John M. Starcher Jr., made about $6 million in 2020, according to the most recent tax filings.

“Our mission is clear — to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved,” the spokeswoman, Maureen Richmond, said. Bon Secours did not comment on Mr. Otey’s case.

In interviews, doctors, nurses and former executives said the hospital had been given short shrift, and pointed to a decade-old development deal with the city of Richmond as another example.

In 2012, the city agreed to lease land to Bon Secours at far below market value on the condition that the chain expand Richmond Community’s facilities. Instead, Bon Secours focused on building a luxury apartment and office complex. The hospital system waited a decade to build the promised medical offices next to Richmond Community, breaking ground only this year.

founded in 1907 by Black doctors who were not allowed to work at the white hospitals across town. In the 1930s, Dr. Jackson’s grandfather, Dr. Isaiah Jackson, mortgaged his house to help pay for an expansion of the hospital. His father, also a doctor, would take his children to the hospital’s fund-raising telethons.

Cassandra Newby-Alexander at Norfolk State University.

got its first supermarket.

according to research done by Virginia Commonwealth University. The public bus route to St. Mary’s, a large Bon Secours facility in the northwest part of the city, takes more than an hour. There is no public transportation from the East End to Memorial Regional, nine miles away.

“It became impossible for me to send people to the advanced heart valve clinic at St. Mary’s,” said Dr. Michael Kelly, a cardiologist who worked at Richmond Community until Bon Secours scaled back the specialty service in 2019. He said he had driven some patients to the clinic in his own car.

Richmond Community has the feel of an urgent-care clinic, with a small waiting room and a tan brick facade. The contrast with Bon Secours’s nearby hospitals is striking.

At the chain’s St. Francis Medical Center, an Italianate-style compound in a suburb 18 miles from Community, golf carts shuttle patients from the lobby entrance, past a marble fountain, to their cars.

after the section of the federal law that authorized it, allows hospitals to buy drugs from manufacturers at a discount — roughly half the average sales price. The hospitals are then allowed to charge patients’ insurers a much higher price for the same drugs.

The theory behind the law was that nonprofit hospitals would invest the savings in their communities. But the 340B program came with few rules. Hospitals did not have to disclose how much money they made from sales of the discounted drugs. And they were not required to use the revenues to help the underserved patients who qualified them for the program in the first place.

In 2019, more than 2,500 nonprofit and government-owned hospitals participated in the program, or more than half of all hospitals in the country, according to the independent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

in wealthier neighborhoods, where patients with generous private insurance could receive expensive drugs, but on paper make the clinics extensions of poor hospitals to take advantage of 340B.

to a price list that hospitals are required to publish. That is nearly $22,000 profit on a single vial. Adults need two vials per treatment course.

work has shown that hospitals participating in the 340B program have increasingly opened clinics in wealthier areas since the mid-2000s.

were unveiling a major economic deal that would bring $40 million to Richmond, add 200 jobs and keep the Washington team — now known as the Commanders — in the state for summer training.

The deal had three main parts. Bon Secours would get naming rights and help the team build a training camp and medical offices on a lot next to Richmond’s science museum.

The city would lease Bon Secours a prime piece of real estate that the chain had long coveted for $5,000 a year. The parcel was on the city’s west side, next to St. Mary’s, where Bon Secours wanted to build medical offices and a nursing school.

Finally, the nonprofit’s executives promised city leaders that they would build a 25,000-square-foot medical office building next to Richmond Community Hospital. Bon Secours also said it would hire 75 local workers and build a fitness center.

“It’s going to be a quick timetable, but I think we can accomplish it,” the mayor at the time, Dwight C. Jones, said at the news conference.

Today, physical therapy and doctors’ offices overlook the football field at the training center.

On the west side of Richmond, Bon Secours dropped its plans to build a nursing school. Instead, it worked with a real estate developer to build luxury apartments on the site, and delayed its plans to build medical offices. Residents at The Crest at Westhampton Commons, part of the $73 million project, can swim in a saltwater pool and work out on communal Peloton bicycles. On the ground floor, an upscale Mexican restaurant serves cucumber jalapeño margaritas and a Drybar offers salon blowouts.

have said they plan to house mental health, hospice and other services there.

a cardiologist and an expert on racial disparities in amputation, said many people in poor, nonwhite communities faced similar delays in getting the procedure. “I am not surprised by what’s transpired with this patient at all,” he said.

Because Ms. Scarborough does not drive, her nephew must take time off work every time she visits the vascular surgeon, whose office is 10 miles from her home. Richmond Community would have been a five-minute walk. Bon Secours did not comment on her case.

“They have good doctors over there,” Ms. Scarborough said of the neighborhood hospital. “But there does need to be more facilities and services over there for our community, for us.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

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Amended Autopsy: Black Man Died Due To Sedative, Restraint

Despite the finding, the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was still listed as undetermined, not a homicide.

A Black man died after a police encounter in a Denver suburb in 2019 because he was injected with a powerful sedative after being forcibly restrained, according to an amended autopsy report publicly released Friday.

Despite the finding, the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was still listed as undetermined, not a homicide, the report shows. McClain was put in a neck hold and injected with ketamine after being stopped by police in Aurora for “being suspicious.” He was unarmed.

The original autopsy report that was written soon after his death in August 2019 did not reach a conclusion about how he died or what type of death is was, such as if it was natural, accidental or a homicide. That was a major reason why prosecutors initially decided not to pursue charges.

But a state grand jury last year indicted three officers and two paramedics on manslaughter and reckless homicide charges in McClain’s death after the case drew renewed attention following the killing of George Floyd in 2020. It became a rallying cry during the national reckoning over racism and police brutality.

The five accused have not yet entered pleas and their lawyers have not commented publicly on the charges.

In the updated report, completed in July 2021, Dr. Stephen Cina, a pathologist, concluded that the ketamine dosage given to McClain, which was higher than recommended for someone his size, “was too much for this individual and it resulted in an overdose, even though his blood ketamine level was consistent with a ‘therapeutic’ blood concentration.”

He said he could not rule out that changes in McClain’s blood chemistry, like an increase in lactic acid, due to his exertion while being restrained by police contributed to his death but concluded there was no evidence that injuries inflicted by police caused his death.

“I believe that Mr. McClain would most likely be alive but for the administration of ketamine,” said Cina, who noted that body camera footage shows McClain becoming “extremely sedated” within a few minutes of being given the drug.

Cina acknowledged that other reasonable pathologists with different experience and training may have labeled such a death, while in police custody, as a homicide or accident, but that he believes the appropriate classification is undetermined.

Qusair Mohamedbhai, attorney for McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, declined a request for comment.

Dr. Carl Wigren, a forensic pathologist in Washington state, questioned the report’s focus on ketamine, saying all the available evidence — including a highly critical independent review of McClain’s death commissioned by Aurora last year — point to McClain dying as a result of compressional asphyxia, a type of suffocation, from officers putting pressure on his body while restraining him. He was struck by one passage in the city’s review citing the ambulance company’s report that its crew found McClain lying on the ground on his stomach, his arms handcuffed behind his back, his torso and legs held down, with at least three officers on top of him.

That scene was not captured on body camera footage, the report said, but much of what happened between police was not because the officers’ cameras came off soon after McClain was approached. The cameras did continue to record where they fell and captured people talking.

Just because McClain, who said he couldn’t breathe, could be heard making some statements on the footage, does not mean he was able to fully breathe, Wigren said. Ketamine, which slows breathing, could have just exacerbated McClain’s condition, but Wigren does not think it caused his death.

However, another pathologist, Dr. Deborah G. Johnson of Colorado, said McClain’s quick reaction to ketamine suggests that it was a cause of McClain’s death, but she said its use cannot be separated from the impact that the police restraint may have had. McClain may have had trouble breathing because of the restraint and having less oxygen in your system would make the sedative take effect more quickly, she said.

Both thought the death could have been labeled as a homicide — a death caused by the actions of other people — which they pointed out is a separate judgment from deciding whether someone should be prosecuted with a crime for causing it.

McClain got an overdose of ketamine, Johnson said, noting that the paramedics were working at night when it is hard to judge someone’s weight.

“Was that a mistake to send someone to prison for? I don’t think so,” she said.

The updated autopsy was released Friday under a court order in a lawsuit brought by Colorado Public Radio, joined by other media organizations including The Associated Press. Colorado Public Radio sued the coroner to release the report after learning it had been updated, arguing that it should be made available under the state’s public records law.

Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan said she could not release it because it contained confidential grand jury information and that releasing it would violate the oath she made not to share it when she obtained it last year.

But Adams County District Judge Kyle Seedorf ordered the coroner to release the updated report by Friday, and a Denver judge who oversees state grand jury proceedings, Christopher Baumann, ruled Thursday that grand jury information did not have be redacted from the updated report.

Cina noted that the report was updated based on extensive body camera footage, witness statements and records that he did not have at the time of the original autopsy report, which were not made available to the coroner’s office at all or in their entirety before. Last year, Cina and Broncucia-Jordan received some material that was made available to the grand jury last year, according to court documents, but they did not say what exactly that material was.

McClain’s death fueled renewed scrutiny about the use of the ketamine and led Colorado’s health department to issue a new rule limiting when emergency workers can use it.

Last year, the city of Aurora agreed to pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit brought by McClain’s parents. The lawsuit alleged the force officers used against McClain and his struggle to survive it dramatically increased the amount of lactic acid in his system, leading to his death, possibly along with the large dose of ketamine he was given.

The outside investigation commissioned by the city faulted the police probe into McClain’s arrest for not pressing for answers about how officers treated him. It found there was no evidence justifying officers’ decision to stop McClain, who had been reported as suspicious because he was wearing a ski mask as he walked down the street waving his hands. He was not accused of breaking any law.

Police reform activist Candice Bailey had mixed emotions about seeing the amended autopsy.

“I do believe that it does get us a step closer to anything that is a semblance of justice,” said Bailey, an activist in the city of Aurora who has led demonstrations over the death of McClain.

But Bailey added that she is “extremely saddened that there is still a controversy around whether or not the EMTs and officers should be held responsible for what they did, and as to whether or not this was actually murder.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Fiona Knocks Out Power With Strong Winds In Atlantic Canada

Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm, but meteorologists cautioned that it still could have hurricane-strength winds.

Fiona knocked out power to more than 500,000 customers in Atlantic Canada Saturday, damaging homes with strong winds and rain as it made landfall as a big, powerful post-tropical cyclone.

Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm late Friday, but meteorologists cautioned that it still could have hurricane-strength winds and would bring drenching rains and huge waves.

More than 414,000 Nova Scotia Power customers — about 80% of the province of almost 1 million — were affected by outages Saturday morning. Over 82,000 customers in the province of Prince Edward Island were also without power, while NB Power in New Brunswick reported 44,329 were without electricity.

The fast-moving Fiona made Nova Scotia landfall before dawn Saturday, with its power down from the Category 4 strength it had early Friday when passing by Bermuda, though officials there reported no serious damage.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre tweeted early Saturday that Fiona has the lowest pressure ever recorded for a storm making landfall in Canada. Forecasters had warned it could be the one of the most powerful storms to hit the country.

A state of local emergency has been declared by the mayor and council of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality amid widespread power outages, road closures and damage to homes.

“There are homes that have been significantly damaged due to downed trees, big old trees falling down and causing significant damage. We’re also seeing houses that their roofs have completely torn off, windows breaking in. There is a huge amount of debris in the roadways,” Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, told The Associated Press

“There is a lot of damage to belongings and structures but no injuries to people as of this point. Again we’re still in the midst of this,” she said. “It’s still terrifying. I’m just sitting here in my living room and it feels like the patio doors are going to break in with those big gusts. It’s loud and it is shocking.”

McDougall said the shelter they opened was full overnight and they will look to open more.

The extent of the damage throughout Atlantic Canada was immediately clear at sunrise.

A hurricane watch was issued for coastal expanses of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to delay his trip to Japan for the funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“We of course hope there won’t be much needed, but we feel there probably will be,” Trudeau said. “Listen to the instructions of local authorities and hang in there for the next 24 hours.”

The U.S. hurricane center said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph Saturday. It was moving across eastern Canada.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 175 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 405 miles.

Hurricanes in Canada are somewhat rare, in part because once the storms reach colder waters, they lose their main source of energy. But post-tropical cyclones still can have hurricane-strength winds, although they have a cold core and no visible eye. They also often lose their symmetric form and more resemble a comma.

“Still holding strong. But it’s getting very scary,” Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, told The Associated Press in the first hours after it hit.

People in the area rushed to stock up essentials and worked to stormproof their properties Friday.

Bob Robichaud, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Centre, said Fiona was shaping up to be a bigger storm system than Hurricane Juan, which caused extensive damage to the Halifax area in 2003.

He added that Fiona is about the same size as post-tropical storm Dorian in 2019. “But it is stronger than Dorian was,” he said. “It’s certainly going to be an historic, extreme event for eastern Canada.”

Christina Lamey, a spokesperson for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said the Centre 200 sports arena in Sydney was being opened Friday night to take in residents who wanted to evacuate from their homes during the storm. Halifax said it would open four evacuation centers.

Officials on Prince Edward Island sent out an emergency alert to phones warning of the potential for severe flooding on the northern shore of the province.

Authorities in Nova Scotia also sent an emergency alert to phones warning of Fiona’s arrival and urging people to say inside, avoid the shore, charge devices and have enough supplies for at least 72 hours.

Fiona so far has been blamed for at least five deaths — two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in the French island of Guadeloupe.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said newly formed Tropical Storm Ian in the Caribbean was expected to keep strengthening and hit Cuba early Tuesday as a hurricane and then hit southern Florida early Wednesday.

It was centered about 315 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving west-northwest at 14 mph. A hurricane watch was issued for the Cayman Islands.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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More Migrants Arrive In D.C. As White House Slams Republican Governors

By Newsy Staff

and Associated Press
September 17, 2022

More than 50 migrants were bused to the home of Vice President Kamala Harris, while New York officials expected at least six more buses to arrive.

Another wave of migrants arrived at the nation’s capital and New York City on Saturday as the White House continues to criticize Republican governors in Texas, Florida and Arizona for what it calls a “political stunt.”

More than 50 migrants were bused to the home of Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday while New York officials expected at least six more buses to arrive by the end of the day.

The White House hammered the Republican governors of Texas and Florida for arranging for the transport of migrants to Democratic strongholds in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

The governors of Texas and Arizona have sent thousands of migrants on buses to New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., in recent months.

But the latest surprise moves – which included two flights to Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday paid for by Florida – reached a new level of political theater that critics derided as inhumane.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the flights to Martha’s Vineyard were part of an effort to “transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.”

President Joe Biden criticized the move, saying “Republicans are playing politics with human beings, using them as props.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke to reporters Friday as the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard were being moved to housing on a military base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

“These are the kinds of tactics we see from smugglers in places like Mexico and Guatemala,” Jean-Pierre said. “And for what? A photo-op. Because these governors care about creating political theater, then creating actual solutions to help folks who are fleeing communism, to help children, to help families.”

Massachusetts is planning to activate as many as 125 National Guard members to assist.

In New York, Mayor Eric Adams says shelters are at their breaking point due to the influx of migrants.

In total, there have been nearly two million encounters along the southern border this year, which is already over 200,000 more than last year.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Why Is There New Interest In Fusion Energy?

A company by the name of Zap Energy is trying to find a way to develop more energy output from fusion reactions.

Temperatures hotter than the center of the sun, the highest-energy lasers in the world, magnets the size of a basketball court — and the promise of virtually unlimited energy on Earth. 

Dozens of universities and governments around the world are pursuing fusion energy, hoping to obtain a limitless energy source that produces no carbon emissions. 

At Zap Energy outside Seattle, researchers are among the 35 private companies racing to crack the puzzle.  

Ben Levitt is the director of research and development at Zap Energy. 

“I run a team here of physicists and engineers at this lab. We do the development on the fusion core reactor right here,” said Levitt. “Where we need to get to is getting more energy output from these fusion reactions than is required as input. In other words, to light the candle, you need a certain amount of energy.” 

No one here is wearing radiation protection. Scientists say nuclear fusion is very different than nuclear fission, which powers hundreds of power plants across the world. 

“Fission, which is commercially available and has been so since, you know, right after World War II, is the breaking apart of large nuclei. Think of uranium and plutonium, those things, when you take a large nucleus and split it apart, you get a bunch of energy coming out and that’s great,” Levitt said. 

But fission reactors also produce thousands of tons of radioactive waste each year.  

“Fusion, on the other hand, is quite different and is not yet commercially available. This is the process that exists in all the stars in all the galaxies in the universe. So the challenge for us is how do you create a star on Earth? Our sun is made up predominantly of hydrogen and helium. What the sun also has is a lot of gravitational force. So it can compress all this hot gas, hot enough and dense enough that these nuclei of hydrogen come so close together they actually fuse and they’re pushed together to create another nucleus, a heavier nucleus, which is helium. And you get even more energy than in the fission reaction,” said Levitt. 

To “create that star on Earth,” says Levitt, researchers must contain a mysterious substance called plasma.

“In order of increasing temperature, you can start at a solid, increase the temperature you get to a liquid, then to a gas,” he said.  “What happens when you go even hotter than a gas? That’s a plasma.”

Plasma’s charged particles repel one another.  

“The trick is to force them together, long enough that they’ll fuse,” he continued. 

Smushing charged plasma to achieve fusion takes incredible force. A massive machine called the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California uses 192 giant lasers to push the plasma together.   

A facility under construction in France called Iter will use huge magnets to try to achieve fusion. 

Zap, meanwhile, is working to make smaller scale reactors. Their name reflects their strategy: By hitting the plasma with a zap of lightning, they create magnetic fields that they believe can eventually keep the plasma together. 

“If we can create this actually confined plasma with its own magnetic field, it will self confine without the need for any other confinement technology,” said Levitt. 

But big hurdles loom. Tritium gas is a rare isotope of hydrogen that serves as a key ingredient for fusion.  

Recent reports, including an article in Science Magazine, suggest a shortage of the gas could derail efforts to achieve fusion. 

The bigger problem is that despite billions of dollars of funding and decades of research into fusion, no experiment has ever produced a sustained fusion burn. 

“We’ve been making fusion reactions for more than a decade now. The issue is producing more energy output from fusion reactions than is required to start. These fusion reactions are what’s called this energy break-even demonstration. We believe we’re right around the corner from doing so,” said Levitt. 

That achievement could make Zap Energy a household name and transform the world energy system for centuries. 

Source: newsy.com

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Curbing People With Mental Health Away From Jail

Newsy takes an inside look at Miami-Dade’s Mental Health Program, and how it helps people get treatment, and avoid jail.

Behind the barbed wire of jails and prisons across the country people with mental illnesses are incarcerated. But behind the doors at this courthouse in Miami is a decades long effort to divert people with serious mental illnesses away from the criminal justice system.  

“We’re not gonna let you down. Keep it up, keep taking it one day at a time,” said Judge Javier Enriquez.

The 11th Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project lessens the cycle of incarceration for people experiencing serious mental illness and substance use disorders. It links treatment and support programs to people who commit less serious crimes. 

Julie Reed is a program graduate, and now a peer specialist for the program.  

She’s often outdoors talking to people, keeping them engaged and offering support. 

“I’m helping people and I’m giving back to the community,” said Reed.  

When she was a teen she tried to take her life and was introduced to the mental health system. Years later she became a widow and she believes untreated trauma fed her mental health issues. She says  she eventually started self medicating.

“I’ve had many different diagnoses. I would probably lean more towards like bipolar disorder. It was just really hard to access help and I was uninsured,” she said. “I was a single mom and trying to work full time trying to juggle my two kids and it just was a lot and I just started breaking down. I wound up going through the criminal justice system and fortunately that’s where I got my help.” 

She was ready for change and said the program provided support and links to services. 

NEWSY’S HALEY BULL: When you look at this photo here, your story being displayed, what goes through your head?

JULIE REED: I’ve come a long way and I’m just glad I had the support of my family. If you see in my story “Julie’s Story” it’s a lot of my family because they were the ones that were really there for me and helped me get through. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. And the team here at JDP helped out a lot. I feel good and hopeful of my future. It’s been 12 years in recovery clean and sober, no going back to jail, no going back to the hospitals.

The program goes back more than two decades. 

Judge Steve Leifman has helped turn Miami-Dade County into a national leader in criminal justice reform by changing the way people with serious mental illnesses are treated in the criminal justice system. 

“We wouldn’t treat people with cancer or heart diseases this way; we shouldn’t be treating with mental health illness this way,” said Leifman.  

He is a former assistant public defender who became a passionate advocate as a judge. In his courtroom he saw the holes in the system that led to a commitment for change.  

“Our recidivism rate in our felony and misdemeanor went from about 75% now to about 20 to 25%,” he said.  

But there are still more he hopes to reach. The Miami Center for Mental Health and Recovery plans to become an extension of the program later this year, a one-stop shop for the mentally ill cycling through the system. 

BULL: Is this a first of its kind facility in the country? 

STEVE LEIFMAN: It’s the first of its kind in the United States and possibly in the world.  

It will include everything from a crisis stabilization unit, residential treatment, courtroom to health care, tattoo removal and a culinary support employment program. 

The details, down to the lack of linoleum, are carefully designed to be more welcoming. 

“It will give us a full continuum of all the services we already have that were lacking and every other community lacks. And that’s the problem. There’s no capacity in the United States for the most acutely ill,” said Leifman. 

The American Psychiatric Association Foundation partnered with others on the “Stepping Up Initiative” to help support counties in reducing mental illness in the justice system. Rawle Andrews Jr. is the executive director of the APA Foundation.  

“Over two million people a year get caught up in our criminal justice system annually and those two million people suffer from serious mental illness that need help but what we’ve given them is a jail cell,” said Andrews. “What we’re hoping and what we’re backing is that this 988 system that just went into place last month almost 30 days in, that the diversion and deflection that we need away from incarceration to some real access to care will happen.” 

Back in Miami-Dade, Commissioner Sally Heyman says they’ve come a long way. 

“Now you have people focused on their care in custody, till they can determine what needs to be done. So, you know, it’s not just one thing with the diversion. It’s ‘what are we doing?’ Before we get them in a car,” said Heyman. 

While there’s more work to do yet Julie shares this, “to never give up to keep continuing to look for help even if you’ve had doors shut on you. To keep looking, you’re not alone.”   

Newsy’s mental health initiative “America’s Breakdown: Confronting Our Mental Health Crisis” brings you deeply personal and thoughtfully told stories on the state of mental health care in the U.S. Click here to learn more. 

Source: newsy.com

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