Supporters of Planned Parenthood in the gallery of the Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro))

Commentary: “Life Protection Act” will hurt Tennessee’s most vulnerable women

BY: - March 17, 2022

This week, I attended the Tennessee House Health Subcommittee meeting and watched as legislators discussed and debated HB 2779 or “The Life Protection Act.” Many other women attending the meeting, worried about the ramifications of this bill, which seeks to outlaw all abortion in this state.  As an emergency physician, my job is to care […]

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2022 could break anti-LGBTQ legislation records

BY: - March 10, 2022

Tennessee’s legislative season is concerning transgender constituents, LGBTQ+ activists and officials around the country. The state could break its 2021 record by passing the most anti-LGBTQ legislation yet. Freedom for All Americans lists 14 bills on its anti-transgender legislative tracker, including one that would make gender-affirming healthcare for kids a crime. According to the Human […]

Kirkland Hall at Vanderbilt University (Photo: John Partipilo)

Suicides at Vanderbilt highlight demand for mental health services

BY: - February 21, 2022

Vanderbilt University has lost four doctoral students in the biomedical sciences program to suicide in the past two years, according to interviews with students and emails from the university.  The deaths have added stress in a community of only a few hundred students already struggling with intense professional pressure and heightened the demand for counseling […]

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“It has to become a part of the structure of community care.”

BY: - February 16, 2022

Like every Black parent, Dr. Tobi Amosun knew the day would come for her children to hear “the talk.” When her son was five, Amosun explained to him that the world operated differently for little Black boys, and that he would need to behave carefully around authority figures and learn to de-escalate a situation.  “This […]

Xtend Healthcare in Hendersonville, had no experience with contact tracing when it scored its first state contract for $20 million. (Photo: John Partipilo)

State ends no-bid contract with contact tracing firm, $65 million poorer

BY: - February 7, 2022

The state of Tennessee has wound down its contact tracing contract with Xtend Healthcare, a for profit medical billing firm hired in June 2020 through a no-bid contract in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic as state resources quickly became overwhelmed. Over the course of 19 months, the contract with the Hendersonville-based company — […]

Betsy Morley, Mary Kline-Barnes,MD Katrina Green,MD and Amy Gordon Bono< MD, MPH, hold signs during a legislative committee hearing. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Healthcare advocacy group urges Lee to take action

BY: - January 26, 2022

Parents, doctors and pastors asked Gov. Bill Lee to reinstate a state of emergency to deal with the ongoing COVID surge that’s forced dozens of schools to close in the past few weeks.  In a press conference organized by the Protect My Care, speakers described how Lee and “radical” politicians have left Tennesseans to deal […]

Memphis City Hall (Photo: City of Memphis Community Affairs page, Facebook)

CHOICES Memphis gets funds for playground to serve clients’ children

BY: - January 25, 2022

The Shelby County Commission awarded $25,000 to a nonprofit reproductive healthcare facility, despite controversy over the facility providing abortions for low-income women. CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health was founded in 1974 and offers a full range of reproductive services for women and the LGBTQ community.  Along with providing Pap smears, birth control, breast exams, […]

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 29 - First responders Memphis and Shelby County police officers, firefighters and EMTs get COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday Dec. 29, 2020. The Shelby County Health Department is administering the shots in a process that will go on for several weeks. (© Karen Pulfer Focht)

Shelby County approves $1.5 million for COVID testing kits

BY: - January 20, 2022

During a special session Wednesday, Shelby County commissioners approved $1.5 million for the purchase of at-home COVID testing kits as cases continue to spread throughout the county.  Shelby County’s weekly test positivity rate has decreased since last week, but residents are still testing at a positive rate of 35.9%, continuing the county’s streak of the […]

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Shelby County accepts opioid settlement

BY: - January 19, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted to accept $20 million as a partial settlement as part of a statewide effort to crack down on the opioid epidemic.  In March 2021, Memphis city officials filed a federal lawsuit against a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in fueling the opioid influx that has significantly […]

The State of Tennessee spent $11 million on messaging before firing Dr. Michelle Fiscus for spreading the message approved by Gov. Lee's office. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Judge rules fired Tennessee vaccine official Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue monetary damages

BY: - January 19, 2022

A federal judge has ruled that former Tennessee vaccination chief Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue claims for monetary damages against the state’s top two Department of Health officials after her controversial firing last summer — but the remainder of her lawsuit seeking a ‘name-clearing hearing’ and a finding that the state violated her constitutional rights […]

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$400 million in American Rescue Plan funds to support those with disabilities 

BY: - January 17, 2022

Thanks to American Rescue Plan funds, more Tennesseans with disabilities will hopefully be getting services they need, aimed at supporting them in their homes and communities. One state program, Enabling Technology, introduces gadgets to lessen dependence on in-home helpers.  In November, TennCare, Medicaid for low-income Tennesseeans, and the state’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities […]

Shelby County Commission. (Photo: Shelby County Government)

Shelby County add funds to target opioid addiction

BY: - January 10, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted Monday to add $168,700 to its operating budget to combat the county’s opioid epidemic. Shelby County previously received $506,000 from the Tennessee Department of Health for the period of Sept 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022 through an effort to target high-impact areas across the state. Today’s vote amended the […]