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Healthcare news from Montana Public Radio.

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Senator Jon Tester, Helena Veteran Center staff, and local veterans, pose for ribbon cutting at the center's opening ceremony, Friday March 9, 2018 in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new veterans services and counseling center celebrated its grand opening in Helena today.

Eric Kettenring, the vet center director, says Helena has never had a place where veterans can go that is dedicated to giving them mental health services.

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham

The hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars that Medicaid expansion is bringing to Montana have added thousands of jobs here and significantly boosted the state’s economy. It’s enough of a boost to pay for Montana’s share of the jointly-funded health program.

That’s according to a new report by Economist Bryce Ward with the UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. He summarized it for a legislative oversight committee Thursday.

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

Montana researchers who are looking into the impact of wildfire smoke on people's health, and on firefighters' resiliency updated the public on their work Tuesday at the University of Montana. 

Dr. Paul Smith is a professor of medicine at UM, and a pediatric pulmonologist. 

"Anecdotally, this is one of the worse seasons we've had at Community Medical Center for kids being admitted and on ventilators. Our floor has just been chock full this season. And, you wonder," said Smith. 

A nurse in the Flathead Valley will ask a Montana district court Thursday to suspend a state law that limits who can and cannot perform abortions. She’s being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Only physicians and physicians assistants can legally perform abortions in Montana. It's a felony for others to perform the procedure.

Ongoing budget cuts mean the State of Montana has ended a contract that paid a big health insurance company $6 million a year to manage Medicaid recipients. That’s more than twice as much as it allocates to the state health department for similar work.

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