Pennsylvania Department of Health

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny County Health Department announced Friday that it does not have enough Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for second dose appointments that would have been scheduled starting Feb. 24.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Website

On today's program: Designer and Carnegie Mellon University instructor Karen Kornblum explains how the state’s COVID-19 website could be improved as more and more people seek vaccines; Those with Phase 1A eligibility are having a hard time scheduling their vaccination, and reporter Kiley Koscinski explains how they’re enlisting family and friends to make an appointment. 

As the fall resurgence of COVID-19 cases continues to set records, Gov. Tom Wolf pleaded with Pennsylvanians to follow mitigation protocols Monday. Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine issued a stay at home advisory two weeks ago, but the effort has not stemmed the spread of COVID-19.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: An epidemiologist explains why recently released health data for Pittsburgh women and children continues to fall along racial lines; President Donald Trump performed well in Pennsylvania, but it’s unclear if that GOP support will carry beyond his tenure; and a we hear a few suggestions for getting outside, even as the cold weather arrives.

Kathy Young / AP

Over the weekend, Pennsylvania reported 10,000 new cases of the coronavirus, continuing a surge of infections that shows no sign of slowing down.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

 


On today's program: The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported another record high number of COVID-19 cases this past weekend; and Democrats won the presidency, but didn’t fare as well on down ballot races.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, or WPIAL, said Monday that fall sports can be played safely and criticized what it called "inconsistent messaging” from state officials.

In a press conference, WPIAL Executive Director Amy Scheuneman said the league agrees with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association’s move last week to postpone mandatory sports events for two weeks rather than cancel play through the fall. As of now, WPIAL plans to start its football season Sept. 10th.  

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it is taking steps to learn more about the health risks of fracking following criticism from an investigative grand jury.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Allegheny County is set to move into the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan on Friday. In its plan to restart the economy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Wolf administration said that in order for an area to reopen, there must be sufficient capacity for both testing and case investigation, including contact tracing.

Lynne Sladky/AP

Should you visit your mom this Mother’s Day? A doctor from Pennsylvania’s largest medical system says yes, while the Pennsylvania Department of Health seems to disagree.

ROBERT PFEIL / AP

Western Pennsylvania is seeing more flu cases than what’s usually seen at this point during the season, according to state Department of Health data.

So far, Allegheny County is reporting that 1,223 people have gotten the flu. In comparison, only 137 people in the more populous Philidelphia County have reported coming down with the virus.

Janice Carr / CDC via AP

More vigorous testing and treatment could significantly decrease the likelihood of children getting sepsis, a complication of an infection that can sometimes be life-threatening, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. 

John Amis / AP

Researchers have apologized to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for erroneously calling Pittsburgh a “hot spot” for kids going unvaccinated for religious or philosophical reasons.

Screengrab / CDC

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday. Since 2016, there have been 45,000 suicides nationwide.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The insurance mandates of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid helped prevent hospitals in Pennsylvania from losing more than $80 million in 2017. 

The findings come via a report on the state's health care finances from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), an independent state agency established in the 1980s by the state legislature to analyze and report information to improve the costs and quality of health care in Pennsylvania. 

Jennifer Peltz / AP

Pennsylvanians have started receiving identification cards to get medication through the commonwealth's new medical marijuana program.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says more than 1,000 people signed up for the state's new medical marijuana program on its first day.

A health department spokesman tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the registrations include patients and caregivers.

The department announced Wednesday that it was accepting applications to participate in the system.

A 2016 state law gives people under a doctor's care access to medical marijuana if they suffer from an illness on a list of 17 qualifying conditions.

Pennsylvania Starts Signing Up Medical Marijuana Patients

Nov 1, 2017
David Goldman / AP

Pennsylvanians are closer to being able to get marijuana to help treat their medical conditions as the state is launching its patient and caregiver registry.

The Health Department announced Wednesday that a pilot program was successful and the agency is accepting applications to participate in the system. It's expected to be up and running within six months.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

For several months, the state Health Department has been refusing to disclose who is on the panels that scored applications for medical marijuana licenses.

But now, the Department of Open Records is ordering the agency to release the information. 

The Open Records decision comes after protracted back-and-forth between the DOH and PennLive.

After releasing permits to grow, process and sell medical marijuana to select applicants, the department wouldn’t name the panelists who had made those decisions.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A Department of Health report out this week has shown that only 28 percent of Pennsylvania children undergo recommended lead testing.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

As students in Pittsburgh and across the state prepare to head back to school, they will be required to comply with a new immunization policy from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

eggrole / Flickr

Physicians in Pennsylvania can now register to participate in the state’s forthcoming medical marijuana program.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

report released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health Wednesday shows the backlog of untested rape kits is shrinking, but is still far from gone.

The report found there are 3,217 rape kits in the state waiting to be processed. Of those, 1,214 were more than a year old, which the state defines as backlogged.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Several House committees held the latest in a string of hearings Monday about Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to consolidate four state agencies.

Many lawmakers expressed the same concerns they’ve been voicing for weeks—they want more details before they make any decisions.

The combination of the departments of Drugs and Alcohol, Aging, Human Services, and Health is considered the biggest agency merger the commonwealth has ever done.

Indiana County Republican Cris Dush voiced a common complaint—that it’s all moving way too fast.

Ted S. Warren / AP

One year ago, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law was signed by Gov. Tom Wolf. Officials with the Department of Health said they hope the first prescriptions will be filled in May of 2018.  

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Births in Allegheny County are expected to rise for the third consecutive year in 2017, but state Department of Health officials are hesitant to pin it on any one reason – especially a hockey game.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program seems to be performing well  in its first four months, with more than 60,000 health care professionals using the database.

The program, called PDMP for short, launched in August and includes more robust reporting requirements for doctors and pharmacists.

Katie Meyer / WITF

This year, state legislators determined that the Department of Health would be responsible for reducing the backlog of untested rape kits. So far, department of health officials said that effort has not been successful.

Part of that agreement also stipulated that the Department of Health would ensure that local police departments submitted all of the untested kits.

Pennsylvania Internet News Service

 

Pennsylvania has officially joined nearly every other state in the U.S. by setting up a program to track prescriptions of powerful drugs like oxycodone and methadone.

It's considered a big step forward to address the addiction crisis.

Doctors, physician assistants and other prescribers can now check the database to see when a patient last received the drugs.

Jamie / Flickr

Pennsylvania has used a prescription drug monitoring program and database since 1972 and it’s due for an upgrade.

“Although it was a prescription monitoring system, it was woefully inadequate,” said Michael Zemaitis, a University of Pittsburgh pharmaceutical science professor.

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