Health

Drexel University

When my wife became a nurse I suggested we move to Oregon where RNs make in excess of $20,000 a year more than in Idaho. I was joking (mostly) but that gap is hard to ignore. And it’s not much smaller for Washington or Nevada. Now a new info-graphic from Drexel University says we should ignore those raw salary numbers because Idaho is financially the best place to be a nurse.

phone, office
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline has received one of its largest grants to date. The nonprofit has been awarded $100,000 from the Idaho Division of Veteran’s Services. The hotline, which started almost three years ago, has grown to a 24/7 service for people dealing with a variety of mental health issues – including suicide.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Shannon Guevara stood in a courtroom in front of her peers — a group of people who, like her, had committed felonies but whose severe mental illnesses made them eligible for a special court. She talked about her four kids, her husband, the classes she was mandated to attend after being convicted of a drug crime. And she beamed, because on this June afternoon, she was another step closer to a happy ending.

Two women in Idaho have been infected with the mosquito-borne illness West Nile virus, marking the first confirmed human cases within days of each other in Idaho this year.

One woman is in her 60s from Washington County, but did not require hospitalization

However, the second woman —who is in her 40s from Payette County— was hospitalized after reporting symptoms beginning in early July. She is still recovering.

Macroscopic Solutions / Flickr

Idaho has its first human case of West Nile Virus for 2015. A woman in her 60’s who lives in Washington County got sick in late June.

Raemi Nolevanko is an epidemiologist for Southwest District Health. She says the woman had mild symptoms and did not go to the hospital.

“She was experiencing some pretty decent fatigue and then she mentioned fever, chills and some headache that she was having issues with,” says Nolevanko.

The woman is recovering.

Nolevanko says this first human case is right on schedule, based on last year's timeline.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Officials from St. Luke's Health System say they will not pursue a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to a federal judge's ruling that its purchase of Saltzer Medical Group violated antitrust laws.

The Idaho Statesman reports that St. Luke's CEO David Pate and board Chairman Skip Oppenheimer wrote in a letter to employees Thursday that they respect the Ninth Circuit Court's decision and are working to separate the two companies.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Doctors in America are facing burnout in high numbers. A 2012 national survey published in the Journal of American Medicine found almost 46 percent of doctors reported feeling symptoms of burnout. WebMD reported that same number in a report published this year.

Ada County Weed, Pest and Mosquito Abatement

Thursday night’s chemical bombardment of mosquitoes from a low-flying plane in Ada County went well before being interrupted by a storm. Weather permitting, the process will continue Friday night.

Brian Wilbur, Director of the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District, says the contracted plane sprayed parts of Star and Eagle around 10 p.m. Thursday. That gave the Dibrom Concentrate, which is a short-lived chemical, time to work before the rain moved in.

Alberto Garcia / Flickr

More mosquitoes, carrying the potentially deadly West Nile Virus, have popped up in traps in Canyon County. Two weeks ago, the disease was found between Parma and Notus. Now, mosquitoes at the Roswell Marsh near Parma have tested positive.

Ed Burnett, with the Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District, says they found hundreds of Tule mosquitoes in a trap on the marsh. Tules – which carry the virus – are rare for this area. Burnett says they’ve multiplied because of recent hot weather.

Idaho Statesman

The Boise City Council Tuesday will consider a revised master plan for St. Luke’s downtown hospital. A public hearing on the plan last week drew so much testimony for and against that the meeting lasted until 1 a.m.  As a result, the council delayed its vote to this week.

Evan James hymo/Wikipedia

Health officials say a third area in southwestern Idaho has rodents that are likely infected with plague.

Laurie Boston with the Southwest District Health Department says six voles and one wild mouse from the Riddle area were tested. One vole showed probable plague infection.

Riddle is 79 miles south of Mountain Home. The vole was found along Highway 51 in southern Owyhee County.

Boise Co-op

Update at 3:52 p.m.: The Boise Co-op reopened the store's deli following a health inspection Friday. Read more here.

The Boise Co-op’s deli is usually a bustling place. The North End store – which upgraded its deli in 2012 to stay competitive as chains like Whole Foods moved in – gets nearly a fifth of its business from the deli.

Omar Bárcena / Flickr

Idaho's online insurance exchange needs to collect $9 million in revenue by the summer of 2017 or risk dipping into its limited reserves in order to stay in business.

The federal government stopped providing funding for state-based exchanges on Jan. 1. This means the 13 states currently operating their own exchange must find a way to become sustainable.

A.Currell / Flickr

As Idaho gets ready for the third year of using a state health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are still adapting to the new system. This month, those companies announced some proposed rate increases for insurance policies next year.

The Associated Press reported last week that Blue Cross of Idaho has asked for the most rate hikes.

“[That’s] simply because we offer more plan options for people,” says Josh Jordan, manager of Corporate Communications with Blue Cross of Idaho. He says every insurance carrier in the state asked for increases.

Jean-François Chénier / Flickr

Ducks and geese may be missing from Idaho's county fairs as state officials are recommending a ban on waterfowl to fight the spread of bird flu.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the Idaho State Department of Agriculture plans to release a recommendation this week that fair boards prohibit showing ducks and other waterfowl. Such birds can be asymptomatic, meaning they can spread the disease while appearing healthy.

Pages