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Med Beat


Recent Articles

Wednesday 02/10/2016
Posted: February 10, 2016 - 11:00 am
Research notes: Understanding life, weight and the brain's experiences

News on the research front:

Friday 02/05/2016
Posted: February 05, 2016 - 3:46 pm
When you teach a vet to fish ...

The local Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing held its first rod-building session and landed big publicity. Bob Crawshaw, deputy regional coordinator for the Virginia region reported the session mer...

Posted: February 05, 2016 - 10:45 am
Should the free market apply to health care?

The hot topic under discussion by lawmakers could make many Virginians eyes glaze over, but the end result could affect both access to health care and the cost of it.

Wednesday 02/03/2016
Posted: February 03, 2016 - 2:15 pm
Chart notes: gold seal, Medicaid expansion, lecture

Making the rounds in my inbox:

Monday 02/01/2016
Posted: February 01, 2016 - 4:00 pm
New Roanoke-based program offers help for young adults with autism

When Joshua Leonard was a young boy, his mother started a school for children with autism after she was unable to find existing services that could help him learn and develop.

Saturday 01/30/2016
Posted: January 30, 2016 - 9:00 pm
How to spot a troubled teen

When early adolescence strikes, the sweet, lovable child who shared your home may morph into a moody alien who sleeps oddly, eats weirdly, loses control of his emotions, challenges you (when he ack...

Posted: January 30, 2016 - 9:00 pm
How do teenage brains really function?

Anthony LaConte knows the drill as he walks into a room deep inside the corridors of the Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Institute.

Posted: January 30, 2016 - 9:00 pm
Virginia teens struggle against antiquated mental health system

You’re a desperately sick kid who’s checking into the hospital. You’re stripped of everything but the shirt on your back. If that shirt’s a hoodie, the strings are snipped.

Friday 01/29/2016
Posted: January 29, 2016 - 2:42 pm
Retired Carilion chief medical officer Wayne Gandee dies

Dr. Wayne Gandee, who retired in 2014 as chief medical officer and president of Carilion Clinic Physicians, died Thursday of pancreatic cancer.

Thursday 01/28/2016
Posted: January 28, 2016 - 5:30 pm
Medicare asks patients to rate home health care

Patients looking to select a home health care agency can now see what others think of the caregivers through the federal government’s star ranking system.

Sunday 01/24/2016
Posted: January 24, 2016 - 10:00 pm
Roanoke doctor honored as 'tireless leader'

Dr. Jeri Lantz was attending an American College of Physicians meeting a few years ago when one of the organization’s 143,000 members was commended for his community service.

Friday 01/22/2016
Posted: January 22, 2016 - 12:15 pm
Health insurance enrollment continues through Jan. 31

Virginians who need to purchase health insurance through the government exchange must do so by Jan. 31. Though the snowstorm has prompted the cancellation of events scheduled to help people navigat...

Tuesday 01/19/2016
Posted: January 19, 2016 - 2:45 pm
Carilion's new institute to open Monday

Carilion Clinic on Monday will open its new Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences to further its goal of not just keeping local patients from seeking advanced care elsewhere but attracting p...

Friday 01/15/2016
Posted: January 15, 2016 - 3:14 pm
Chart notes: New counsel, warm clothes and insurance coverage

Making the rounds in my inbox:

Thursday 01/07/2016
Posted: January 07, 2016 - 10:00 pm
Far Southwest Virginia hospital systems outline merger plan

In advance of merger filings, executives at far Southwest Virginia’s dominant hospital systems said they are “absolutely committed” to improving the health of people in the Appalachian communities ...

Wednesday 01/06/2016
Posted: January 06, 2016 - 7:15 pm
Large showing expected to protest Catawba Hospital closure

The General Assembly’s money committee on Thursday will hear exactly what mental health advocates think about the plan to close two of the state’s psychiatric hospitals.

Monday 01/04/2016
Posted: January 04, 2016 - 4:45 pm
LewisGale plans stand-alone emergency department

LewisGale Medical Center prescribes creating a stand-alone emergency department near Tanglewood Mall to treat overcrowding at its Salem hospital emergency room.

Friday 01/01/2016
Posted: January 01, 2016 - 11:00 pm
For 3 siblings, kidney transplants led to new leases on life

Deborah Waller was recuperating from kidney transplant surgery at the University of Virginia Health System when her brother Kevin Johnson got the call. How soon could he get there for his own kidney?

Wednesday 12/30/2015
Posted: December 30, 2015 - 4:55 pm
Katie Wright's new set of lungs arrives the day after Christmas

My colleague Tiffany Holland has a wonderful story of a life-saving gift that came just in time.

Posted: December 30, 2015 - 2:48 pm
LewisGale to offer 3D mammography

LewisGale Medical Center in January will begin offering 3-D mammography at its Salem breast center that will allow radiologists to thumb through layers of breast tissue images rather than the two f...

Monday 12/28/2015
Posted: December 28, 2015 - 7:00 pm
3 delegates seek to curtail hospital regulation

Does government regulation of hospitals protect or harm patients?

Thursday 12/17/2015
Posted: December 17, 2015 - 11:00 pm
Gastro bug has people running to the bathroom and to the doctor

If misery indeed loves company, take heart. You are not alone. Stomach bugs really are on the uptick.

Wednesday 12/16/2015
Posted: December 16, 2015 - 3:50 pm
VTC, Pamplin to offer joint MD/MBA program

Starting this fall, select students can earn their MD and MBA at the same time through a program developed by Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.

Thursday 12/10/2015
Posted: December 10, 2015 - 9:40 am
Construction begins on eye surgery center

Construction will begin Friday on a $1.2 million eye surgery center in Roanoke.

Monday 11/30/2015
Posted: November 30, 2015 - 10:55 am
The forgotten ward: Mentally ill kids need toys, too

A few months ago, I embarked on a quest to discover what happens to kids in our community who experience mental illnesses.

Friday 11/20/2015
Posted: November 20, 2015 - 2:35 pm
Virginia Tech-Carilion lecture series offers cutting-edge science for non-scientists

Can we live to 100? An expert on aging will answer that question during a Dec. 10 public lecture at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

Tuesday 11/17/2015
Posted: November 17, 2015 - 1:53 pm
Joint Commision lauds area hospitals as top performers

The Roanoke Valley’s two major hospitals again earned “Top Performer” status by the Joint Commission, a national accreditation group.

Monday 11/16/2015
Posted: November 16, 2015 - 9:30 pm
Report: State should close Catawba Hospital, boost community mental health services

A state report recommends lawmakers close Catawba and another state psychiatric hospital in favor of adding a wing to a newer facility and building a network of community services, especially those...

Friday 11/13/2015
Posted: November 13, 2015 - 5:45 pm
Insurers say hospital merger in far southwest Virginia would drive up costs

A merger of far southwest Virginia’s predominant health care systems would create a monopoly that would price patients out of affordable care, according to economists hired by the nation’s insurers.

Thursday 11/12/2015
Posted: November 12, 2015 - 4:00 pm
VTC researchers share $2.4 million grant to study behavior of prediabetics

Yes, you know you’re a couch potato and packing so many pounds that you can’t even carry yourself on a walk around the block. Your doctor has warned that if you don’t immediately start eating bette...

Friday 11/06/2015
Posted: November 06, 2015 - 4:45 pm
Athlete competes in grueling sport on 2 prosthetic legs

Matthew Hall bent over to lift a 95-pound concrete ball off the floor of the CrossFit gym in Salem. It’s all in the hips, he said, as he hoisted it to his shoulders.

Thursday 11/05/2015
Posted: November 05, 2015 - 5:15 pm
Kaine prescribes antidote to drug deaths

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Thursday prescribed an antidote to the increasing number of opioid overdoses and deaths — widespread dispensing of naloxone.

Monday 11/02/2015
Updated: November 02, 2015 - 3:03 pm
LewisGale included in $250 million false claims settlement

Hospital Corporation of America agreed to pay almost $16 million to settle allegations that 42 of its hospitals, including LewisGale Medical Center in Salem, implanted cardiac devices in Medicare p...

Updated: November 02, 2015 - 11:05 am
Jefferson College to offer 2 doctoral programs

Jefferson College of Health Sciences announced Monday it will add two doctoral programs.

Friday 10/30/2015
Posted: October 30, 2015 - 11:27 am
Salem VA to turn town hall into personal meetings

Top brass at the Salem VA Medical Center decided to make the veterans town hall meetings “a little less formal and a little less public,” a spokesman said.

Thursday 10/29/2015
Posted: October 29, 2015 - 5:15 pm
CDC: Patient developed fungal meningitis 2 years after injection of tainted steroid

The Centers for Disease Control on Thursday reported that a patient developed fungal meningitis 26 months after being injected with tainted steroids that led to a deadly multi-state outbreak.

Wednesday 10/28/2015
Posted: October 28, 2015 - 4:30 pm
Panel: Wellness programs must engage employees to be successful

Employers could hold down health insurance costs and increase productivity by encouraging a healthier workforce, but throwing just any wellness plan at employees and hoping they stick to a diet or ...

Updated: October 29, 2015 - 3:54 pm
Hospitals graded on ability to first, do no harm

This post was updated Thursday to reflect grades for other regional hospitals.

Wednesday 10/21/2015
Posted: October 21, 2015 - 5:00 pm
New River Valley wins grant to reform mental health, substance abuse treatment

New River Valley was selected as one of eight community services boards in Virginia to share in $3 million that is expected eventually to reform the way people with mental health and substance abus...

Posted: October 21, 2015 - 2:54 pm
Marijuana use and addiction on the rise

Marijuana use among adults has doubled since the turn of the century as has the number of people who are addicted to it, according to a study published Wednesday in the JAMA Psychiatry. (A subscrip...

Thursday 10/15/2015
Posted: October 15, 2015 - 10:00 pm
Roanoke doctors spread medical education to Uganda

From a seemingly bottomless bag, Dr. Judy Gustafson retrieves tiny knitted caps and colorful handmade receiving blankets.

Friday 10/09/2015
Posted: October 09, 2015 - 5:00 pm
Team looks for ways to nudge Roanoke toward better health

You can build a spanking new grocery store with sparkling produce aisles but you can’t make people eat more eggplant — especially if they don’t know what to do with it.

Wednesday 10/07/2015
Posted: October 07, 2015 - 4:13 pm
You, too, can attend med school

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to attend medical school, here's your chance to find out.

Posted: October 07, 2015 - 1:47 pm
Baby steps toward lowering C-section rates

The Leapfrog Group, which surveys hospitals nationwide and grades them on a range of safety factors, on Wednesday released its first Cesarean section rates for reporting hospitals.

Wednesday 09/30/2015
Posted: September 30, 2015 - 3:15 pm
Health professionals asked to treat patients as people, not diagnoses

Health professionals across many disciplines and from around the globe gathered in Roanoke on Wednesday to collaborate on ways to learn from and work with each other. First, though, they heard from...

Tuesday 09/29/2015
Posted: September 29, 2015 - 10:18 am
If the rain stops, street party on tap for Wednesday

Roanoke this week is playing host to its first large medical convention, and organizers wanted the city to shine.

Wednesday 09/16/2015
Posted: September 16, 2015 - 7:00 pm
Researchers seek to immunize against inflamatory vaccine rhetoric

As Dr. Cynda Johnson prepared to host a lecture on vaccines at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, she searched her upper arm for the faint, dime-size de-pression left after a smallpox v...

Monday 09/14/2015
Posted: September 14, 2015 - 3:30 pm
ECPI, American National University add programs in Roanoke Valley


Friday 09/11/2015
Posted: September 11, 2015 - 11:39 am
LewisGale is hot; don't believe it, just watch

Here’s your chance to see the head of LewisGale Regional Health System shake his pink tutu. The hospital’s Pink entry in the National Pink Glove Dance Competition is online and ready for voting. Yo...

Posted: September 11, 2015 - 11:30 am
Ex-nurse in murder-for-hire plot seeks license reinstatement

A former Franklin County elementary school nurse who pleaded guilty in 2013 to helping a friend in a murder-for-hire plot is seeking to have her nursing license reinstated.

Luanne Rife
  • Luanne Rife
  • Staff writer
  • Med Beat covers medical issues, research and the business side of the health care industry, as reported by Luanne Rife, who covers the business of medicine in Southwest Virginia for The Roanoke Times. Contact Luanne at
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