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2 lawmakers back Alzheimer's bills

Members of the Arkansas delegation last week co-sponsored bills intended to fight Alzheimer's disease, which is estimated to affect about 56,000 Arkansans.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman was added as a co-sponsor to Senate Bill 880, a bill titled Improving HOPE for Alzheimer's, which requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to do outreach to health providers about care planning services for people with the progressive brain illness.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman signed on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution 1873, the House version of the bill.

Both lawmakers sit on the bipartisan congressional task force on Alzheimer's disease.

David Cook, public policy manager for the Arkansas Alzheimer's Association chapter, said in an email that the bills would "provide essential education for clinicians about the care planning services that are available through Medicaid, [which] plays an essential role in improving health outcomes for those living with Alzheimer's and Dementia."

"We are hopeful that this education will lead to more physicians having conversations about cognitive decline with their patients," he wrote.

Last week, Boozman also was added as a co-sponsor to SB901, a bill to ensure that younger people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease are covered by the Older Americans Act.

The bills have been referred to committees for review.

'Strike Out Stroke' event set Thursday

The Arkansas Travelers and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will host "Strike Out Stroke" night at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock on Thursday.

UAMS stroke neurologist Dr. Sanjeeva Onteddu will arrive by helicopter to deliver balls for the first-pitch ceremony.

Stroke survivors will be recognized, and a survivor will join UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson in throwing the first pitches.

Volunteers also will offer stroke education and brain-shaped stress toys at the baseball game against the Springfield Cardinals, which begins at 7:10 p.m.

Arkansas is ranked seventh in the nation for stroke deaths, which is an improvement after many years in first place, according to a news release.

Data: State's RNs among worst-paid

Registered nurses in Arkansas are among the nation's worst-paid, according to May data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the state, registered nurses made an average salary of $60,780, with an average hourly wage of $29.22.

That's 48th among states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Only registered nurses in Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi and South Dakota, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam, made less money.

Salaries were highest for registered nurses in California, where they made about $106,950 annually, or an average of $51.42 per hour.

Wages for nurse practitioners in Arkansas -- an advanced nursing qualification that allows the bearer to write prescriptions in some states -- fared better but were also on the low end, ranking 33rd among states and the District of Columbia.

Those professionals made an average of $104,300 annually in Arkansas, the data said.

Opioid addiction focus of concert

The Matt Adams Foundation for Opioid Recovery is hosting a benefit concert at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville today.

Opal Agafia & the Sweet Nothings, Jesse Dean and Co. and Caleb Ryan Martin will perform at the concert intended to highlight opioid addiction.

The show is scheduled to coincide with what would have been Matt Adams' 32nd birthday.

Adams died from an overdose in 2017, a news release said.

Proceeds will benefit the foundation's naloxone distribution and other programs.

The show begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15.

Hospital to host cardiology lecture

CHI St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock will host a lecture called "Conversation with a Cardiologist" on Thursday.

Dr. Tom Wallace will give the talk, which focuses on atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat.

The discussion is free to attend, and there will be light snacks.

It begins at 10 a.m. in the hospital's St. Vincent DePaul Room.

Metro on 05/19/2019

Print Headline: 2 lawmakers back Alzheimer's bills Travelers, UAMS host stroke night 'Strike Out Stroke' event set Thursday Data: State's RNs among worst-paid Opioid addiction focus of concert Hospital to host ca...

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