Health & Science

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The nationwide opioid lawsuits are far from over.

After last month’s settlement with drug makers and distributors, lawyers for Cuyahoga and Summit counties are focusing on the next set of defendants: pharmacies.

At the start of this month, attorneys for the two counties asked the court permission to add new claims against pharmacies to their lawsuits. The claims accuse pharmacy chains of failing to look out for suspicious opioid prescriptions.

photo of goats

Raw, unpasteurized goat milk can be bought in Ohio for use as pet food. But between the teat and the street, farmers have to do a lot of work to make the milk safe for human consumption.

In this installment of WKSU’s “OH Really?,” we try to help a listener who wants to “drink local” and buy fresh, raw goat milk right from the farm.

Bar graph showing the increase in suicide rates between 2007-2018.

Suicide rates are increasing in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Health says they’re trying to understand why.  

The Ohio Department of Health says five people die by suicide in Ohio every day, and the suicide rate has soared 45 percent in the past decade. The rate for adults over 65 is up nearly 50 percent, and for children up to age 24 it’s increased by 64 percent. Suicide is the leading cause of death among kids 10-to-14. And agency Medical Director Dr. Mark Hurst says authorities don’t know why.

Zoophycos fossil in rock. Trace fossils are any indirect evidence of ancient life. They refer to features in rocks that do not represent parts of the body of a once-living organism.


"If we find life on another planet, it's likely going to be microbial," said Ashley Manning-Berg, assistant professor in geology at The University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. 

"So a lot of the focus for evidence for life is not just to learn about the ecosystems on early Earth,  it's a way of telling us that if life evolved and then died on Mars, what do we look for?

Manning-Berg is studying how billion-year-old fossils of microorganisms were preserved on Earth, so we can know what to look for on other planets.  

Women’s Medical Center of Dayton.

The Ohio Department of Health has granted a license to Dayton’s only abortion clinic, allowing it to perform surgical abortions. 

The Dayton clinic has not been providing surgical abortions for the past couple of weeks because it lacked a required transfer agreement with a local hospital. It had obtained an agreement with area doctors who offered to treat clinic patients if necessary. 

photo of Daniel Hamilton

MetroHealth is opening a permanent clinic Tuesday at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland – specifically to treat LGBTQ patients.

A photo of professor Dr.Deric Kenne (left) and Dr.Ruoming Jin (right).

Could data have helped prevent the opioid crisis in Ohio? A Kent State University researcher says yes. Public Health Professor Deric Kenne is partnering with a Kent computer scientist to develop The Northeast Ohio Tri-County Prevention Infrastructure.

Only a small percentage of women in Cleveland are aware of a drug that can help prevent HIV infection, according to a new report.

Less than 15 percent of the 351 heterosexual women surveyed knew about pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP. It’s a pill that can help prevent those who are at a high risk of contracting HIV from getting the disease.

MetroHealth researcher Milana Bogorodskaya led the study and said PrEP was primarily marketed to men when it first came out in 2012.

an image of a brain

Epilepsy is a condition that we usually think of as being in the brain. Doctors typically identify it by measuring brain activity. However, new evidence has emerged showing that the brain may not be the only place we can see epilepsy.

Roberto Galan is an adjunct associate professor of electrical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. 

“When I investigated the electrocardiograms - the electrical activity of the heart - in patients with epilepsy, and in control patients, I found significant differences in the rhythm that the heart displays," Galan said. 

Figuring out America’s healthcare system can be hard for anyone. It can be especially challenging for refugees, who often face significant language and cultural barriers. But one group is trying to bridge that gap by training refugees as health navigators in their own communities.

Photo of Tom Zenty

Longtime University Hospitals CEO Thomas Zenty announced his retirement this week. 

Zenty officially steps down in 2021, at the end of his current contract.

Two more years to ensure a smooth transition will be good for UH, according to Tom Campanella, director of Baldwin Wallace University’s Health Care MBA program.

He says there’s major change going on throughout the health care industry.

a photo of a child with a nurse

An increasing number of Ohio children have no health insurance coverage. A report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families indicates the number of uninsured children in the state increased by 28% from 2016 to 2018. That amounts to nearly 30,000 children.

The Center’s Director Joan Alker authored the report. She cited policy changes as a reason for the loss in coverage.

a photo of the bedroom in the Zalika House

An effort in Akron to reduce the high infant mortality rate is expanding to include a house where new moms can go for respite. 

Crystal Jones describes the bedroom in a small, city-owned house on Akron’s westside. "We’re going to do safe sleep demonstrations over there, pack-n-plays, a little reading nook.” 

a photo of Lucy

The discoverer of the famous Lucy fossil has returned to Cleveland for a sold-out talk.

Donald Johanson was a curator of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History when, in 1974, he led the team that made the discovery of the ancient human ancestor.

He’s currently head of the Institute for Human Origins at the University of Arizona.

Pierre Auger Observatory at night
Steven Saffi / University of Adelaide, Australia

In the early 20th century, physicists discovered cosmic rays- energetic particles zooming through deep space. 

Many of these come from the sun, and can cause the northern lights. However, a few, very mysteriously, come from somewhere else with enormous energy.

Ohio Receives $39 Million In Suboxone Settlement

Oct 24, 2019

Ohio will receive $39.4 million from Reckitt Benckiser, a British drug distributor that makes a medication meant to reduce withdrawal symptoms for recovering opioid addicts.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced the $700 million multi-state deal Wednesday.

The drug distributor is paying to settle allegations that it made false claims about its medication Suboxone. Although the drug is used to help opioid addicts recover, it can also be addicting itself.

Photo of a person vaping

A recent outbreak of Lung Disease linked to vaping has prompted pulmonologists at the Cleveland Clinic to explore the link between the two.

Doctors began conducting lung biopsies on patients with a history of vaping. Director of Pulmonary Pathology Sanjay Mukhopadhyay led the study.

"Some people who vape definitely get lung damage, and that was not known before on a microscopic level and we have proved that in this study beyond a reasonable doubt," Mukhopadhyay said.

A photo of a baby

Senator Sherrod Brown is pushing for the reauthorization of a national program aimed at reducing infant mortality rates. The Healthy Start Program provides free and low cost medical care for mothers and their children.

Brown says the program also works to reduce racial disparities when it comes to infant mortality rates. African-American babies are three times more likely to die than white infants in Ohio.

a photo of representative Randi Clites

A local legislator is looking for ways Ohio can protect provisions of the Affordable Care Act. A federal court  is expected to rule soon on a Texas case that could strike down the ACA. State representative Randi Clites from Ravenna said that could jeopardize health care for people with pre-existing conditions. A bill she is proposing would protect families going through situations like her own.

Deal Reached In Cuyahoga, Summit Opioid Lawsuits

Oct 21, 2019

Updated: 5:39, Oct. 21, 2019

The three largest U.S. drug distributors and one drugmaker reached a $260 million settlement with Cuyahoga and Summit counties hours before the start of the first trial in the wide-ranging national litigation over the opioid crisis. 

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said they had reached a settlement in principle with distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson as well as drug manufacturer Teva.

a photo of John Nicholas and Stan Smith

Like death and taxes, being hit by a computer virus seems inevitable.

Cybercrime took a $100 billion bite out of the U.S. economy last year alone.

It’s not just individuals who are hacked. Cities, schools and small businesses are increasingly targeted.

In this week’s Exploradio, a look at local efforts to fight the onslaught by training the next generation of cyber warriors.

Kelly Kendrick is IT director at Coventry Local Schools, a small district south of Akron.

The nation's response to the deadly opioid epidemic has been broadly bipartisan, but deep divides have emerged over a settlement plan offered last month by Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin.

Democratic state attorneys general have generally panned the deal, which would force Purdue's owners, member of the Sackler family, to give up control of their company while paying roughly $3 billion in cash from their personal fortunes.

Ohio kindergarten vaccination rates from the 2018-2019 school year are less than the national average, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

photo of Akron Children's Hospital

Akron Children’s Hospital is leading the way in developing national guidelines for prescribing pain medication to children after surgery.

The process has led to a 44% reduction in narcotic prescriptions.

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Kerwyn Jones says his team developed the new guidelines after looking at prescription practices at five medical centers.

The very day President Trump was sworn in — Jan. 20, 2017 — he signed an executive order instructing administration officials "to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, while Congress got ready to repeal and replace President Obama's signature health law.