Helen Chickering

All Things Considered Host, Reporter

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

Helen grew up in Texas.  Her broadcast career began in television news in 1985 at WLBT, the NBC affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi.  There she did everything from news to weather and found her niche in medical reporting.  Over the next 20 years she covered health and science news on both local and national levels, including 5 years in Charlotte at the CBS affiliate, WBTV.   In 1998, Helen helped launch the health and science desk at NBC News Channel, the network's affiliate news service.  She became the first journalist to serve as president of the National Association of Medical Communicators and was on the founding board of the Science Communicators of North Carolina.  

In 2012, Helen and her family moved to Asheville from Chapel Hill and she started working as a freelance producer and as a Montessori teaching assistant.  A longtime NPR listener, she was thrilled to land a job at Blue Ridge Public Radio.   Helen is an active member of the Asheville Science Tavern and a guest lecturer and an advisory board member at the University of North Carolina's Medical and Science Journalism Program.

Ways to Connect

https://covidprisonproject.com/

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss White House Coronavirus Task Force visit to North Carolina as the state’s COVID rate “simmers”, the continued rise in cases among inmates, and the criticism that the state has not done enough to help release more eligible people from prison early to help reduce the spread of the virus.  

The childhood home of  legendary singer-songwriter and civil activist Nina Simone will be protected forever.

The home in Tryon, North Carolina is now covered by a preservation easement held by Preservation North Carolina, a statewide historic preservation advocacy organization. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, in partnership with World Monuments Fund (WMF)  worked with  Preservation NC to secure protection of the house.

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss North Carolina’s move to Phase 2.5 of the governor’s reopening plan, what happened behind the scenes as lawmakers hammered out the remainder of the federal coronavirus relief package, and why some researchers are revisiting the question about conducting research in prisons.  

Tom Snow

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban. This week they discuss the public health mentions  in Governor Roy's Coopers budget proposal, CDC's updated coronavirus testing guidelines and  - river otters.  They sure are cute, but what do they have to do with our health?

dailytarheel.com

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the quick- switch to all online-learning by two universities in the UNC system, the complicated challenge of communicating public health messages during a pandemic along with a check-in with primary care practices. 

Rose Hoban / NC Health News

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week (after a week off) they discuss the seemingly stabilizing coronavirus trends as NC college students return to campus and public schools begin to open, the testing numbers error that shines a light on outdated data collection methods and  the coronavirus budget breakdown that included a “what if we had expanded Medicaid” moment.

Pexels

As some schools welcome students back during the pandemic, it’s likely that the  only healthcare provider on campus- will be the school nurse. And in North Carolina more than half serve more than one school.

Greg Barnes

Every Friday, we check in with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban to discuss the latest coronavirus news making headlines.  This week, the conversation focused on  an investigation by NC Health news reporter Thomas Goldsmith about the quality of care  at state owned veteran’ nursing homes managed by a private company, and where 36 North Carolina residents of military service have died of COVID-19.

The number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina is hovering close to 100,000 with 1,820 new cases reported on Sunday.  Hospitalizations declined over the weekend but remained over 1,000.  The continued rise in new cases and hospitalizations prompted Governor Roy Cooper to extend Phase-2 of his reopening plan for another 3 weeks.  The governor also announced plans for K-12 schools this fall.  

Every Friday,  BPR’s Helen Chickering checks in with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban and this week – there was lots to talk about.

Every Friday we check in with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban for a look at the week in COVID-19 headlines.  Rose is visiting family in New York is week, so we connected by cell phone (pardon the occasional static).

BPR

Scaffolding is going up around the Vance Monument as the city prepares to shroud the 75-foot obelisk in Pack Square in downtown Asheville.   

Mountain State Fair

Two WNC fairs have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At a  press briefing at the WNC Ag Center Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced the annual Mountain State Fair will not be held in 2020.  The fair was scheduled to talk place Sept. 11 through 20 at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher.

Shutterstock

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the pause on the governor’s school opening plan, the politics of masks and the parallels between the coronavirus and HIV/Aids pandemics.

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  Among the topics of discussion this week:  Governor Roy Cooper's Phase-2 pause and mask mandate, the latest from the General Assembly -  including a bill addressing hospital patient visitation during the pandemic and a Medicaid package, plus a look at challenges dentists are facing as they work to re-open

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering reviews the week’s coronavirus news with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the latest COVID-19 metrics, the “have and have-not” impact on  hospital reporting,  possible mask mandate, missing racial data and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on foster care

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the latest COVID-19 metrics amid a swell of new cases and hospitalizations, factors around the disproportionate number of cases among Latino communities and the strike team tactic created by a WNC assisted living facility as it tackled an outbreak among residents and staff.

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss  the latest COVID-19 metrics, how coronavirus is changing patient care in hospitals, the potential impact of protests on the coronavirus curve,  the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among communities of color and a new task force formed to address many of the inequities that contribute to those statistics.     

BPR News

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban about the week’s coronavirus headlines and emerging issues linked to the pandemic.  This week they discuss the increase in cases and hospitalizations during the first week of North Carolina’s  Phase-2 reopening,  the push by state lawmakers to reopen bars and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on state immunization rates.

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban about the week’s coronavirus headlines and emerging issues linked to the pandemic.  This week they discuss the metrics amid the start of North Carolina’s  Phase-2 reopening and the many roles churches are playing in the coronavirus pandemic.

BPR News

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss  the latest COVID-19 metrics, how the public is responding to the modified stay-home order as Phase-2 approaches along with the recent surge in telemedicine and the challenges for rural communities.

MAHEC

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted some dentists to break into the new frontier of teledentistry – including  the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC).  BPR’s Helen Chickering caught up with a MAHEC dental resident as the program was just getting underway. 

(5/13 12 p.m.)

Buncombe County health officials are reporting the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in  long-term care facilities in the county. 

Johns Hopkins University

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban. This week they discuss what health officials are monitoring as the first wave of  stay-home restrictions are lifted, the complicated challenge of figuring out if somebody has recovered from COVID-19 and her thoughts about Nurse’s week amid coronavirus. 

MAHEC

What happens when a medical student and a dental resident harness 3D technology to help flatten the coronavirus curve in North Carolina?  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

UNC School of Public Health

BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban about the metrics state health officials are monitoring, the discussions by state lawmakers working on a COVID-19 relief bill and (below) the NC connection to the newly approved COVID-19 drug therapy.

Buncombe County

Buncombe county residents who think they may have symptoms of COVID-19 can get answers and connect to resources with a new online  Self -Checker .  The  digital tool was created by a COVID-19 think tank started by Emergency Preparedness Director Fletcher Tove with support from the Mountain Area Health Education Center.   The idea for the online resource came from a local climate scientist who also worked to develop and program the self-checker.  BPR’S Helen Chickering reports.

healthaffairs.org

(4/27) Information on congregate living facilities with outbreaks (two or more cases) has been added to the NCDHHS COVID-19 dashboard.  You can find the list here.

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(4/24) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting nearly 12-hundred confirmed COVID-19 cases and  101 deaths at nursing homes across the state.  In Henderson County, 125 of the 158 COVID-19 cases and all 13 deaths  are linked to long term care facilities.   An  analysis of federal data  by North Carolina Health News  found histories of short staffing at more than three-quarters of  19 nursing homes identified in public records and/or media accounts as having COVID-19 outbreaks.   Founding editor Rose Hoban spoke with BPR's Helen Chickering about their findings. 

NCDPS

During Tuesday’s briefing, Governor Roy Cooper announced an Executive Order that will provide relief to furloughed workers who are unemployed and addressed the need to make more funding available for small business owners through the Golden LEAF Foundation's Rapid Recovery Program.  The governor also said officials are getting ready to announce details about what will happen when the state stay-home and school closure orders expire.

The group Reopen NC is planning a second protest in Raleigh Tuesday morning urging Governor Cooper to lift stay-at-home restrictions no later than May 1. The protest comes amid mounting pressure from some lawmakers and others to reopen the economy even as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to grow by the day. 

The group Reopen NC is planning a second protest in Raleigh Tuesday morning urging Governor Cooper to lift stay-at-home restrictions no later than May 1. The protest comes amid mounting pressure from some lawmakers and others to reopen the economy even as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to grow by the day. 

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