues, is that medical care is just too expensive.

Better vaccines, nutrition and disease control have cut the global death rate for children in half over the past 20 years. But even within countries that have made major progress, children can face greatly different fates.

"Where you're born substantially impacts your probability of surviving to 5," says Simon Hay, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington who is the lead author of a new study on childhood mortality in Nature.

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When Laura Meyer won the World Pizza Championship for pan pizza in Parma, Italy, the Italian judges called her the male word for champion. Despite her first-place victory, she was the only winner who didn't get a trophy that day. Hers was mailed a year later.

"They basically refused to acknowledge that a woman had won," she said, recently recalling the snub. She was the first woman to win — and the first American. That was in 2013.

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Thousands of people in Chicago will soon find something unusual in their mailboxes - letters telling them that their medical debt has been wiped away.

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Imagine you are forced to go to a hospital to receive psychiatric treatment that you don't think you need. What rights would you have?

That's the question at the heart of a legal battle between the state of New Hampshire and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The case has big implications for New Hampshire, but it also highlights a nationwide problem: A shortage of mental health beds is leaving patients stranded in emergency rooms for days or weeks at a time.

Anxiety and agitation

If there's one thing you do want to catch from a trip to your doctor, it's her optimism.

A new study, published Monday in the journal Nature Human Behavior, finds that patients can pick up on subtle facial cues from doctors that reveal the doctor's belief in how effective a treatment will be. And that can have a real impact on the patient's treatment outcome.

Are Blackouts The Future For California?

Oct 21, 2019

After millions of Californians endured a power shutdown earlier this month, state officials are demanding that utilities find ways to reduce the impact of outages. Blackouts are almost certain to happen again to prevent devastating wildfires. In fact, power company Pacific Gas & Electric now says customers can expect outages for at least a decade as it upgrades its systems.

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Electric assisted bicycles, or e-bikes, are becoming more and more popular across the United States. Throughout the country's national parks, that could be a good and a bad thing.

It can be tough to distinguish an e-bike from a regular road or mountain bike by sight, but once you start pedaling, you sure feel the difference.

Scientists have created a new way to edit DNA that appears to make it even easier to precisely and safely re-write genes.

The new technique, called prime editing, is designed to overcome some of the limitations of CRISPR. That technique, often described as a kind of molecular scissors for genes, has been revolutionizing scientific research by letting scientists alter DNA.

More than 70 percent of American adults drink alcohol.

It’s a rite of passage that can become a life-long habit. And even for those who choose not to imbibe, drinking can feel like a quintessential part of adulthood.

But for some Americans, those habits can slip from occasional and innocuous to frequent and potentially fatal.

When Fertility Doctors Betray Trust

Oct 21, 2019

Both Matt White and Heather Woock grew up thinking they knew who their respective parents were. Then, in their mid-thirties, both discovered that fertility doctors that their respective mothers had visited had secretly used their own semen while conducting treatments.

Government of Prince Edward Island via Creative Commons / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Flu season has begun once again in Illinois, and public health officials are urging residents to practice good hygiene and vaccinate against the virus.

Brain scientists are offering a new reason to control blood sugar levels: It might help lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"There's many reasons to get [blood sugar] under control," says David Holtzman, chairman of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis. "But this is certainly one."

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Three of the biggest U.S. drug distributors and a drug manufacturer have reached a last-minute deal with two Ohio counties to avoid what would have been the first trial in a landmark federal case on the opioid crisis.

Summit and Cuyahoga counties announced Monday morning that the tentative deal amounts to roughly $260 million.

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Brain scientists say there is a new reason to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Doing so might help lower your risk for Alzheimer's disease. NPR's Jon Hamilton reports from the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

Uganda explicitly bars government officials from accepting gifts of any kind from cigarette-makers. French and British officials must publicly announce any encounters with representatives of the industry. Thailand and the Philippines won't even let officials take a meeting except under the narrowest of circumstances.

These are some of the measures deployed by countries around the world to limit influence over their anti-smoking policies, according to the first-ever Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index.

October marks the start of a new flu season, with a rise in likely cases already showing up in Louisiana and other spots, federal statistics show.

The advice from federal health officials remains clear and consistent: Get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, especially if you're pregnant or have asthma or another underlying condition that makes you more likely to catch a bad case.

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