A downtown Spokane site has joined a statewide drug-checking network aimed at reducing overdoses. It's also a glimpse into what's new in illicit drug supplies. In recent months, fentanyl powder has shown up as a substance more potent than fentanyl pills. Hints showed last summer of the powerful veterinary sedative xylazine, sometimes mixed with illegal fentanyl. Compassionate Addiction Treatment, a barrier-free drug treatment center, began nearly a year ago to test small samples of drugs, anonymously and voluntarily given by people who come to the center. The statewide network is led by the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute at the University of Washington.
Christian music radio station KEEH-FM has sent a signal from Spokane for 30 years, but a 2016 rebrand as Shine 104.9 has led to both wider audience and expansion. As Shine, the station sought to broaden connections with local churches and nonprofits in sharing events and doing interviews with regional leaders. In recent years, Shine also has steadily climbed toward the top in Nielsen ratings among Spokane-area radio stations.
Watching the TV cartoon "Bluey" in a waiting room, 3-year-old Karl Hadley reluctantly walked away Wednesday for yet another of his frequent visits with a Spokane cardiologist. But surprises awaited him in the exam room: Balloons and a toy, Bluey's Family Home, complete with its dog figurine. Dr. Carl Garabedian watched along with Karl's parents Randy and Brenda Hadley as the boy played briefly until his routine checkup began. The gifts marked a milestone for the child three years ago, when Karl at 5 weeks received a liver transplant on Valentine's Day at Seattle Children's. A virus infection had caused his liver to fail. Karl still has ongoing health issues from an unrelated congenital heart defect, called pulmonary vein stenosis, which means progressive narrowing of veins. Since his birth Jan. 5, 2021 in Coeur d'Alene, he has spent most of life in hospitals or visiting them for procedures, both because of the initial liver failure and his heart condition.
Maddy Reyes will wear red Friday, although her color choice might lean toward crimson. A Washington State University sophomore on the school's cheer team, Reyes knows what it's like to have heart issues as a survivor of a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. Friday is the American Heart Association's national Go Red for Women day.
A Spokane clinic designed for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, has received designation as a certified treatment center of excellence. The ALS clinic is at Providence St. Luke's Rehabilitation Medical Center through its physiatry and neuromuscular services. It’s the region's first clinic to get the ALS Association's certification, according to Providence Health. Previously, the closest certified centers were in Seattle and Portland. ALS causes progressive degeneration of motor nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain, leading to weakness and eventually loss of control with muscles that can affect walking, chewing, swallowing, speaking and breathing.
With 100 years of Spokane history, a statewide nonprofit that shifted away from mainly adoptions to child and family services has a new name: Akin. Founded in 1896, it was first Washington Children's Home Finding Society and then Children's Home Society of Washington. Known here for 70 years at the Galland Hall on the South Hill, the region's branch moved in 2004 to the Galland-Ashlock Family Resource Center in Spokane Valley. The Akin name nods to kin or kinship care among families and emerges from a Jan. 1 merger with the Seattle-area Childhaven, an early 1900s agency that first helped single parents with daycare until it transitioned to childhood well-being programs. In Spokane, modern Akin services include child and family counseling, early learning and developmental support for infants to preschoolers, parent education and other family programs.
In its first 15 months, Maddie's Place has cared for 61 infants experiencing withdrawal from drug exposure before birth. Its caregivers learned about another 63 drug-exposed babies in Spokane who didn't go there in that period. Leaders seeking state Medicaid funding for Maddie's Place think the numbers far exceed estimates. A new WSU study will look at its health outcomes and tap Spokane providers about insight into the real numbers in Spokane County.
Under broadening research, doctors have more reasons to tell patients to spend time in open spaces regularly for better mental health. Now, a statewide study suggests that even small differences in having available urban green spaces and access to waterfronts have ties to improved self-reported mental health among people ages 65 and older, according to Washington State University researchers, who say this also might help offset dementia.
Kootenai Health enters 2024 with big changes, including its Jan. 1 transition from a public hospital district to a private nonprofit to operate Coeur d’Alene’s 397-bed hospital, two rural facilities and more than 20 clinics.