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.

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A few years ago, TV celebrity Rachel Maddow was at Rockefeller University to hand out a prize that's given each year to a prominent female scientist. As Maddow entered the auditorium, someone overheard her say, "What is up with the dude wall?"

She was referring to a wall covered with portraits of scientists from the university who have won either a Nobel Prize or the Lasker Award, a major medical prize.

Cancer Fears Over Ethylene Oxide In Georgia

Aug 25, 2019

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Massive stands of silvery trees rise skeletally out of saltwater marshes at the edges of the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, a significant part of the coastlines of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. A few dead or dying leaves cling to the trees' branches, but mostly, they are bare.

In contrast, lush forests spread out behind them, trees robed in green leaves and pine needles, still brown with bark, coated with their elegant summer colors.

Dale Knuth, now 58, says that in childhood her weight was a source of anguish — largely because of how her family treated her. "I had a brother who tormented me constantly," she says. "If I came home from school and was hungry and ate an apple, I'd be called a cow, or a pig or whatever."

Her parents, she says, did nothing to stop her brother "except to say, 'Yeah, you're getting fat.' " She had no physical outlet for her frustration — she wanted to play softball, but her mother wouldn't allow it.

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At a cancer treatment center in Iran's capital of Tehran, a doctor's fight to treat her cancer patients has become harder. As U.S. sanctions sink in, the flow of medicine and medical supplies in Iran appears to have slowed — and the reasons are difficult to pin down.

Dr. Mastaneh Sanei, an oncologist at the Roshana Cancer Center, says she's treating patients without the benefits of consistently functioning equipment and a reliable supply of drugs.

With the right treatment, she says, "you may not cure these patients, but they have the chance to prolong survival."

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It's flu shot season. Signs alerting and urging you to get a flu shot now may be up at your pharmacy or workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over 6 months old get a flu shot by the end of October, so the vaccine can begin to work before the influenza season begins.

Nailed It: Bringing Science Into Nail Art

Aug 24, 2019

Of all the things I love about being a girl, I love doing nail art the most. But I'm also a scientist, and scientists aren't usually associated with perfectly manicured nails. Nail art became my way of debunking some common stereotypes, including those that associate scientists with being cold or unapproachable.

I got into nail art four years ago after a friend of mine bought a beginner nail art kit. It contained one metal plate with various nail-sized designs etched on the surface – animals, flowers, food – along with nail polish, a scraper and a silicone stamper.

When Temperatures Rise, So Do Health Problems

Aug 24, 2019

A little Shakespeare came to mind during a recent shift in the Boston emergency room where I work.

"Good Mercutio, let's retire," Romeo's cousin Benvolio says. "The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, and, if we meet, we shall not 'scape a brawl."

It was hot in Boston, too, and people were brawling. The steamy summer months always seem to bring more than their fair share of violence.

But the ER was full of more than just brawlers. Heart attacks, strokes, respiratory problems — the heat appeared to make everything worse.

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So what can be done to stop these wildfires ravaging the Amazon? That is a question that's being asked by everyone from world leaders to protesters on the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

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The company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has won a major victory in Nebraska, where environmental activists, two Native American tribes and some local landowners had sought to derail its construction. The state's Supreme Court on Friday ruled unanimously in favor of an alternate route proposed by TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada.

This week, the Trump administration announced a new regulation that would allow it to detain migrant families who have crossed the U.S. border illegally for an indefinite period of time.

International concern is growing over the rapidly spreading fires that are destroying large swaths of the Amazon rainforest.

Lost in all the brouhaha about President Trump's scuttled plan to buy Greenland from Denmark has been this: What do the Greenlandic people think about the whole thing?

In the small capital city of Nuuk, "everybody is talking about it," says Alexander Montgomery-Andersen, a 30-year-old Greenlandic dancer and choreographer. "It's a little comical."

Wyoming, which is among the reddest of Republican states and a bastion of free enterprise, thinks it may have found a way to end crippling air ambulance bills that sometimes top $100,000 per flight.

The state's unexpected solution: Undercut the free market, by using Medicaid to treat air ambulances like a public utility.

When childhood cancer is diagnosed early and treated effectively, the survival rate is impressive. In the United States, for example, the five-year survival rate for children with cancer is 80 percent.

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The Amazon rainforest is sometimes called the lungs of the planet because it produces an estimated 20% of the oxygen in this planet's atmosphere.

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Dr. Kenneth Davis is the president and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. Many credit him with its financial turnaround, setting the system on a new path to success.

Davis elaborated on the challenges he faced as the new head of the system in an interview with Advisory Board:

Nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties across America are currently participating in a massive multidistrict civil lawsuit against the opioid industry for damages related to the abuse of prescription pain medication. The defendants in the suit include drug manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, wholesale distributors McKesson and Cardinal Health, and pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.

The Trump administration's proposal to push millions of people out of the federal food stamp program would punish some of the country's neediest, including children, seniors and people with disabilities, according to mayors of 70 American cities who have sent a letter to an administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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