Alabama's public school students are taking part in a new physical fitness assessment this year, replacing a series of tests that had not been updated since their parents were in school.
Citing a need to refocus on the fitness of the state's children, the new Alabama Physical Fitness Assessment rolled out this fall in public schools. The tests are required for all students in grades 2 through 12 and replace the old President's Challenge Fitness Test, which was adopted in 1984.
Alabama's top health officer says state Medicaid is facing a major funding shortfall.
The director of the Alabama Department of Public Health, Dr. Don Williamson, says federal changes will add $30 million to the state's Medicaid funding needs for 2014.
The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/TdPa3M ) reports that state officials didn't know about the additional cost when voters approved using $437 million from a state fund to plug the Medicaid budget in September.
The public now has access to some of the information reported by Alabama hospitals about healthcare-associated infections.
The Legislature passed a law in 2009 requiring hospitals to report infection information to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Now, the department has started putting that information online at: http://www.adph.org/hai
Alabama health officials have contacted four of the six additional Alabamians who received injections of steroid medicine from a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak.
The state's deputy director of medical affairs, Dr. Tom Miller, said Wednesday that two are fine. Two are showing symptoms and will be seen by their physician to see if the symptoms are ordinary or something more serious. The Department of Public Health is trying to reach the other two patients. The six live in Alabama, but were treated in Florida.