Erika Beras en For Two Cuban Dancers, a New Life in the U.S. <p></p><p></p><p>It’s early on a sunny summer morning and Damien Martinez Coro is leading a group of young ballerinas through a rigorous dance routine at the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh.&nbsp;</p><p>As he moves through the studio, he keeps time by snapping his fingers while yelling commands and adjusting the girls’ forms.</p><p>The dance school in Bethel Park is a far reach from his hometown of Matanzas, Cuba.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:49:34 +0000 Erika Beras 32660 at For Two Cuban Dancers, a New Life in the U.S. At Summer Seminar, Students Learn to Think Critically About Global Issues <p></p><p>For a small group of local teenagers, part of their summer has been spent learning to think critically about global issues. For the past two weeks the students have been learning Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, hearing speakers who work in the international community and learning from one another in the 2014 Summer Seminar of Global Issues.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:33:27 +0000 Erika Beras 32775 at For Women With Asthma, Additional Complications Arise During Pregnancy <p>On a recent afternoon, Kelly Liartis is at Magee Women’s Hospital for a check-up. She’s talking to her doctor Hyagriv&nbsp;Simhan about her soon-to-be-born baby — and her frequent summer asthma flare-ups.</p><p>He's telling her that despite her fears, its actually OK to use her inhaler ... it's been used in pregnancy, as he says with a laugh, for a "bajillion years."</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 11:53:00 +0000 Erika Beras 31698 at For Women With Asthma, Additional Complications Arise During Pregnancy New Round of Healthcare Navigator Funding Announced <p>The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced last week $60 million dollars in funding for navigators to help people sign up for health insurance during the second round of open-enrollment period in the marketplace.</p><p>The health insurance marketplace is a key component of the Affordable Care Act.</p><p>This next open enrollment period begins November 15.</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 20:02:39 +0000 Erika Beras 31084 at District Attorney Says Pittsburgh Officer Justified In Wilkinsburg Shooting Death <p>Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala says a Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed a man in Wilkinsburg in April was justified in opening fire.</p><p>Officials say Adrian Williams, 29, who was killed in the shooting, had led police on an early-morning high-speed chase that started in Homewood and ended in Wilkinsburg, when he crashed the car he was driving and then ran through yards with a handgun.</p><p>Zappala said at least 12 other officers were at the scene and had been involved in the chase. Officer Christopher Kertis shot Williams six times.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:54:51 +0000 Erika Beras 30370 at City Council And Some Citizens Say DEP's Proposed Regulations Are Too Lax <p>Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection held public comment for their proposed new regulations at coal-fired power plants that is supposed to limit smog-causing pollution.</p><p>Those present at a rally at DEP’s offices in Pittsburgh before the public comment said the proposed regulations are lax toward coal-fired power plants and will worsen smog problems in a region already known for poor air quality.</p> Tue, 27 May 2014 19:14:41 +0000 Erika Beras 29922 at McClelland Trumps Hugya for Dem Nod in 12th District <p>Erin McClelland will be the Democrat running for the 12<sup>th</sup> Pennsylvania Congressional seat against Republican Keith Rothfus this fall.</p><p>In 2011, the 12<sup>th</sup> district was redrawn – McClelland, who is currently a health care administrator, says that made campaigning particularly hard early on.</p> Wed, 21 May 2014 04:32:32 +0000 Erika Beras 29576 at Sen. Casey Introduces New Bill Addressing Child Abuse <p>U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says the federal government can play a role in prosecuting child abusers.</p><p>Casey is introducing a bill, the Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act, that says all adults responsible for children should be required to report cases of child abuse and neglect.</p><p>“It would require all states to pass and enforce a law requiring adults with a professional responsibility to children to report instances of known or suspected child abuse,” Casey said.</p><p>The proposal comes in the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 19:37:33 +0000 Erika Beras 29277 at For Those With Traumatic Brain Injuries, Yoga Might Provide Some Benefit <p>On a recent Thursday night, a group of barefoot people are moving through a yoga practice at Bend Yoga’s studio in downtown Pittsburgh.</p><p>It’s a yoga class for people with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder — or both. Among them is Chris Ohleger, who said yoga has benefited him in ways no other treatments or therapies have.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 11:39:32 +0000 Erika Beras 28775 at For Those With Traumatic Brain Injuries, Yoga Might Provide Some Benefit Those With Autism, Alzheimer's Could Be Found If They Wander With New Bracelet <p>Allegheny County’s District Attorney Stephen Zappala and police officers from the area announced countywide efforts to help families with members with cognitive brain issues such as Autism and Alzheimer’s disease.</p><p>Ten police departments in Allegheny County — Aspinwall, Bethel Park, McKeesport, Millvale, Moon, Monroeville, Northern Regional, Munhall, Elizabeth and the city of Pittsburgh — will be training police officers to use a radio transmitter reader that, when activated, can track bracelets issued to those with special needs.</p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 19:45:25 +0000 Erika Beras 28470 at For Latino Children With Autism, Additional Barriers Exist <p>The only thing Kai Arroyo eats is butterscotch pudding. He only drinks milk from a bottle. When he speaks, you get the sort of language that you expect from a kindergartener – not a seventh grader. And he can’t go to the bathroom on his own.&nbsp;</p><p>"He’s still wearing pull-ups at 13," said his mother Astrid Arroyo. "I know! He’s actually a little more vocal about letting us know when he needs to go to the bathroom, but he’s still not fully there, so he’s still dependent on us to remind him and take him to the restroom."</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Erika Beras 27940 at For Latino Children With Autism, Additional Barriers Exist Advocates For Public Schools Want A Funding Formula <p>Leaders of statewide groups that represent school boards, school business officials and educational coalitions released a survey they commissioned among selected voters in Pennsylvania.</p><p>The majority of the voters surveyed said public schools affect the economy and that school funding should be increased.</p><p>When asked, 84 percent of voters in Pennsylvania said they believe public schools have a very strong effect on economic development. Advocates say this is evidence the state needs a fairer funding formula.</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:09:05 +0000 Erika Beras 27989 at Expected to Pass This Week, Bill Will Broaden Scope of 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 First-Of-Its-Kind Medical Trial To 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 Faced With Daunting Medical Expenses, Some Turn To 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 Faced With Daunting Medical Expenses, Some Turn To Crowdfunding How Treating Trauma in 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 For These Refugee Students, Learning Life Skills Is Part of the 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 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 Casey: Coal Chemicals In Pennsylvania a Matter of 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 Translating Trauma: The Challenge of Treating Refugees With 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 Translating Trauma: The Challenge of Treating Refugees With PTSD Bhutanese Refugees Face a 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 In Seeking Health Care, Many Refugees Have Only A Small Window of 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 In Seeking Health Care, Many Refugees Have Only A Small Window of Opportunity Navigating Health Care Can Often Leave Refugees Lost in 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 Navigating Health Care Can Often Leave Refugees Lost in Translation When a New Home Means a New Diet, Health Problems Can Arise for 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 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 <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 For Refugees From War-Torn Nations, Mental Health Care Is Often Missing