The Chrysalis house is an addiction treatment center in Pine Bluffs with a unique mission: it provides a home for recovering women and their children.
But the program doesn’t have enough money to stay open much longer.
“We really have been very devoted to the program which is why we took on that financial risk a long time ago,” says Dr. David Birney, Executive Director of Cheyenne’s Peak Wellness Center, which operates the Chrysalis house. “At this point there just aren’t sufficient funds to support it.”
They say measles is being transmitted by international travelers and is infecting those who do not have a measles vaccination. Wyoming Department of Health spokesman Kim Deti said state officials are monitoring the situation.
“In Wyoming we haven’t had a case reported since 2010. What seems to be different here than everywhere else? Well, the real truth is…we’ve been lucky.”
The Wyoming House of Representatives failed to introduce the second of two committee-sponsored Medicaid Expansion bills, essentially ending the chance that lawmakers will approve an expansion this session.
The bill was based on the Medicaid fit program that was created by the Wyoming Department of Health. Cheyenne Republican Sue Wilson urged the House to debate it.
Representative Sue Wallis has drafted a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Wyoming. She’s even considering revising it to include recreational marijuana, as well. Wallis toured facilities in Colorado where recreational marijuana is packaged and labeled and says she was impressed with how smoothly everything is going.
Park County saw an increase of 144-percent in newly reported Hepatitis-C cases from 2011 to 2012
The Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator with the Wyoming Department of Health, Ashley Grajczyk, says right now Park County has about double the state rate of cases.
“What that means is we have an outbreak in that county,” she says.
Grajczyk says the health department is “attributing the majority on newly reported cases to injection drug use. 41% of cases reported in 2012 indicated that they had either been currently, recently, or formerly injecting drugs.”
Flu shots are available in many pharmacies and doctors’ offices across Wyoming, but an infectious disease doctor recommends people put off getting immunized until next month.
Dr. Mark Dowell is the Public Health Officer for Natrona County and is a physician at Wyoming Medical Center. He says Wyoming’s flu season doesn’t usually peak until January, and he says a flu shot from September might be less potent by then.
Wyoming Medicaid is removing a cap on the number of people who can receive long-term care at home. Long-term care is assistance for older adults who are not able to function on their own.
Jesse Springer with Wyoming Medicaid says the change will mean that more elderly individuals will have the option to stay in their homes or communities, rather than move to nursing homes. He says it also makes financial sense.
The Wyoming Department of Health has come up with a plan meant to increase the number of people who can receive services because of developmental disabilities.
The department’s Chris Newman says they currently provide extensive services, including around-the-clock care, for many individuals. But the waiting list to get those services is long. Now, they want to start providing a more limited array of services to people with less acute cases.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a number of things are changing concerning Medicaid in Wyoming. Jan Stahl is the eligibility and operations administrator for the Wyoming Department of Health. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with Stahl, who says the changes will take place January first.
Earlier this year the Wyoming legislature told the State Department of Health to study the rising costs of Medicaid and determine if the program can be changed.
This week the Department will begin a series of meetings to see if members of the public have ideas on how the program can be both more efficient and improved. Medicaid pays for the health care of low income people and those with disabilities. Health Department Spokeswoman Kim Deti says this is not just about trimming the budget.
Officials at Sheridan Memorial Hospital say they are being upfront and transparent with the Wyoming Department of Health and patients in regards to equipment that may not have been properly sterilized.
According to the Department of Health, Sheridan Memorial failed to fully sterilize a piece of surgical equipment known as a laryngeal mask airway between May and November of last year.
Mike McCafferty is CEO of Sheridan Memorial. He says the hospital is looking into how the situation occurred.
The Wyoming Department of Health is facing budget cuts of five percent, following the denial of two budget items by the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee last month. The department asked the J-A-C to replace 48 million dollars that was lost after federal budget money ran out.
The funding was for mandatory Medicaid and mandatory emergency health detention costs.
With the denial, Department of Health Director Tom Forslund says his office is looking at some major cuts.
The Wyoming Department of Health is reminding women to take steps to reduce their risk of cervical cancer. Carol Peterson of the Wyoming Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program says there has been significant progress in the fight against cervical cancer in recent year. But a state Health Department report says Wyoming is ranked low at 45th in the nation for women reporting they had at least one Pap test in the past three years. Wyoming currently has a 78.3 percent Pap test screening rate,