The sixth annual Delta Health Disparities Conference at Arkansas State University on Friday focused on the non-medical factors that contribute to health disparities in Arkansas.

Health disparities occur when one population group experiences a higher proportion of illness, disability or early death when compared with another population group.

The horrors of war and the sacrifice of those who served were remembered when Arkansas State University held its Armistice Centennial Celebration on Sunday.

The event included the playing of traditional taps, and ASU Chancellor Kelly Damphousse read the names of 38 soldiers from Craighead County who died in World War I. 

Governor Hutchinson Wins Second Term

Nov 6, 2018

Asa Hutchinson has been re-elected as Governor of Arkansas. Unofficial totals following Tuesday's elections have the Republican incumbent with 63 percent of the vote to Democratic challenger Jared Henderson's 35 percent. Independent Mark West has a bit under three percent.

In a victory speech at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock, Hutchinson said his re-election is a mandate from the voters for lower taxes, improved education and investment in the state's infrastructure.

Ann Kenda / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

With the 2018 Farm Bill more than a month late, analysts are watching to see whether the bill will pass this year or go into 2019.

“States like Arkansas, and many others, that are highly dependent on agriculture have a big stake in the outcome,” said Ferd Hoefner, a senior strategic advisor and longtime Farm Bill expert with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

The mammoth legislation that covers a number of agricultural and rural programs did not pass by the September 30th deadline, leaving major programs such as crop insurance and food stamps to continue under the policies of the 2014 Farm Bill.  Other programs are in limbo.

The recent Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in Dyess has reneweed interest in the musical legend's childhood. 

In this new video from Arkansas Public Media, we take a look inside the agricultural resettlement home in rural Dyess where Johnny, then known as J.R., lived with his parents and six siblings after the Great Depression. 

App Aims to Ease Harvest Fire Concerns

Oct 21, 2018
Ann Kenda / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

When Arkansas State University assistant professor of digital design Joe Ford noticed that both he and his 3-year-old daughter were getting ill from smoke every autumn, he started wondering whether his design skills could help.

Ford teamed up with associate professor of physics Ross Carroll to build an agricultural burning app that helps farmers measure wind speed and direction and other factors to quickly determine whether a burn is safe or should wait for another day.

In Arkansas, the burning of residue from a row crop is legal, but the smoke draws complaints from communities about health risks, the distinctive odor and temporarily blocked highways.  In November, the rice industry offered voluntary smoke management guidelines to help ease the tension between communities and farmers. 

Jacqueline Froelich / Arkansas Public Media

As many as 15,000 people from the Republic of the Marshall Islands have moved to Northwest Arkansas to work, obtain health care and raise their children. But unlike the American nuclear family, islanders traditionally may relinquish their children to the care of relatives and clan members, if in dire need. By extension, a growing number of impoverished pregnant Marshallese women in Arkansas are consenting to private legal adoptions to improve their children’s welfare as well as to secure medical and living expenses. But some may not understand that they risk losing all contact with their child, under traditional Arkansas adoption rules. This autumn, community advocates and lawyers are laboring to protect the interests of both islander birth moms and parents wishing to adopt Marshallese babies. 

Doctors Urged To Tone Down Medical Jargon

Oct 11, 2018
UAMS

As part of Health Literacy Awareness Month this October, doctors and other health care professionals are being urged to ditch the medical jargon and adopt plain, real-world language that will be easier for patients and caregivers to understand and remember.

Arkansas Public Media spoke with Alison Caballero, program director with the UAMS Center for Health Literacy, about the effort to get health professionals to break the habit of using advanced medical terminology.  

Ann Kenda / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

Colleges and universities around Arkansas are hoping for an easier flu season this year by offering vaccinations to students.

At Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, students and others streamed into a mass flu clinic at the Red Wolf Center in the middle of campus at a rate of about 100 people an hour to get their shots early in the season.

Student Steven Holmquist said he was more than willing to give up a few minutes of his time to get a shot to protect himself and others, since the flu can spread quickly on a campus.

“I think it’s important to be worried about other people’s health as well,” he said.

Daniel Breen / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

Under the Environmental Protection Agency's Regional Haze Rule, states that didn’t meet air quality and visibility goals risked triggering federal controls. But now, the EPA is steadily giving control back into the hands of states.

Arkansas's plan, which is awaiting final approval, calls for one of its largest coal-fired plants, the White Bluff plant in Redfield, to stop burning coal within the next ten years.

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