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News for Southeastern Arizona, provided by the University of Arizona School of Journalism

More and more caregiving falls on the family

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Rosa Buelna supports her 75-year-old mother’s back as she walks around, pushing her walker in front of her. She does this for her mother every single day, and so much more. Ysidra Buelna had three strokes in the past, and her daughter Rosa Buelna, 47, tends to her needs from day to night. She has been her mother’s stay-at-home caregiver for 15 years. She starts her day at around 7 a.m., and prepares food for herself and her mother so they can eat breakfast come 8:30. Throughout the day, she helps her mother take a shower or use the bathroom, walk around the house, get up from her bed or her recliner in the living room, prepares her food and even takes her on walks to the park or just around the neighborhood. On top of that, she maintains...

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Telemedicine helps sustain rural health care

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Access to health care in rural and underserved communities could be improved as telemedicine progresses and advances. At the same time, officials say, using video technology to reach patients could help rural hospitals in Arizona and around the world stay afloat as they combat financial woes and doctor shortages. “There has been 58 rural hospitals that closed in this country in the last five years,” said Dr. Daniel J. Derksen, director of the University of Arizona’s Center for Rural Health. “Unfortunately, one of them was here in Douglas.” Cochise Regional Hospital shut its doors in July 2015, leaving many residents of Douglas no choice but to drive more than 20 miles to the nearest hospital, Bisbee’s Copper Queen Community Hospital. Other shuttered facilities in Arizona included Kingman’s Hualapai Mountain Medical Center in 2011 and Florence Community Healthcare in Florence in 2012. Hospital closures in rural areas are...

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Adults with autism face the harsh reality of limited support services

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In a quiet area in Hereford, Arizona, stands a ranch that is different from all others. The 10-acre Echoing Hope Ranch, built in 2009, has four houses, a chicken coop, a couple of alpacas, a garden with two greenhouses, two ponds with koi fish and catfish, a grassy space for goats to run, a bench and a tire swing. Here, residents are free to play and relax. In the background flows the San Pedro River, where millions of birds migrate to and different species of mammals live. Although some of its features may make it look like a typical ranch, its purpose is different. Echoing Hope Ranch is a nonprofit organization that serves as a home for adults with autism. In 2014, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 68 children were diagnosed with autism nationwide,...

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Zika isn’t the only mosquito-borne disease to be worried about

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The Zika virus is taking one country at a time, and although the mosquito that carries the virus is present in Arizona, the mosquitoes here do not carry the virus. The mosquito-borne virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also the main vector for dengue and chikungunya, and has also been detected of carrying the West Nile Virus. Arizona is one of the states in the U.S. that the mosquito considers home, said Dr. Laura Adams, epidemiology field officer with the Arizona Department of Health Services. “We have healthy population of Aedes aegypti here in Tucson,” said Michael Riehle, an associate professor of entomology at the University of Arizona who researches and studies the mosquito. “Certainly if somebody is infected with Zika virus and comes into Arizona, our local mosquitoes can pick it up and transmit it.”...

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