Kody Kinsley and Kelly Crosbie

More people with disabilities in NC wait for services while a court fight continues

BY: - August 14, 2023

It’s the dilemma at the center of the frustration and worry for people with disabilities and their families in North Carolina.  People with intellectual or developmental disabilities wait years for services that help them live in communities rather than institutions. The wait list has grown to 17,000 people. There’s not enough money for all of […]

NC judge orders community services for more people with disabilities. The state objects, saying the deadlines are unrealistic.

BY: - November 3, 2022

Thousands of people with disabilities would receive services to help keep them out of institutions, and a waiting list of more than 16,000 North Carolinians needing direct care would be whittled to zero over 10 years under a sweeping court order issued this week. Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour’s order follows his 2020 decision that […]

Biden administration asks state, local officials to boost monkeypox vaccine outreach

BY: - August 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — Federal public health officials said Thursday they are working with state and local health departments to boost messaging and vaccinations for those most likely to contract monkeypox, including at large-scale events. But Biden administration officials at a press briefing also struggled to explain differing statements about how the vaccines should be administered, a […]

State appeals court rules DHHS can be held liable for both lax and overzealous adult care home oversight

BY: - February 9, 2022

The owner of a McDowell County adult care home recently won an appeals court case against the state in which he argued that over-zealous inspectors reached conclusions that were so off-base they amounted to negligence. Because of the ruling, the owner can claim damages.  The three-judge appeals court panel split 2-1 in favor of owner Fred Leonard, who wants compensation for losses connected to sanctions against Cedarbrook Residential Center.

NC has a plan to support people with disabilities living outside institutions. Does it do enough?

BY: - February 1, 2022

A 2021 assessment of living arrangements and community support for North Carolinians with developmental disabilities or severe mental illnesses reinforced what’s become a truism in the state: it spends a disproportionate amount of public money on institutional living that keeps people segregated from larger communities. The state Department of Health and Human Services released a […]

PW exclusive: A conversation with the first Chief Equity Officer at NC DHHS

BY: - October 21, 2021

Victor Armstrong will lead the Cooper administration's efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities laid newly bare by the pandemic The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people of color has further exposed racial disparities and inequities in health care, which residents with chronic illnesses have confronted for years.

Geography, politics loom large as COVID-19 vaccination momentum wanes

BY: - July 13, 2021

Lack of access, "Trump effect" both acting as roadblocks COVID-19 vaccines are hard to come by in Bladenboro, the small southeastern North Carolina town that was the center of a COVID-19 cluster that pushed its home county into the red zone on a virus alert map.


North Carolina failed Ruby: 15,000 others still wait

BY: - June 21, 2021

Woman’s death highlights Innovations Waiver wait list crisis When I first learned about Ruby Loftin’s unexpected death a few weeks ago, I was heartbroken. Friends describe Ruby as bringing joy to all who knew her. I imagine her sweet spirit and welcoming smile and wish that I had known her.

An image of a person's shadow

NC failed to meet court-ordered deadlines for moving people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes. But it got another extension.

BY: - June 10, 2021

Service gaps, lack of central control over regional offices, COVID-19 pandemic contribute to "mission drift" North Carolina had eight years under a 2012 court order to move 2,000 people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes and into houses or apartments. A few years ago, the state received an extension to this July. It won’t make that deadline, either.

Dr. Rachel Levine confirmed as highest-ranking openly transgender federal official

BY: - March 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania’s former top health official, Dr. Rachel Levine, on Wednesday became the first openly transgender individual to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a federal position. The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm her as an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine […]

Re: State Govt Employees – Legislature misses opportunity to align state staffing with priorities

BY: - May 31, 2018

The legislature has been touting its living wage proposal for state employees—an important first step in recognizing the important role that these workers play in our communities and the economy even if it appears not to include some of the lowest paid workers. But alongside consideration of various aspects of state employment should be an […]

The Senate budget poses a very real threat to helping people in need

BY: - May 12, 2017

The North Carolina Senate budget passed early this morning has been analyzed for its investments and how far short they fall of the needs in communities.  What has been missed, however, are the changes that would be made under the Senate budget that would put families in our state one catastrophe away from accessing health […]