Healthcare

Gov. Bill Lee swears in Dr. Ralph Alvarado, pictured with his wife and Lee, as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health on Jan. 17. (Photo: tn.gov)

Health commissioner declines to answer reporters’ questions on HIV funds

BY: - January 25, 2023

Health Commissioner Ralph Alvarado got a hall pass in his first appearance before the Senate health committee, then dodged reporters Wednesday inquiring about the state’s new policy to end federal funding to nonprofits for HIV services. Alvarado, who came to Tennessee in December after serving in the Kentucky legislature and running for lieutenant governor there, […]

Elaine Stephens is examined by a medical student in University of Alabama-Birmingham's standardized patient program. In the early years of this program, Stephens says, some students' bedside manner would change once she revealed her was transgender. (Photo: UAB Office of Standardized Patient Education)

Transgender people in rural America struggle to find doctors willing or able to provide care

BY: - January 24, 2023

For Tammy Rainey, finding a health care provider who knows about gender-affirming care has been a challenge in the rural northern Mississippi town where she lives. As a transgender woman, Rainey needs the hormone estrogen, which allows her to physically transition by developing more feminine features. But when she asked her doctor for an estrogen […]

A rally in support of abortion rights drew hundreds to downtown Nashville on Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Federal judge could decide as soon as February to yank abortion pill nationwide

BY: - January 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — A Texas judge could decide as soon as next month whether to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull its two-decade-old approval of the abortion pill, which accounts for more than half of pregnancy terminations in the United States.  A nationwide injunction in the case, as requested by anti-abortion groups, would […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: People protest in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court's decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health overturns the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case and erases a federal right to an abortion. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Tennessee attorney general opposes federal abortion services for veterans

BY: - January 19, 2023

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has joined a coalition of chief law officers in opposing an interim rule allowing taxpayer-funded abortions and abortion counseling for veterans and beneficiaries. Skrmetti and 17 other attorneys general filed their amicus brief in the Western District of Texas in the case of Carter v. McDonough in support of the […]

Diane Derzis, operator of the Bristol Women's Clinic, addresses the media during an emotional news conference in Jackson, Mississippi on Friday, June 24, 2022, held in response to he U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. (Photo: Neirin Gray Desai/Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting)

Bristol abortion clinic owner: ‘I don’t need a welcome mat’

BY: - January 18, 2023

A looming local ordinance banning abortion clinics, daily protestors and a lawsuit by her landlord do not faze Diane Derzis, owner of the newly established Bristol Women’s Health clinic located about a mile across the Tennessee border in Virginia.  Since it opened in July, Derzis’ abortion clinic has also drawn condemnation from the local Catholic […]

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. House Republicans push through two anti-abortion measures in first work week

BY: - January 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday approved its first  measures under a new Republican majority, eliciting strong support from GOP members and opposition from Democrats, who rejected the legislation as misleading and incomplete.  Republicans, who secured a four-seat majority during the November midterm elections, said the bill setting medical standards on a national level […]

Conceptual image of a small child's hand reaching to grab a small soft blue toy bunny by the paw. The toy is illuminated by sunlight and shadows provide space for copy.

Report: High levels of “foster care instability” among kids in Tennessee care

BY: - January 11, 2023

Kids in Tennessee are more likely to be shuffled from one temporary home to another during their first year in foster care than foster kids living anywhere else in the nation, according to a new report.  The Department of Children’s Services’ high levels of “foster care instability” are highlighted in the “State of the Child” […]

Bristol, Virginia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Suit by landlord targets Bristol Women’s Health Center over abortions

BY: - January 10, 2023

Five months after a Tennessee abortion provider moved its clinic across state lines, its Virginia landlords have filed suit saying they want the clinic out.  The lawsuit, filed last month in Bristol, Virginia Circuit Court by commercial property owners Chadwick and Claud King, accuses the operators of the Bristol Women’s Health Center of fraud and […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

New law requires Tennessee Children’s Services to cover more kids 18-21 leaving state custody

BY: - January 9, 2023

A new law taking effect this month requires the Department of Children’s Services to add additional services for kids leaving state custody who are between the ages of 18 and 21. The law requires DCS to pay low-income relatives of those children stipends set at 50% of the rate paid to foster parents while kids […]

Cutline:Advocates, legislators, and pregnant workers rallied in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act on Dec. 1, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The amendment was included in the federal spending bill signed by President Joe Biden at the end of the year. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for A Better Balance)

Here’s what you need to know about new workplace protections for pregnant, nursing workers

BY: - January 5, 2023

The$1.7 trillion federal spending bill President Joe Biden signed last week ushers in expanded protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing. Proponents of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act — both included as amendments to the spending bill — say the measures clarify rights for these workers, who […]

Nashville-based Envision Healthcare (Photo:John Partipilo)

ER Doctors Call Private Equity Staffing Practices Illegal, Seek to Ban Them

BY: - December 27, 2022

A group of emergency physicians and consumer advocates in multiple states are pushing for stiffer enforcement of decades-old statutes that prohibit the ownership of medical practices by corporations not owned by licensed doctors. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have rules on their books against the so-called corporate practice of medicine.But over the years, critics say, companies […]

Department of Children's Services Commissioner Margie Quin with DCS Chief of Staff Andy Verenski, speaking to a legislative committee on December 14, 2022. (Screen grab from Tennessee General Assembly video)

Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Quin outlines efforts to address ongoing crises

BY: - December 15, 2022

A day after a damning report chronicling ongoing crises within the Department of Children’s Services, agency leaders testified about efforts to address problems that have led to children being taken from their families as a result of abuse or neglect only to be subjected to additional abuse and neglect while in state custody.  Margie Quin, […]