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    PNS Weekend Update - December 20, 20140 


    Among the stories on our weekend rundown; Cuba and a cyber attack top of mind for President Obama; an update from a state that just got a big boost in the fight against hunger; and no matter the weather your Christmas can still be green.

Public News Service - Health and Wellness

PHOTO: The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows those with disabilities to establish a savings account of up to $100,000 for related expenses, without putting their benefits in jeopardy. Photo credit: Erin Sparling/Flickr.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A common barrier to financial stability for individuals with disabilities is on its way out with Congressional approval of the Achieving a Better Life Experience or the ABLE Act. Rik Shannon, public policy manager with the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, says the legisla ...Read More

PHOTO: New York Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens presented Gov. Cuomo and his Cabinet with their reports recommending a continued ban on fracking for natural gas. Photo Credit: Office of the Governor.

ALBANY, N.Y. - In a long-awaited announcement, the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday ruled the potential health and environmental risks of fracking for natural gas are too great and not enough is known about them to allow it in New York. In extending a de facto ban on using ...Read More

PHOTO: Under a new health care proposal from a state Medicaid redesign group, Idaho would save $173 million over 10 years. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith.

BOISE, Idaho - Health care coverage for about 78,000 Idahoans, and a savings to the state and its 44 counties of $173 million over 10 years. Those are the benefits calculated by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy in the new health care proposal from Governor Butch Otter's Medicaid Redesign Workgrou ...Read More

PHOTO: Fewer people are dying from fall-related injuries in New Mexico, but according to a recent report the state ranks sixth in the nation for fall-related deaths. Health officials say regular exercise can prevent falls by helping build muscle and balance. Photo credit: City of Tucson, Arizona.

SANTA FE, N.M. - Falls are the leading cause of unintentional-injury deaths in New Mexico, but according to a recent report from the Department of Health, the state's fall-related death rate has fallen 10 percent in recent years. Robin Swift, section manager at the Office of Injury Prevention at th ...Read More

PHOTO: Most businesses in Kentucky support a statewide indoor smoke-free law, according to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Lawmakers will hear testimony about property rights Wednesday. Photo credit: Greg Stotelmyer.

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Health advocates are targeting the 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly for passage of a comprehensive smoke-free law that would cover all indoor public places and workplaces. Lawmakers on the Health and Welfare Committee will explore the impact on property rights in Frank ...Read More

IMAGE: With Tennessee's population of individuals with disabilities at 1 million and rising, churches in the state are ramping up efforts to ensure they're being inclusive to those people and their families. Image credit: Waiting for the Word/Flickr.

LEXINGTON, Tenn. – At a time when family and friends often gather at places of worship to celebrate the holidays, Tennessee's faith community is taking a lead on ensuring inclusiveness for the state's individuals with disabilities. One common barrier is just being able to gain access physica ...Read More

PHOTO: Holiday family gatherings can be fun but sometimes stressful. Mental-health experts say it's OK to pace yourself and even say "no" to some situations you know will be sources of conflict. Photo courtesy healthychild.org.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - While the holidays are a happy time for many, the stress associated with family obligations and dynamics can be the "lump of coal" in some people's Christmas stockings. According to the American Psychological Association, fatigue and stress are the top sources of negative feelin ...Read More

PHOTO: Heart disease and stroke are on the top-five list for causes of death in Oregon, and the Oregon Stroke Care Committee wants to ensure that, no matter where a stroke occurs, the nearest hospital is fully prepared. Photo credit: werg/FeaturePics.com.

PORTLAND, Ore. - This has been a big year for Oregon's efforts to improve care for stroke victims. A state task force was formed and just had its fifth meeting since June. It's working on collecting data from around the state to determine how prepared each hospital is to handle stroke emergencies - ...Read More

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