BBC News - US hopes music and art can sooth traumatised soldiers (The BBC) "The US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan etched scenes of violence and death into the memories of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Now, military researchers are exploring whether writing, art and music can sooth veterans seared by wartime trauma."
Rewards for patients to switch care - The Boston Globe (boston.com) "The health insurer plans to introduce a rewards program through which its Massachusetts members who have been given referrals will be asked to call a “clinical concierge’’ service that can direct them to hospitals or medical facilities that charge less for the same tests. In return, they will receive a check from Harvard Pilgrim, ranging from $10 to $75."
After Drugs And Dark Times, Helping Others To Stand Up (The New York Times) "The mental health care system has long made use of former patients as counselors and the practice has been controversial, in part because doctors and caseworkers have questioned their effectiveness. But recent research suggests that peer support can reduce costs, and in 2007, federal health officials ruled that states could bill for the services under Medicaid — if the state had a system in place to train and certify peer providers. In the years since, “peer support has just exploded; I have been in this field for 25 years, and I have never seen anything happen so quickly,” said Larry Davidson, a mental health researcher at Yale. “Peers are living, breathing proof that recovery is possible, that it is real.”
Seattle Officials Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags : NPR (npr.org) "The Seattle City Council voted Monday to ban single-use plastic bags from groceries and other retail stores, joining a growing trend among cities that embrace green values. The ordinance, which was approved unanimously following months of discussion and debate, takes effect in July 2012. It includes a provision to charge a nickel fee for the use of paper bags, to encourage people to bring their own bags when they go shopping...The ban is expected to reduce pollution, free up landfill space and improve the environment. Seattle's residents use 292 million plastic bags and 68 million paper bags a year. About 82 percent of paper bags are recycled, while only 13 percent of plastic bags are recycled."
This program aired on December 20, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.