Erika Beras http://wesa.fm en Expected to Pass This Week, Bill Will Broaden Scope of Mandated Reporters http://wesa.fm/post/expected-pass-week-bill-will-broaden-scope-mandated-reporters <p>A plethora of legislation was proposed in the aftermath of the Sandusky Penn State sex abuse case. One of the most comprehensive bills is expected to pass this week.</p><p>Senate Bill 21 will broaden the scope of mandated reporters when it comes to child abuse – and hold them more accountable.</p><p>Mandated reporters are those who have contact with children, anyone from a public library employee to clergy to a medical examiner. These reporters would be required to alert law enforcement when they suspect a child is being abused.</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:24:48 +0000 Erika Beras 27280 at http://wesa.fm First-Of-Its-Kind Medical Trial To Place Patients Between Life and Death http://wesa.fm/post/first-its-kind-medical-trial-place-patients-between-life-and-death <p></p><p>Last week, the trauma center at UPMC Presbyterian began a medical trial using critically injured gunshot and knife wound patients. It’s similar to suspended animation, but surgeons are calling it Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation.</p><p>The patients will not quite be alive, but they also won't quite be dead.</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:28:51 +0000 Erika Beras 27149 at http://wesa.fm Faced With Daunting Medical Expenses, Some Turn To Crowdfunding http://wesa.fm/post/faced-daunting-medical-expenses-some-turn-crowdfunding <p>Medical care is costly, and for many people that cost is prohibitive. More and more often, people like Melissa Jones find themselves turning to crowdfunding to pay for those extras health insurance won't cover.</p><p>Walking down Fifth Avenue in Oakland, Jones' 10-year-old daughter Montana Delciello describes it as a full-on sensory experience. The sidewalks swell with people as bikes, cars, buses and ambulances weave in and out of lanes on the massive street.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 26377 at http://wesa.fm Faced With Daunting Medical Expenses, Some Turn To Crowdfunding How Treating Trauma in Refugees Has Evolved http://wesa.fm/post/how-treating-trauma-refugees-has-evolved <p></p><p></p><p>Dr. Richard Mollica, the director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma at Massachusetts General Hospital, has spent the last three decades working with refugees. This week, he was in Pittsburgh for a conference and sat down to speak about refugees and trauma with 90.5 WESA’s Erika Beras. This is part of the interview.</p><p>On how the work he has done has changed since the early '80s:</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 25815 at http://wesa.fm For These Refugee Students, Learning Life Skills Is Part of the Curriculum http://wesa.fm/post/these-refugee-students-learning-life-skills-part-curriculum <p></p><p></p><p>On Monday afternoon, a chartered bus wound its way through the steep, narrow roads of the South Hills on its way to Baldwin High School.</p><p>On board were employees of&nbsp;HIAS, an agency that works with the State Department in bringing refugees to the United States. HIAS works with Jewish Family and Children’s Services, one of four resettlement agencies in the Pittsburgh area.</p><p>Pittsburgh has become a hub for refugees. This week HIAS is holding its national conference here, and among the activities are visits to where refugees live, work — and go to school.</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 14:10:55 +0000 Erika Beras 25681 at http://wesa.fm Federal Report Criticizes How Pennsylvania Treats Mentally Ill Prisoners http://wesa.fm/post/federal-report-criticizes-how-pennsylvania-treats-mentally-ill-prisoners <p>The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections says a U.S. Department of Justice report criticizing the system for numerous reasons, including the prison’s excessive use of solitary confinement for inmates with mental illness or intellectual disabilities, is no longer valid.</p><p>“The report was accurate for the time frame but not reflective of our department today,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:03:16 +0000 Erika Beras 24975 at http://wesa.fm Casey: Coal Chemicals In Pennsylvania a Matter of Homeland Security http://wesa.fm/post/casey-coal-chemicals-pennsylvania-matter-homeland-security <p>Three thousand gallons of the chemical that spilled into the Elk River and contaminated tap water for 300,000 people in nine West Virginia counties has been moved to Armstrong County.</p><p>The January West Virginia contamination continues to have lingering effects on the water supply.</p><p>U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) says ensuring a leak like the one that occurred in West Virginia doesn’t happen here is a matter of holding private industry accountable and government regulation, starting from the top with Homeland Security.</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:19:35 +0000 Erika Beras 24257 at http://wesa.fm Translating Trauma: The Challenge of Treating Refugees With PTSD http://wesa.fm/post/translating-trauma-challenge-treating-refugees-ptsd <p>As a child in war-torn Somalia, Aweys Mwaliya&nbsp;saw friends and family killed in massacres. Fleeing the country, &nbsp;his family spent weeks walking to Kenya. The trip was so grueling, that along the way, his youngest sister died. The family couldn’t give her a proper burial.</p><p>"The feeling I have about those terrible things are very, very bad, and I’m still wondering why things like that happen, why people do things to other people,"&nbsp;Mwaliya, now 30 and living in Pittsburgh said.&nbsp;</p><p>In Kenya, his family spent a decade living in refugee camps.</p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 03:31:51 +0000 Erika Beras 23299 at http://wesa.fm Translating Trauma: The Challenge of Treating Refugees With PTSD Bhutanese Refugees Face a High Suicide Rate http://wesa.fm/post/bhutanese-refugees-face-high-suicide-rate <p>At a conference held in Pittsburgh last fall, several dozen men from around the United States discussed a disturbing trend in their community: the high suicide rate and prevalence of depression among Bhutanese-Nepali refugees.</p><p>"People are looking for resources where they can go to curb this mental health issue," said&nbsp;Buddha Mani Dhakal, editor of the Bhutan News Service.</p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Erika Beras 23133 at http://wesa.fm In Seeking Health Care, Many Refugees Have Only A Small Window of Opportunity http://wesa.fm/post/seeking-health-care-many-refugees-have-only-small-window-opportunity <p></p><p>On a blustery January morning, Leslie Bachurski is at Northern Area Multi Service’s offices in Sharpsburg. Bachurski, a health care navigator, is at the resettlement agency to help non-English speaking refugees enroll in health insurance plans.</p><p>Her first client of the day is Birkha Tamang, a 42-year-old Bhutanese refugee who has been in the United States for 16 months with his wife and kids. He’s the only one in his family with a job — and the only one without health care coverage. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 12:34:30 +0000 Erika Beras 23088 at http://wesa.fm In Seeking Health Care, Many Refugees Have Only A Small Window of Opportunity Navigating Health Care Can Often Leave Refugees Lost in Translation http://wesa.fm/post/navigating-health-care-can-often-leave-refugees-lost-translation <p>By the time the federally funded Squirrel Hill Health Center’s Mobile Unit opens its doors in the South Hills community of Prospect Park, people are already lined up, looking for help.</p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 22516 at http://wesa.fm Navigating Health Care Can Often Leave Refugees Lost in Translation When a New Home Means a New Diet, Health Problems Can Arise for Refugees http://wesa.fm/post/when-new-home-means-new-diet-health-problems-can-arise-refugees <p></p><p>On a typical weekday morning, 47-year-old Tek Nepal is moving about the Mount Oliver duplex he shares with his wife, sons, daughter-in-law and grandchild.</p><p>He works nights, so he gets his family time in the mornings. And often, that time centers around eating.</p><p>Those meals used to consist of lots of starches. But since a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis in 2012, they have changed.</p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 13:27:32 +0000 Erika Beras 21729 at http://wesa.fm When a New Home Means a New Diet, Health Problems Can Arise for Refugees For Refugees From War-Torn Nations, Mental Health Care Is Often Missing http://wesa.fm/post/refugees-war-torn-nations-mental-health-care-often-missing <p>On a Sunday morning last December, nearly a hundred people gathered in a West End church to dedicate their prayers to Claudine Mukankindi, a young woman who came to the United States as a Congolese refugee.</p><p>In December 2012, a year earlier, she died of a heart attack at age 36.</p><p>In a pew near the front was Adeline <span>Kihonia</span>. Dancing and chanting in worship, she had tears in her eyes.</p><p>"She was like a part of my family," Kihonia said. "When she passed away, it was like I lost a sister, a good sister."</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 21724 at http://wesa.fm For Refugees From War-Torn Nations, Mental Health Care Is Often Missing 'Stars' Film Makes Stars, And Friends, Out of Young Cancer Patients http://wesa.fm/post/stars-film-makes-stars-and-friends-out-young-cancer-patients <p>"The Fault in Our Stars," a movie adaptation of a critically and commercially popular young adult novel, has just finished filming in Pittsburgh and in the Netherlands.</p><p>The book and movie center around two teenagers who meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. Many of the extras in the movie are young people with cancer.</p><p>There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the movie adaptation of the beloved novel. Book author John Green says the story goes against the typical trope popular media brings us about the ailing.</p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 13:03:27 +0000 Erika Beras 19772 at http://wesa.fm Plans Underway for Light Up Night in Downtown Pittsburgh http://wesa.fm/post/plans-underway-light-night-downtown-pittsburgh <p>Thousands of people came downtown to see the Knit the Bridge project and the Rubber Duck earlier this year. Civic and corporate leaders hope thousands will also come to Light Up Night and will visit Holiday Market.</p><p>Light Up Night consists of big trees getting decorated throughout downtown, live music, other festive activities such as ice skating at PPG Place and, you guessed it, fireworks.</p><p>Jeremy Waldrup, who runs the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, said he expects more people than ever before to be a part of this years festivities.</p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 21:03:46 +0000 Erika Beras 19390 at http://wesa.fm Too Many Psych Patients, Not Enough Beds http://wesa.fm/post/too-many-psych-patients-not-enough-beds <p>Emergency Departments across Pennsylvania are seeing increasing numbers of psychiatric patients and many want to establish a real-time statewide bed-tracking system to find available psychiatric beds.</p><p>The Pennsylvania Medical Society, along with the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society is asking to work with the Department of Health and Hospital Association of Pennsylvania to establish the database.</p><p>Michael Turturro, Chief of Emergency Services at UPMC Mercy in Uptown says there is a great need for this.</p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 20:05:44 +0000 Erika Beras 18930 at http://wesa.fm Massive Cancer Study Needs Help http://wesa.fm/post/massive-cancer-study-needs-help <p>In its last big recruitment push for its latest major research study, The American Cancer Society is seeking participants in rural southwestern Pennsylvania counties such as Fayette, Cambria and Westmoreland.</p><p>Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3) is the third massive <a href="http://www.cancer.org/">American Cancer Society</a> study. CPS-1, which started in the 50’s, found links between smoking and lung cancer. CPS-2, which started in the 1980’s and is ongoing has found links between unhealthy behaviors and cancers. CPS-3 hopes to find major factors that can affect cancer risk.</p> Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:24:42 +0000 Erika Beras 18744 at http://wesa.fm For Victims of Sexual Violence, the Judicial System Can Often Add to Trauma http://wesa.fm/post/victims-sexual-violence-judicial-system-can-often-add-trauma <p>With sexual violence can come a host of mental health issues — depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder to name a few. But&nbsp;dealing with the judicial system can also bring a slew of problems for victims.</p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 11:34:38 +0000 Erika Beras 18166 at http://wesa.fm For Victims of Sexual Violence, the Judicial System Can Often Add to Trauma Prisoners Have High Incidents of Trauma, Researchers Find http://wesa.fm/post/prisoners-have-high-incidents-trauma-researchers-find <p></p><p>A new policy brief out of Rutgers University in New Jersey looked at male Pennsylvania state prison inmates and found that almost all of them had experienced traumatic events in their lives.&nbsp;</p><p>Nearly 600 men participated in the screening that looked at the prevalence of trauma in male inmates. Researcher Nancy Wolff, who runs the Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice Research at Rutgers, found that the men had experienced a wide range of trauma in their lives.</p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 18109 at http://wesa.fm The Exchange is Open ... Now What? http://wesa.fm/post/exchange-open-now-what <p>On Thursday afternoon, Carla Bailey was unsuccessfully trying to get customers&rsquo; attention at the Rite Aid on Smithfield Street downtown.</p><p>Bailey, a supplemental insurance agent, was working for Green Cross Insurance, a new brokerage firm setting up in Rite Aid stores to disperse information about the health exchanges. Bailey is working in stores throughout the region, and on Wednesday she had been in McKees Rocks, where one person signed up to learn more about the Affordable Care Act.</p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 20:55:01 +0000 Erika Beras 17594 at http://wesa.fm Pennsylvania Loses Money in Tobacco Dispute, Cuts Funding to Programs http://wesa.fm/post/pennsylvania-loses-money-tobacco-dispute-cuts-funding-programs <p>The Pennsylvania Attorney General&rsquo;s Office plans to fight an arbitration related to tobacco settlement money, but in the meantime, the Department of Health has started cutting millions of dollars.</p><p>That&#39;s expected to shutter tobacco programs such as&nbsp;Tobacco-Free Allegheny which will now be operating on a week-to-week basis.</p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 17385 at http://wesa.fm Options Aplenty, Lower-Than-Expected Premiums for Pittsburghers in Health Insurance Marketplace http://wesa.fm/post/options-aplenty-lower-expected-premiums-pittsburghers-health-insurance-marketplace <p>The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that people will have more options in the health insurance marketplace and premiums will not be as high as originally thought.&nbsp;</p><p>Premiums nationwide will be about 16 percent lower than originally expected.</p><p>“In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable,” Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 20:12:01 +0000 Erika Beras 17141 at http://wesa.fm Schools Begin Feeling the Pinch of Sequestration http://wesa.fm/post/schools-begin-feeling-pinch-sequestration <p>The calls didn&rsquo;t come on the first or second days of school. Or even the third. But they came soon thereafter and each day more of them are coming in.</p><p>&quot;What parents are finding is that the manpower that there to support their kids one on one isn&#39;t there,&quot; said&nbsp;Cindy Duch, director of parent advising at the Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership Center, or PEAL, an advocacy group that helps out parents of children with disabilities.</p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 17007 at http://wesa.fm As Obamacare Takes Effect, Getting Health Care to the Amish http://wesa.fm/post/obamacare-takes-effect-getting-health-care-amish <p>In Clarion County’s Licking Township there are vibrant green hills, windy narrow roads and traffic signs posted just as much for the trucks and tractors as for the horses and buggies.</p><p>It's a small, rural farming community north of Pittsburgh.</p><p>When you pull up to Emmanuel Schmidt’s home, you see acres of land, his woodworking shop and carriages. The 49-year-old Amish farmer knows Obamacare is coming, but he doesn’t quite know what that means.</p><p>"I’ve wondered, I’ve really wondered what’s going to happen with the health care, I don’t know," he said.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:21:52 +0000 Erika Beras 16604 at http://wesa.fm As Obamacare Takes Effect, Getting Health Care to the Amish Union Members to Help Enroll People in Health Care Exchanges http://wesa.fm/post/union-members-help-enroll-people-health-care-exchanges <p>On Tuesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius spoke at Allegheny General Hospital announcing a partnership with Service Employees International Union (SEIU).<br><br>The goal? To go into areas with high numbers of uninsured people and ensure they sign up for the health insurance exchanges, a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act. The exchanges are a health care market where people can compare different insurance plans based on coverage and prices.<br> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 20:07:40 +0000 Erika Beras 16290 at http://wesa.fm