Noelle Swan

Reporting on public health

914372_1_LAPD-training_standardIn Los Angeles, a national model for how to police the mentally ill

June 15, 2015 – By partnering beat cops with mental health clinicians, the Los Angeles Police Department has reduced incidences of force used on individuals with mental illness and has connected thousands of individuals with counseling and support.

Electronic cigarettes gain foothold in American middle and high schools

December 16, 2014 – Fewer teens are lighting up tobacco cigarettes, but many are instead turning to electronic cigarettes, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future study.

Ebola outbreak: Should Africans receive an experimental US drug?

August 7, 2014 – The two Americans being treated for Ebola in Atlanta are showing signs of improvement after receiving the experimental drug. Before this, however, the drug had never been given to humans.

Lapses at high-security CDC labs reveal culture of negligence

July 16, 2014 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is under fire after lapses in safety – including the exposure of 80 workers to anthrax – came to light in the past week.

E-cigarettes: what the FDA wants to regulate and what it doesn’t

April 24, 2014 – The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed new regulations of e-cigarettes, including restricting sales to minors and requiring health warnings on packaging. A ban on flavored electronic cigarettes is not on the list.

Toxic coal ash poses persistent threat to US waters

March 30, 2014 – A recent spill of coal ash in North Carolina underscores the challenge of disposing hazardous substances captured from power plant stacks. Are we diverting air pollutants into our waterways?

Obesity among young children fell 43 percent in past decade, CDC says

February 26, 2014 – Changes to a federal nutrition program and Michelle Obama’s nutrition and exercise campaign may have played a role in the dramatic decline in early-childhood obesity, some say.

New study casts doubts on effectiveness of drug testing students

January 17, 2014 – A new study suggests that imposing school drug tests on teenagers does little to deter marijuana use. But establishing a ‘positive climate’ might.

W.Va. chemical spill: Is more regulation needed for toxic substances?

January 10, 2014 – Little information is known about Crude MCHM, the chemical that leaked into West Virginia’s Elk River and potentially contaminated the tap water of 300,000 residents.

Antismoking crusade has saved 8 million lives in 50 years, study says

January 7, 2014 – The surgeon general first warned of the dangers of smoking 50 years ago this month. The antismoking campaign that grew from that report has added 157 million years to lives that would otherwise have been cut short, a study says.

Getting to the guts of autism

April 29, 2013 – To roughly two million Americans struggling with autism, chronic stomach problems have long been just another side effect. Now, it looks like the issues in their guts could actually be aggravating—or even triggering—their symptoms of autism.

Delaware seeks to fill persistent shortfall in child mental health services

August 3, 2013 –  The state of Delaware has seen slow progress so far in its efforts to bring specialized child and adolescent psychiatric care to Sussex and Kent counties, despite a devastating string of 11 teen suicides and 116 suicide attempts in southern Delaware last year.

Risky business: Turning to sex for survival

June 29, 2013 – For some young people living on the streets, having unprotected sex with a stranger can seem like the safest option.

Families dealing with autism navigate the unknown

Jan. 17, 2013 – With a cure for autism still a long way off, families have come up with their own ways of coping with the symptoms they face everyday.

Testing, testing…HIV: Taking the stigma out of AIDS testing

July 13, 2012 – Public health officials in Massachusetts say the removal of a key barrier barrier to testing will help get medical to more people in need.

Chronic national shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists takes heaviest toll on low income families

July 13, 2012 – The U.S. Surgeon General’s office estimates that only 20 percent of emotionally disturbed children receive mental health services, a burden that is disproportionately borne by low income communities.

New autism insurance law offers some some financial relief

December 11, 2012 – Many Delaware parents of children with autism have been drowning in medical bills as they struggle to pay out-of-pocket for services not covered by their health insurance. Delaware’s new autism insurance law, which goes into effect today, promises to ease the burden for some but will likely not cover everyone.

Weighing new prescription for doctor/patient communication

December 20, 2011 – Every day countless people see their primary care physician for sick visits, routine physicals, and to follow up on chronic conditions. What if after appointments patients could go online and review the their primary care physicians’ notes? What if they could share them with their family and caregivers?



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