When it comes to mental health, it’s easy to assume babies are too young to have complex emotions, experience intense stress or become depressed. Yet research shows otherwise: infant mental health reveals a lot about babies’ emotional needs, especially in the age of coronavirus.
The aid package UPMC received was one of the largest of any business or nonprofit, in any industry. Across the country, 25 healthcare providers received more direct grant funding, and about half of those were in New York and New Jersey, which were the hardest hit by COVID-19 early on, and some of which were eligible for additional funding.
The Air Pollution Control Advisory Committee, appointed by the county executive, is the starting point for all local air quality rules in Allegheny County, including those setting emissions standards, reporting requirements and enforcement.
On the list of public health recommendations known to help stem the global coronavirus pandemic, mask-wearing and social distancing are at the top. Unfortunately, complying with these basic public health measures has become politicized, leading some folks to refuse to do either or both.
Pablo Salazar’s difficulty getting a COVID-19 test in a reasonable amount of time is similar to many others’ experiences in Allegheny County and across the country. While experts say testing within 48 hours would be a reasonable benchmark, demand for testing in the United States means many patients are waiting much longer.
This month, UPMC filed its annual disclosures to the IRS, reporting gross receipts approaching $20 billion, as of June 30, 2019. UPMC's receipts — which reflect all money earned, without subtracting expenses — are roughly the size of the entire economy of Afghanistan, nearly 33 times the 2020 budget of the City of Pittsburgh, and 35% more than it reported just three years before.
The political context of the parks tax has changed considerably since March. The original debate over the tax centered around what it meant to spend the money equitably. Since then, Black Lives Matter protests across Pittsburgh have put the issue of equity front-and-center, drawing attention — and often support — from council.
The number of Allegheny County residents dying of opioid overdoses is rising again, after a drop of 40% in 2018 had many health experts hoping the tide of the epidemic had turned. The most recent data shows that the county had a 15% increase in overdose deaths in 2019. The 564 overdose deaths in 2019 were the third highest yearly total, according to data from Overdose Free PA. In 2016 and 2017, there were 650 and 737 total overdose deaths respectively. And the epidemic may only be getting worse in 2020, according to overdose data provided by the city of Pittsburgh, the county health department and the nonprofit Prevention Point Pittsburgh.
During the first five months of 2020 Allegheny County recorded a 28% increase in the total number of times emergency responders administered naloxone for an overdose compared to the first five months of 2019.
Pittsburgh recorded a 50% increase in overdose calls during that same time period.
Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission last week presented to the City Council a report with 11 recommendations on how to eliminate some of the city’s long-standing inequities.
The new report’s first recommendation points to the need to stop police violence in the city. Other recommendations, such as increasing sick leave, are specific and build upon work the city has already done with its new sick leave policy that was enacted in March and requires up to 10 days of sick leave for medium and large companies and three days for smaller ones. Some recommendations, such as a push for a universal basic income trial program, are new and would likely take substantial resources, even as the city faces a budget shortfall greater than $120 million due to falling revenue during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
According to industry experts, disease forecasters, lawyers, lawmakers and advocates, the fallout from the unfolding failures at nursing homes will likely come on many fronts: civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions that could hobble the ability to provide quality care; budget cuts that threaten funding; and a possible contraction in facility ownership.