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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rosalia nurse’s license suspended after deaths

State health officials suspended a Rosalia nurse practitioner’s license after three of her patients died from taking prescribed painkillers. In some cases, the prescriptions written by Susan Bowen-Small exceeded 15 times the daily dosage of pain medication the state considers a threshold for involving pain management specialists, according to the Washington Department of Health.

Deaths linked to prescription drugs plunge in Spokane County

The number of prescription drug overdose deaths in Spokane County has plummeted over the past three years. The number of such deaths in the county has dropped 40 percent, comparing three-year time spans from 2006 to 2008 and 2009 to 2011.

Woman’s brain tissue to be tested for disease

Disease investigators have sent a brain tissue sample of a deceased 32-year-old Spokane woman to a national research lab to be tested for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an incurable condition that has multiple variants, including one called mad cow. An autopsy of Amanda Greenwalt Wheaton noted that CJD was a potential diagnosis. She died Aug. 24.

Doctor receives payment, apology from Health Department

A Spokane dermatologist has wrung a $600,000 apology from state health officials who went public with outrageous charges of drug abuse and medical fraud based on a bogus tip from his ex-wife. The pending payout to Dr. William “Phil” Werschler is among the largest settlements in decades by the Washington state Department of Health involving a physician, agency officials say. The public apology might be the first of its kind, they say.

Region tops state averages for opting out of vaccinations

North Idaho and Eastern Washington share a grim distinction: Both have far higher rates of parents choosing not to immunize their children against childhood disease than either Idaho or Washington as a whole. As a result, health authorities say, youngsters in the region are at increased risk for illnesses like whooping cough and measles. In early November, nine North Idaho children were diagnosed with whooping cough, also called pertussis.

Free medical services soar at region’s hospitals

Spokane hospitals have given away $53.3 million worth of medical care to the poor during the first nine months of this year as job losses and wage and benefit cuts affect more people. During the same time period last year the hospitals had recorded $36.3 million of charity care.