• What's the teen birth rate in your county?

    Jaclyn Cosgrove | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Oklahoma had the second highest teen birth rate in the United States in 2014, behind only Arkansas.  Oklahoma County has seen some success in bringing its teen birth rate down, but overall, Oklahoma still has a long way to go. As Tim Willert, Oklahoman education reporter, points out in this story: (Oklahoma City Public Schools) no longer offers sex education courses, choosing instead to teach related content that applies to core subjects like physiology and elective courses such as adult and family living. By law, public schools in Oklahoma are not required to teach sex education but must provide AIDS prevention education. Meanwhile, 51 percent of Oklahoma high school students surveyed

  • Heartburn can cause cancer: SkyDance Bridge lights up to raise awareness

    Juliana Keeping | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Heartburn can cause cancer. Most people don't know that.  I happen to know because my mom died in 2010 at 59, a year and a half after her esophageal cancer diagnosis.  She dealt with heartburn for years. She had gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, a condition that carries symptoms like heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and the feeling that food is stuck behind the breastbone. Over time, acid from the stomach damaged the lining of her esophagus, a condition known as Barrett's Esophagus. In some cases, including hers, precancerous cells formed.  It's a stealthy disease. Aside from fatigue, she was virtually symptomless until receiving a stage 4 diagnosis, which is sadly typical. By then

  • Suffer from storm-related anxiety? Help is available

    Jaclyn Cosgrove | Updated: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    Unfortunately, when forecasters report on severe weather, there are a lot of unknowns. Where will the weather hit? Will there be a tornado?  How severe will the weather be? This amount of uncertainty can cause a lot of anxiety in people, especially people who have experienced some level of trauma as a result of weather.

  • Mental health more on minds of lawmakers after Costello and OSU homecoming parade tragedies

    Jaclyn Cosgrove | Updated: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

    Last year, Rep. Lee Denney didn't find much enthusiasm at the Capitol to get a bill passed regarding court-ordered mental health treatment. And then, in August, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello died after his son Christian, suffering from untreated schizophrenia, stabbed him in a Braum's parking lot.  And then, in October,  Adacia Chambers, 25, who has struggled with mental health issues, ran her car through a crowd at the OSU Homecoming parade, causing the deaths of four people. And then, mental health was a topic on lawmakers' minds.  "Unfortunately, when things aren't right in front of our face, we don't think about them," Denney, a Cushing Republican, said. "And so mental health

  • Mental health stigma, lack of treatment hit home for Kenyan journalist

    By Mercy Adhiambo, Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    On Wednesday, I attended a meeting at the Oklahoma Capitol to listen to discussions about funding mental health. It was my first assignment since I came to The Oklahoman newspaper as a journalism fellow from Kenya. I was shadowing my mentor to see how such deliberations are held, and later to do a comparative analysis on how it differs from my country. In my mind, I pictured it as a meeting where policymakers discuss figures, read winding documents and then debate loudly without making a resolution. I was ready for chaos. At least that is what my experience as a journalist in my country had exposed me to.

  • Family, friends walk Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon to honor teen who donated his organs to local man

    By Heather Dean | Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    Two families bonded together by the heart of a teenage baseball player carry on Brendon McLarty’s legacy by embracing what he cared about. Friends and family of the teen will walk in the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon this year, not only remembering the lives lost in the 1995 bombing, but also to celebrate the life of a young organ donor who passed away in 2012. The recipient of his heart will cheer them on from afar. Brendon McLarty was an all-American 16 year old boy who had a passion for sports. He was a Perry Maroon through and through, and enjoyed playing football and baseball for Perry High School. He played sports with determination, passion and focus – and inspired his fellow teammates to play

  • Running Oklahoma: Steps you take in search of a better you define you as a runner

    Matthew Wilcoxen | Updated: Wed, Apr 20, 2016

    Running has become a large part of the culture of Oklahoma and especially Oklahoma City largely due to the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon which is the primary fund raiser for the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

  • 82-year-old organ donor proves that age is no barrier to giving the gift of life

    By Heather Dean | Updated: Fri, Apr 15, 2016

    Paul Castner gave the gift of life at age 82 so that someone else could live. In turn, he also gave his family the gift of healing. When many don’t think they have much left to give after living a long and healthy life, Caster of Mangum, Okla., donated his organs. “Organ donation doesn’t have a specific face. I never thought my 82-year old father would be a face of organ donation,” Eric Castner said. April is National Donate Life Month, and LifeShare is celebrating the donors who selflessly give the gift of life. The federally designated organ procurement organization is responsible for organ and tissue donation statewide.

  • Outstanding Seniors: A Rose at Primrose

    Keith Dobbs | Updated: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

    Flora McKee has the whole flowery theme going on in her life. She sports a first name of Flora, lives at Primrose Retirement Community of Shawnee, and is as sweet as a gardenia. She also has earned a fragrant title – the oldest resident at the retirement community. At almost 99, McKee says it’s genetic.  “To tell you the truth, it has to be in my genes.  My mother lived to 98, grandparents into their 90s. “We were farmers. I grew up hoeing the cotton and corn. I milked the cows.” The retired homemaker reminisces about working in the garden and growing all the family’s own food.  “I was grown before I ever ate at a fast-food place.

  • Outstanding Seniors: Beggs native a creative cook and saleswoman

    Keith Dobbs | Updated: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

    Known for her Hungarian goulash, Delores Fox doesn’t have a special recipe.  “It’s just how the ingredients go together,” she said. “I use chili powder, hamburger meat, tomatoes and usually elbow macaroni.  “The kids just love it!” The almost 80-year-old has many years of practice on her goulash for her four kids, 12 grandkids and 11 great-grandkids.  “I don’t have a favorite. I love ‘em all.” In addition to goulash, Fox is known for her pies and cakes.  “Pumpkin, pecan, chocolate.  I just love sweets,” Fox said.

  • Surgeon General Vivek Murthy: 'Our prisons are filled with people who need help'

    Jaclyn Cosgrove | Updated: Tue, Apr 12, 2016

    [brightcove]4842775268001[/brightcove] As Surgeon General Vivek Murthy travels around the country, he regularly hears about two issues: addiction and mental illness. Murthy said at a health care journalism conference this past weekend that the United States must change its approach in how people with these serious brain diseases are treated.  "We find that our prisons are filled with people who need help, who need treatment, and aren't able to get the kind of support and treatment that they need because they were incarcerated instead of being connected to treatment," Murthy said in response to a question from The Oklahoman.

  • Oklahoma City hearing aid provider brings mobile hearing screenings to rural communities

    Michaela Marx Wheatley | Updated: Tue, Apr 12, 2016

    It’s not a secret that Oklahoma faces challenges in providing healthcare to residents in rural communities, especially when in comes to access to specialists. To help people living outside major metro areas get the help they need, Oklahoma City-based Hear Again is taking its services on the road. Every month, specialists travel to communities across Oklahoma, setting up in hotels or local clinics offering hearing services. “Many of our patients are older. They don’t like to drive anymore, or can’t drive long distances,” said Lew Davis, owner of Hear Again, a family-owned and operated hearing aid provider. “We can’t expect them to make the trip to Oklahoma City to get the help they

  • Interview: Comedian Argus Hamilton performing Oklahoma City benefit show

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Mon, Apr 11, 2016

    A version of this story appears in Monday's Your Life section of The Oklahoman. Argus Hamilton admits he’s not the type of guy to do something that’s no fun. But the successful stand-up comedian and newspaper columnist made a startling discovery about fun almost 30 years ago.    “What I would tell my fellow alcoholics and drug addicts is the biggest surprise I ever got is that recovery is more fun than partying. And everybody who knows me back in Oklahoma City knows that something’s gotta be fun, or I’m not gonna be doing it,” Hamilton said by phone last week from Los Angeles before his nightly show at The Comedy Store.

  • What to do in Oklahoma on April 9, 2016: See Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre's 'night Mother'

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Sat, Apr 9, 2016

    Today's featured event: See Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre's production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “’Night Mother" at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. today at Civic Center’s CitySpace Theatre, 201 N Walker. Performances continue at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. April 15, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 16, and 1:30 p.m. April 17. Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (aka CityRep) is presenting the Oklahoma City professional premiere of the play, about a depressed woman who calmly announces to her mother that she plans to commit suicide that night, revealing her reasons as the drama unfolds.

  • Cathy Costello, wife of slain labor commissioner, to speak at public rally to support behavioral health services

    Jean Williams | Updated: Thu, Apr 7, 2016

    Everyone concerned about the chronic underfunding of mental health and substance abuse services made worse by recent budget cuts are urged to attend a rally at the Oklahoma state Capitol Wednesday, April 20.

  • Oklahoma Artists Invitational benefit show raises stroke awareness

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    A version of this story appears in Tuesday's Life section of The Oklahoman. Arts exhibit boosts stroke awareness Art and medicine, marriage and teamwork merge twice a year at the Oklahoma Artists Invitational. “It’s a combination of art and medicine together, and it’s obviously resonated with those who come to the show. Not only is the art good but they actually hear something that’s healthy for them as well,” said Dr. Richard V. Smith, medical director of Mercy Neuroscience Institute. “It’s a team effort. We’ve been blessed to be a good team.” Jan J.

  • Lifesaving production: Oklahoma City Repertory seeks to explore, prevent suicide with ''night Mother'

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    A version of this story appears in Tuesday's Healthy Life section of The Oklahoman. Lifesaving art CityRep seeks to explore, prevent suicide with Pulitzer Prize winner ''night Mother' Between the homey living room and freshly tidied kitchen, an argument rages between mother and daughter. Family secrets are revealed, regrets are aired and, finally, a sense of weariness settles over the combatants. It’s the kind of quarrel that could happen in any number of homes in any number of places, but in this case, it’s actually a scene from Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize winner “’Night Mother.