September 4, 2019

Around the nation: North Carolina records decline in opioid deaths

Daily Briefing

    Preliminary data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services show opioid deaths in the state fell by 5% in 2018, the first decline the state has recorded in five years, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina.

    • Arizona: To pay for his medical bills, Robert Letscher, who was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, is selling his collection of X-Men comic books. The collection is estimated to be worth at least $500,000, according to Vincent Zurzolo, COO of ComicConnect, a website that operates as an auction platform for vintage comics. While selling the comics will provide Letscher with financial stability, his wife Cathy said it's a bittersweet moment. "Everyone in our house has been sad," she said. "He was so proud of his collection" (Modern Healthcare, 8/31).
    • Kansas: Valerie Stilwell, a nurse at Ascension Via Christi, went into labor on Labor Day, delivering a 6 pound, 9 ounce baby girl. According to Stilwell, she and her husband Kyle, also a nurse at Ascension, were worried Kyle might have to deliver the baby in their car as Valerie's labor accelerated, but they made it just in time (Mobley, KAKE, 9/2).
    • North Carolina: Preliminary data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services suggests opioid deaths in the state fell by 5% in 2018, the first decline the state has reported in five years. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said the data represents "a major milestone for North Carolina," but cautioned that the numbers show "we have much more work to do to keep people healthy and alive" (Gulledge, Triangle Business Journal, 9/3).

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