All posts by swva gmec

Guest View: Don’t forget about medical cannabis patients in rural Virginia

The Virginia Medical Cannabis Coalition has made 2020 their year to advocate for barrier reduction when it comes to creating patient access to cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil. A statement from the Pharmacist in Charge and Founder/Chief Pharmacy Office of Dharma Pharmaceuticals details their plans to bring regulated, medical-grade cannabis to Health Service Area 3. This push is also looking to expand prescribing capabilities of current practitioners – following federal regulations for Schedule II through V controlled substances via telemedicine.

Click HERE to read.

Rethinking Rural Health: Maternal and Infant Health RFI

Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, brings her personal experience working on infant mortality prevention into today’s conversation on maternal and infant health. She discusses the trajectory of the issue and remarks on CMS efforts and their ‘Rethinking Rural Health Initiative’.

Request for Information has been released and is seeking feedback from the community to better direct future CMS programs and policies. The deadline for submissions is April 12, 2020.

Click HERE to read.

Reuters: Trump Administration Restricts Some E-Cigarette Flavors

The U.S. Health & Human Services secretary along with several public health advocates weigh in on the Trump administration’s decision to exempt tobacco and menthol from the e-cigarette flavors ban. A FDA regulation, set to take effect in February, is meant to curb future users and the usage among the existing 27.5% of addicted high schoolers. Opinions on the matter ranged from criticism to labeling this move as a “smart, targeted policy that is an evidence-based, science-based health approach.”

Click HERE to read.

Daily Press: Virginia could see its biggest-ever jump in spending on mental health treatment

Governor Ralph Northam has proposed a $228 million package to fund Virginia’s mental and behavioral health services. This 11% uptick will be put towards the state’s nine hospitals and private institutions over the next two years. If approved, Community Service Boards and other key support services will be funded in order to ease the discharge process. Improving upon the state’s current crisis services, outpatient services, veterans’ programs, peer support services, supportive housing and assertive community treatment teams will be a priority for prevention.

Click HERE to read the budget breakdown.

Editorial: Should Metro America Subsidize Rural America?

This Roanoke Times Editorial explores the polarizing comments made by Jackson Kernion and Brad Blakeman, both academics discussing the following popular, unspoken opinion – “Why bother [with economic revitalization in rural communities]? Maybe investing in rural America— especially the coalfields of Appalachia — is simply a waste of resources. Maybe the federal government should simply buy out people who live there and let the region revert to nature as a giant national forest.

Click HERE to read.

$44,000 for an Ambulance, Hour-Long Drives to an ER: The Impossible Cost of Healthcare in Appalachia.

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Mason Adams captures Southwest Virginia’s healthcare climate and the dire consequences brought on by rural hospital closures. Downgraded trauma centers, a lack of providers and reliable, cost-efficient transportation are a few things affecting a community where the median income has remained around $32,590. The article also includes testimony on how the community continues to rally in an effort to secure the care that they deserve.

Click HERE to read.