HEALTH

It's no secret why drug users come to George Patterson in a mall parking lot just outside Phoenix to get their clean needles, syringes and other supplies on Tuesday afternoons, instead of heading to the pharmacy down the street.

"It's really low-barrier the way we are doing it," Patterson says. "All you have to do is find us."

Sen. Adam Hinds exits the Massachusetts Senate office wing around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, after the branch finished a marathon criminal justice debate.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

As we near the end of 2017, we check in with Matt Murphy of State House News Service for an update on the major issues of the year for the Massachusetts legislature. 

Opioids.
frankieleon / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/armydre2008

Greenfield, Massachusetts, has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers in U.S. District Court, arguing they intentionally understated the addictive nature of opioids. 

A pregnant woman visits a doctor's office.
Daniel Lobo / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders has a Christmas wish: that Congress will again fund the Children's Health Insurance Program.

The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.

So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

A flu shot being administered.
Lance McCord / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/mccord

It's just the start of the flu season, but the virus has already spread widely across Massachusetts, according to state epidemiologists who track and report the flu to the Centers for Disease Control. 

Connecticut is calculating the potential impact of the new mega-merger announced by health insurer Aetna and pharmacy chain CVS. 

 Susan Campbell was a victim of sexual abuse from age 7 to 13.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

I was 7 when the sexual abuse started, 13 when it stopped.  My perpetrator was my stepfather, a man unfit to raise chickens, much less children.

CVS Health is looking to create a national network of community medical clinics that will serve as "America's front door to quality health care."

That's the goal, according to a statement by CEO Larry Merlo on his company's deal for Aetna. It's an ambitious one for CVS, a company better known as a quick stop for Tylenol and a Coke.

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