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Two Tennessee Abortion Clinics, Awaiting High-Court Ruling, Grapple With Uncertainty

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Corinne Rovetti is worried about what will happen to the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health if the Supreme Court overturns the constitutional right to abortion. The clinic, where she has worked for 33 years helping people across a four-state region, could close. “We’re unsure if we’ll be able to maintain services at […]

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This Rural, Red Southern County Was a Vaccine Success Story. Not Anymore.

MEIGS COUNTY, Tenn. — At a glance, it seemed like a Southern pandemic success story in a most unlikely place. A small county northeast of Chattanooga, along the twisting banks of Chickamauga Lake, for much of the past year has reported the highest covid-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee and one of the highest in the […]

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No Prison Time for Tennessee Nurse Convicted of Fatal Drug Error

RaDonda Vaught, a former Tennessee nurse convicted of two felonies for a fatal drug error, whose trial became a rallying cry for nurses fearful of the criminalization of medical mistakes, will not be required to spend any time in prison. Davidson County criminal court Judge Jennifer Smith on Friday granted Vaught a judicial diversion, which […]

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As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips

With time running out in the 2022 legislative session, Georgia lawmakers took up a bill to regulate raw milk. An amendment suddenly got tacked onto the House version of the bill, although the new wording had nothing to do with dairy. The language called for legalizing the use of strips that test drugs for fentanyl, […]

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Shopping for Space, Health Systems Make Over Malls

The hulking Hickory Hollow Mall — a full 1.1 million square feet of retail space in southeastern Nashville — was once the largest shopping center in Tennessee. But like many malls, it’s been in a downward death spiral for more than a decade. Now the mammoth complex surrounded by acres of parking is on track […]

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Nurse Convicted of Neglect and Negligent Homicide for Fatal Drug Error

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — RaDonda Vaught, a former nurse criminally prosecuted for a fatal drug error in 2017, was convicted of gross neglect of an impaired adult and negligent homicide Friday after a three-day trial that gripped nurses across the country. Vaught faces three to six years in prison for neglect and one to two years […]

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As a Nurse Faces Prison for a Deadly Error, Her Colleagues Worry: Could I Be Next?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four years ago, inside the most prestigious hospital in Tennessee, nurse RaDonda Vaught withdrew a vial from an electronic medication cabinet, administered the drug to a patient, and somehow overlooked signs of a terrible and deadly mistake. The patient was supposed to get Versed, a sedative intended to calm her before being […]

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Black-Owned Hospice Seeks to Bring Greater Ease in Dying to Black Families

This time, it didn’t take much persuading for Mary Murphy to embrace home hospice. When her mother was dying from Alzheimer’s disease in 2020, she had been reluctant until she saw what a help it was. So when her husband, Willie, neared the end of his life, she embraced hospice again. The Murphys’ house in […]

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The ER Charged Him $6,500 for Six Stitches. No Wonder His Critically Ill Wife Avoided the ER.

Jason and DeeAnn Dean recently relocated to her hometown of Dellrose, Tennessee, where she grew up on a farm. Both in their late 40s, they’re trying to start a green dream business that combines organic farming with a health and wellness consulting company. They want to inspire people to grow their own food in this […]

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Worn-Out Nurses Hit the Road for Better Pay, Stressing Hospital Budgets — and Morale

In parts of the country where covid-19 continues to fill hospitals, a rotating cast of traveling nurses helps keep intensive care units fully staffed. Hospitals have to pay handsomely to get that temporary help, and those higher wages are tempting some staff nurses to hit the road, too. Nearly two years into the pandemic, there’s […]