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Posted inIN-DEPTH, Uncategorized

Find out what’s behind last year’s spike in motorcycle deaths

Public safety Last year was a bad one for motorcyclists, with a new estimate showing that 5,010 bikers were killed in crashes nationwide, the worst death toll in seven years.

In Pennsylvania, 179 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2015, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation [PennDOT].

Since Pennsylvania repealed its mandatory helmet law in 2003, PennDOT reports 2,567 motorcyclists have died in crashes.

Posted inDATA, Equity, HEALTH, IN-DEPTH, PUBLIC SAFETY, Troubled kids, powerful drugs

State won’t disclose names of doctors prescribing in youth corrections

VIDEO The state defied an Office of Open Records ruling and took the matter to court to conceal the names of doctors prescribing to kids confined in its six correctional facilities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services insisted the physicians who care for and prescribe to the state’s most chronic or violent youth offenders would be endangered if their names were made public.

Posted inDATA, Equity, HEALTH, IN-DEPTH, PUBLIC SAFETY, Troubled kids, powerful drugs

Where’s the oversight of psychiatric meds for PA youth offenders?

VIDEO Pennsylvania is lagging when it comes to tracking the powerful psychiatric medications kids get in the state’s youth correctional facilities.

While other states have reformed the way they control and track such medications so that it is done systemwide, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services follows only the total amount paid for the drugs prescribed in its six facilities on a systemic basis.

Posted inDATA, Equity, HEALTH, IN-DEPTH, PUBLIC SAFETY, Troubled kids, powerful drugs

PA juvenile offenders given psychiatric drugs at high rates

VIDEO Thousands of at-risk kids lived in six state-operated youth development centers and forestry camps from 2007 through 2013. Within the razor wire — or dense tree lines in forestry camps — psychiatric medications are flowing, despite the potential consequences to the developing brains and bodies of kids.

Posted inHEALTH, IN-DEPTH

Hepatitis C: Cost in the way of a cure

Dee’s liver is scarred, but just a bit too healthy for her insurance to foot the bill for the new medications that cure hepatitis C more than 90 percent of the time.

The Butler County resident, who suspects she got the virus getting a tattoo, was recently told by her doctor to come back in a year.

John, a retired small-business owner from Washington County who was given blood in the early 1990s, was also denied the antivirals. Now, as he watches a friend grow weak from liver cancer, he fears he’s glimpsing his future.