Veterans bill group
A member of the Arkansas delegation is an original co-sponsor of a bill intended to boost pay for veterans with service-related disabilities.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman, a Republican, joined a bipartisan group of 14 other legislators in introducing the bill last week.
Full text of the proposed legislation wasn’t immediately available online. It has been referred to a committee for review.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, also a Republican, last week joined Boozman in co-sponsoring a bill to extend Medicare coverage to pay for immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant patients.
That bill, which also has bipartisan support, has been referred to a committee.
Arkansas has one of the nation’s highest rates of deaths from kidney disease, for which kidney transplants are the best treatment, experts have said.
Arkansas not alone
in high obesity rate
More states have joined Arkansas in having high rates of adults with obesity, according to new federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Twelve states including Arkansas had adult obesity rates at or above 35%. That’s up from nine states in 2018 and six states in 2017, according to the agency.
More than one in five adults were obese in every U.S. state and territory, the public health agency’s scientists found.
The Midwest slightly edged out the South for the highest obesity prevalence. Arkansas is part of the South in the agency’s analysis.
In the Natural State, 37.4% of adults reported obesity in data gathered between 2017 and 2019. Black Arkansans were most likely to be affected by obesity, with 44.7% of adults impacted in that same time period.
Obesity is linked to health problems including chronic inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and depression, health experts and officials say.
Health system plans
to launch pantries
Baptist Health will begin a food pantry program at some of its Central Arkansas campuses, the health system said in a news release.
The Food Rx program will serve patients at Baptist Health in Little Rock, Baptist Health-North Little Rock and Baptist Health-Conway, plus three associated clinics.
Patients at the centers will be screened to identify people who are in need of food. They will receive a three-day supply of food from the pantry and a list of related community resources, officials said.
The program aims to fight food insecurity, or the problem of not consistently having access to food. Food insecurity is linked to health impacts including stress and some chronic conditions.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences also has a food pantry program that focuses on food for staff and students.
Print Headline: Health Care Notebook