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From Medicaid to COVID, BPR's partnership with NC Health News advances health coverage for Western North Carolina

NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban
NC Health News
NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban spends much of her covering state government, including the more than decade long debate over Medicaid expansion.

Whether it is a look behind-the-scenes at negotiations over Medicaid expansion or the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic, BPR’s partnership and collaboration with North Carolina Health News helps keep listeners informed.

Soon after North Carolina reported its first COVID-19 case, BPR host Helen Chickering reached out to NC Health News founder and editor Rose Hoban, a registered nurse with degrees in public health policy and journalism. Their conversations soon became a weekly feature, offering listeners insight on the news that mattered most.

When the much-anticipated vaccine distribution was announced, Hoban shareddetailed information about the logistical challenges and practical guidance about how individuals could obtain shots.

As restaurants, bars and retail outlets began opening up, BPR and NC Health News gave listeners contextaround the restriction changes and offered perspectives about the ongoing risks.

When the Omicron variant seized the state, Chickering and Hoban explained how and why the new strain moved so quickly.

Now that the more than decade-long debate over Medicaid expansion appears to be coming to an end, stay tuned for more conversations with Hoban, who has been following this story from the beginning. Partnerships like the one with NC Health News allow BPR to provide in-depth information and analysis on critical issues of health and safety.

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.