Category: Featured - Part 21

Active case of tuberculosis on Auraria Campus: Could risk assessment and targeted testing help?

By Molly Maher Just a little more than a week after World TB Day , an active case of tuberculosis has been confirmed at the University of Colorado Denver. After the student, whose identity is being kept private, was diagnosed, an unconfirmed number of students, staff and faculty who were at risk of contracting tuberculosis were notified and encouraged to get tested, CU Denver spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery confirmed. This is the second case of active tuberculosis in the past 12 months reported to Health Center at Auraria. This compares to a record high of four active cases in 2000. Dr. Randall Reves, director…

Colorado No. 2 in increased rate of childhood obesity

By Diane Carman Colorado once again laid claim to being the fittest of the 50 states in 2010 with an obesity rate of 19.1 percent well below the national figure of 34 percent. When the statistics were released last summer, the chorus of self-congratulations could be heard from the Cherry Creek trail to the top of Mount Bierstadt. Behind those numbers lurks the specter of a far different future for the state, however. Childhood obesity here appears to be out of control. Lisa Piscopo, vice president of research for the Colorado Childrens Campaign, crunched the latest numbers from the National Survey of Childrens Health and…

Colorado No. 2 in increased rate of childhood obesity

By Diane Carman Colorado once again laid claim to being the fittest of the 50 states in 2010 with an obesity rate of 19.1 percent well below the national figure of 34 percent. When the statistics were released last summer, the chorus of self-congratulations could be heard from the Cherry Creek trail to the top of Mount Bierstadt. Behind those numbers lurks the specter of a far different future for the state, however. Childhood obesity here appears to be out of control. Lisa Piscopo, vice president of research for the Colorado Childrens Campaign, crunched the latest numbers from the National Survey of Childrens Health and…

Schools test anti-obesity programs

By Rebecca Jones EdNewsColorado Keeping kids thin and fit is no small order in 2011. Schools experiment with countless ideas to battle childrens obesity. Theyve tried cooking classes, nutrition education, inviting kids to work in school gardens, improving cafeteria food, banning sugary snacks. Theyve upgraded playgrounds, tinkered with recess, mandated daily physical activity, organized bike clubs and revised physical education standards. Theyve coached parents, coached teachers, coached lunch ladies, coached coaches. Yet for all the different approaches, the empirical evidence proving what works and what doesnt is remarkably sketchy. Evidence-based anti-obesity programs that repeated studies have proven effective simply dont exist…

Treatment options few for overweight kids

By Diane Carman Dr. Daniel Feiten has been shepherding babies and their parents through the challenges of childhood and adolescence for more years than he cares to count. He is a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he received the Career Teaching Scholar Award in 2009. He is one of the founders of Greenwood Pediatrics, one of the largest practices in Colorado. And, to his dismay mostly out of necessity he has become an expert on childhood obesity. So lets start with a little good news. Its my favorite success story, he said. A…

Lawmakers target $50 million from hospital fees to fill budget gap

By Katie McCrimmon Colorado lawmakers are targeting $50 million from the hospital provider fee to fund Medicaid spikes as the state faces a billion-dollar budget shortfall this year. The themes of this years legislative session will likely be creative budget dances like the dip into the provider fee, and cuts, cuts and more cuts. Lawmakers must balance the budget and are considering slashing everything from the popular school breakfast program for poor children to pet programs for veterans, the unemployed and other interest groups. During a Joint Budget Committee briefing with both the Senate and House health committees last week, Rep. Cheri Gerou,…

New law would require child-only health plans

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Major national health insurance carriers that have dropped child-only health plans in Colorado and throughout the country may be forced back into the childrens market if they wish to continue selling lucrative individual health insurance policies in Colorado. Childrens advocates, industry representatives and state officials have been meeting with lawmakers to draft a new law that likely will move forward in the coming weeks in the Colorado legislature. The measure has not been introduced yet. Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton , will be sponsoring the measure in the Senate while Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver and Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood , chairman of the House Health and Environment Committee,will co-sponsor…

Posh Aspen provides dismal health coverage

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon ASPEN The mountain man drives up the aptly named Castle Creek Canyon in a beat up 1981 rust-colored Chevy pickup. He winds past massive multimillion dollar estates owned by California wine billionaires and Texas oil barons. Hollywood stars Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith own a home nearby, and tennis great Martina Navratilova lives up the road. Wearing a gas-stained Aspen Ski Co. parka from decades ago when he worked on World Cup courses, A. Paul Disnard drives as far as he can. Then, the jeep road becomes impassable, buried in several feet of snow. The 64-year-old…

Record suicide toll rocks Colorado. Could altitude be to blame?

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon The iconic Western cowboy has long enchanted artists and pioneers alike. Who could be more carefree than a man alone on his horse, herding cattle as jagged peaks tower overhead? The romance with the Rocky Mountain West is fundamental to our American DNA. Yet, there is a hidden peril for these mavericks and stoic ranchers, as poisonous as cigarettes were to the rugged Marlboro man. Depression and suicide rates are alarmingly high among ranchers and rural residents in Colorado. Throughout the state, Colorado has set an unfortunate record with the highest number of suicides ever recorded…

Elective induced labor risky, costly

By Diane Carman The March of Dimes has a news flash for women everywhere: pregnancy is more than a nine-month commitment. Actually, its closer to 10. And if you want a healthy baby, there are no loopholes. As a society weve really focused on nine months of pregnancy, said Scott Matthews, director of program services for the Colorado Chapter of the March of Dimes. Surveys have found that women view pregnancy as 36 weeks long. But full term is 40 weeks, and research has shown that significant fetal respiratory and brain development occurs in those last four weeks. In the…