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Teenagers embody spirit of Christmas in toy drive

Teenagers embody spirit of Christmas in toy drive

By the time they were 8-year-olds, Ashley Voegele and Ashlyn Hardy had written their share of letters to Santa Claus, eagerly detailing their Christmas wishes. They thought all children did that.

December 05, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Suicide prevention leader finds kids' access to lethal means 'alarming'

Suicide prevention leader finds kids' access to lethal means 'alarming'

Firearms continue to be the primary means of suicide in Montana, constituting 66 percent of the suicides, well above the national average of 51 percent, according to a newly released state report.

December 04, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Suicide Review Team Summary

Suicide Review Team Summary

December 03, 2014 6:12 am
More sexually traumatized veterans will now have access to mental health care

More sexually traumatized veterans will now have access to mental health care

More veterans in need of mental health care because they were sexually assaulted or sexually harassed during their military service are now eligible for treatment, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday.

December 03, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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No longer tethered to oxygen equipment, Billings woman plans Christmas waltz

No longer tethered to oxygen equipment, Billings woman plans Christmas waltz

Two months ago, Pat Miller relied on four to six liters of oxygen per minute for survival and could barely pad across her one-bedroom apartment.

December 02, 2014 6:00 am Related Loading…
Program allows eligible veterans to receive care outside VA system

Program allows eligible veterans to receive care outside VA system

A program popular among Montana veterans that allows them to get medical care closer to home has been reauthorized by Congress through August 2016.

December 01, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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New patients to Billings VA clinics wait average of 22 days for appointment

New patients to Billings VA clinics wait average of 22 days for appointment

Billings has two veteran clinics that span a total of more than 95,000 square feet and are worth more than $14 million, but some men and women are still having a hard time getting an appointment.

November 30, 2014 6:00 amLoading…
Tester calls protracted search for VA director 'unacceptable'

Tester calls protracted search for VA director 'unacceptable'

The selection process for naming someone to lead Montana’s VA Health Care system is taking “far, far too long,” U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said in a recent interview with The Billings Gazette. “It is unacceptable.”

November 28, 2014 6:00 amLoading…
Father: 'Nothing could prepare you to lose part of your soul'

Father: 'Nothing could prepare you to lose part of your soul'

Having completed five tours of combat duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, Jonathan Karns, a member of the U.S. Army, bore witness to some of the bloodiest and deadliest assaults imaginable. None of it prepared him for the decision he and his pregnant wife would eventually make in the confi…

November 26, 2014 4:30 pm Photos

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Toys for Tots organizers urge Black Friday shoppers to buy extra gift

Toys for Tots organizers urge Black Friday shoppers to buy extra gift

As shoppers hit those first holiday sales, organizers of the annual Toys for Tots campaign are encouraging shoppers to pick up an extra toy or book to give to a child who might not otherwise have a present under the tree.

November 26, 2014 4:00 pm Related Loading…
Suicide prevention productions transformed into videos

Suicide prevention productions transformed into videos

Two original Billings theater productions have become the centerpiece of “Let’s Talk Billings,” a suicide prevention campaign that uses media and arts workshops to reach teenagers.

November 26, 2014 6:30 am Related Loading…

Flu, enterovirus have potential to cast pall over Thanksgiving travel, family gatherings

Flu season is settling in across Montana, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, travel and family gatherings.

November 25, 2014 6:30 pmLoading…
Retired doctor: 'New hospital is most important nonprofit project in modern history of community'

Retired doctor: 'New hospital is most important nonprofit project in modern history of community'

LIVINGSTON — Construction on a new, two-story, $43.5 million critical-access hospital and clinic is progressing on schedule and set to open by fall 2015.

November 25, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Health officials, emergency responders prepare in event of Ebola

Health officials, emergency responders prepare in event of Ebola

A person who may have Ebola has been identified and is being monitored in the community. Now what?

November 20, 2014 5:25 pm Photos

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Coroners' lack of cooperation frustrates state's Suicide Review Team

Coroners' lack of cooperation frustrates state's Suicide Review Team

A lack of cooperation among some county coroners continues to hinder the Montana Suicide Review Team’s ability to examine the factors contributing to the state’s suicide rate, among the highest in the nation.

November 19, 2014 7:00 pm Related Loading…
Fifth-graders send public health message on flu via video

Fifth-graders send public health message on flu via video

WORDEN — You’ve no doubt been counseled to get a flu shot and strongly advised to wash your hands and cover your mouth during influenza season, but chances are you’ve never been encouraged by a group of 10-year-olds.

November 19, 2014 6:00 am Video Photos

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VA leader vows to explore greater autonomy for Billings-based VA clinics

VA leader vows to explore greater autonomy for Billings-based VA clinics

In the past five years, Billings has experienced explosive growth in health care facilities and services for veterans. Now some veterans question whether they have grown so large that administrators at Fort Harrison cannot effectively manage them from 250 miles away.

November 14, 2014 5:00 pmLoading…
VA head looking to cut down wait times

VA head looking to cut down wait times

The acting director of the Veterans Affairs Montana Health Care System said Thursday he doesn’t need results of a national audit before looking at ways to reduce the delays some veterans face while trying to see a physician.

November 13, 2014 8:10 pm Photos

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Nurses union, Billings Clinic reach agreement over unfair labor practice complaint

Nurses union, Billings Clinic reach agreement over unfair labor practice complaint

An unfair labor practice complaint filed against Billings Clinic alleging the hospital bargained in bad faith has been settled with no admission of wrongdoing from the Clinic.

November 12, 2014 8:00 pm Photos

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Options for home health care services expand in Yellowstone County

Options for home health care services expand in Yellowstone County

Yellowstone County residents who rely on health care services in their homes have a new Medicare-certified option — Senior Independence of Montana.

November 12, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Preterm birth rate improves in Montana, nation

Preterm birth rate improves in Montana, nation

For the seventh year, Montana’s preterm birth rate declined, giving more babies a healthy start — and earning the state a “B” grade on the 2013 March of Dimes Report Card.

November 06, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Children make up more than 10 percent of nation's organ donors

Children make up more than 10 percent of nation's organ donors

Of the 8,268 people in the United States who donated their organs last year, more than 10 percent were children under age 17.

November 05, 2014 12:20 am Video Photos

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Differentiating among influenza, enterovirus, Ebola can be confusing

Differentiating among influenza, enterovirus, Ebola can be confusing

A trio of headline-grabbing viruses — Ebola, enterovirus and influenza — have the potential to create a perfect storm of confusion among those falling ill because fever is a symptom of all three.

November 02, 2014 12:00 am Related Loading…
VA Montana erroneously releases patients' confidential information

VA Montana erroneously releases patients' confidential information

A Glendive veteran says his confidential medical diagnosis, birth date, address and Social Security information were compromised when the VA Montana Health Care System mishandled his request for medical services.

October 29, 2014 6:30 pm Photos

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Montana suicides continue to creep up; rate remains twice the national average

Montana suicides continue to creep up; rate remains twice the national average

As Montana’s suicide rate continues to inch upward, attention is turning to what some call a broken mental health system.

October 27, 2014 8:00 am Photos

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U.S. Marines set stage for 239th birthday celebration

U.S. Marines set stage for 239th birthday celebration

The Knights of Columbus will serve as ground zero for a Marine Corps birthday party.

October 23, 2014 6:00 am Video Loading…
Acting VA director schedules town hall meeting for veterans

Acting VA director schedules town hall meeting for veterans

Veterans will have an opportunity to ask questions of Johnny Ginnity, acting director of VA Montana Health Care System, during a town hall meeting on Nov. 13.

October 22, 2014 2:26 pmLoading…
Billings hospitals, RiverStone Health begin regular screening for Ebola

Billings hospitals, RiverStone Health begin regular screening for Ebola

Billings Clinic, RiverStone Health and St. Vincent Healthcare have implemented new guidelines to prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States.

October 22, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Orthopedic surgeon: New knee-replacement technology is "game changer"

Orthopedic surgeon: New knee-replacement technology is "game changer"

For Lonney White, it was a 1970s-era baseball injury that finally caught up with him and left him plopped on his backside in the midst of the Stillwater River.

October 22, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Ebola concerns surface in Montana's nursing ranks

Ebola concerns surface in Montana's nursing ranks

Nurses across Montana, particularly those at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, are preparing for the possibility they will treat patients with Ebola and are turning to the Montana Nurses Association with concerns.

October 20, 2014 1:44 pm Photos

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Irion announces retirement from St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation

Irion announces retirement from St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation

The man who helped raise more than $100 million to help build new facilities, expand services and improve programs at St. Vincent Healthcare has announced he is leaving as president and CEO of St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation.

October 19, 2014 8:59 am Photos

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Father of Riverside student who killed herself questions whether bullying played a role

Father of Riverside student who killed herself questions whether bullying played a role

HARDIN — The father of an 11-year-old sixth-grader who hanged herself after allegedly being bullied at Riverside Middle School wants a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.

October 17, 2014 9:00 pm Photos

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11-year-old's organs donated, giving life to others

HARDIN — After making the decision to remove their brain-dead daughter from life support at St. Vincent Healthcare, Zoey Not Afraid’s parents were faced with another decision: whether to donate her organs.

October 17, 2014 5:20 pmLoading…
'Things just happened': Stand Down gives homeless vets a chance to rest, recover, renew

'Things just happened': Stand Down gives homeless vets a chance to rest, recover, renew

John Swart rolled into Billings on a bus from Butte on Monday and took up temporary residence at the Montana Rescue Mission. It was a pit stop on his way to find work in the Bakken oil fields.

October 16, 2014 2:03 pm Photos

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Montana abortion rate falls to lowest level in nearly 40 years

Montana abortion rate falls to lowest level in nearly 40 years

Abortion rates in Montana are at their lowest level in nearly 40 years, at least by one measure.

October 16, 2014 6:00 am Related Loading…
Montana's health department confirms 10 cases of enterovirus-D68

Montana's health department confirms 10 cases of enterovirus-D68

There are now at least 10 laboratory confirmed cases of enterovirus-D68 in Montana involving children younger than 16, all of whom were hospitalized at some point, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

October 15, 2014 5:15 pmLoading…
State, local health officials prepare for 'unlikely' Ebola outbreak

State, local health officials prepare for 'unlikely' Ebola outbreak

As a Dallas hospital works to contain the Ebola virus, the Billings medical community is preparing for the unlikely event it spreads to Montana.

October 15, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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15-year-old Eagle Scout candidate fighting 'invisible epidemic'

15-year-old Eagle Scout candidate fighting 'invisible epidemic'

A 15-year-old’s project to get unused and potentially deadly prescription drugs out of homes has received an endorsement from the state’s chief law enforcement officer — Attorney General Tim Fox.

October 14, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Weather breaks for second annual Kite Fest

Weather breaks for second annual Kite Fest

As though on cue Sunday, the clouds dissipated, the rain halted and the sun shone high above Amend Park, creating a spectacular canvas for the Kite Fest.

October 12, 2014 5:30 pm Photos

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Rain, hail cause dual accidents

Rain, hail cause dual accidents

Torrential rain and hail about 3:10 p.m. Sunday caused two separate accidents, both on Interstate 94 near mile marker 2, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.

October 12, 2014 4:38 pmLoading…
Lindeen announces insurance change to help with expensive cancer, MS drugs

Lindeen announces insurance change to help with expensive cancer, MS drugs

Montanans who need expensive prescription drugs to treat multiple sclerosis, cancer, hepatitis and other critical illnesses could get some relief next year with a change in the way insurance companies cover prescription drugs. State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen announced Friday that…

October 10, 2014 8:45 am Photos

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Veterans will soon have access to 'one-stop' medical services, including pharmaceutical

Veterans will soon have access to 'one-stop' medical services, including pharmaceutical

VA medical facilities on the Billings West End will soon become a one-stop destination for veterans.

October 10, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Billings Clinic nurses get pay raises with new 3-year contract

Billings Clinic nurses get pay raises with new 3-year contract

With the new year, about 575 Billings Clinic direct-care nurses will receive an across-the-board 4 percent pay raise, followed by a 3.5 percent boost in 2016 and a 4 percent hike in 2017.

October 08, 2014 8:35 amLoading…
Road to recovery: Stroke Camp helps survivors with healing process

Road to recovery: Stroke Camp helps survivors with healing process

Roger Lee, a retired financial adviser, was making plans to enjoy the waning days of summer with a fly-fishing trip, along with his wife, Jacque, and friends.

October 08, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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Public health officials urge getting vaccinated for the flu

Public health officials urge getting vaccinated for the flu

The biggest threat to the health of Americans isn’t Ebola or the rare respiratory virus affecting children.

October 07, 2014 6:00 pm Photos

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SAINTS Ball breaks record; raises more than $1 million for St. Vincent surgical center

SAINTS Ball breaks record; raises more than $1 million for St. Vincent surgical center

St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation’s 36th annual SAINTS Ball netted a record amount of $1,050,000 for St. Vincent Healthcare’s new Medical-Surgical Center of Excellence.

October 07, 2014 8:42 am Photos

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State receives $1.95 million for Mental Health First Aid training

State receives $1.95 million for Mental Health First Aid training

The state Office of Public Instruction has received $1.9 million for Mental Health First Aid training, a program designed to increase community awareness and public safety.

October 06, 2014 10:30 am Photos

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Benefit dinner planned for Iraq war veteran diagnosed with cancer

Benefit dinner planned for Iraq war veteran diagnosed with cancer

A 26-year-old Iraq war veteran is engaged in one of the potentially deadliest battles of his life.

October 04, 2014 6:00 am Photos

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YelCo 52: Pictograph Cave experiences renaissance, drawing visitors from around world

YelCo 52: Pictograph Cave experiences renaissance, drawing visitors from around world

For Carol Ormsbee, a resident of Camarillo, Calif., once was not nearly enough. Her first visit to Pictograph Cave State Park years ago only whet her visual and sensory appetites, leaving her hungry for a return trip.

October 03, 2014 7:00 pm Photos

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