Health and Medicine

A public hearing is set for later today on LewisGale Medical Center’s latest effort to gain state approval for a neo-natal intensive care unit. It is LewisGale’s fourth attempt in seven years. Right now, Carilion operates the only such unit in the Roanoke Valley at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. The hearing begins at noon at the Salem Public Library. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:

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LewisGale Regional Health System announced today it is acquiring Salem-based Virginia Orthopaedic effective October 1. The new entity will be named LewisGale Physicians – Virginia Orthopedics. It will operate from the medical care providers current offices at 101 Knotbreak Road in Salem. Nine of Virginia Orthopaedic’s 10 providers will remain with the new organization.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia regulators have picked five companies to open the state’s first medical cannabis dispensaries. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that after more than five hours of private discussion Tuesday, the Virginia Board of Pharmacy gave initial approval to five of the 51 applicants. Each of the state’s five health service areas will feature a dispensary. The conditional awardees include Maryland-based Green Leaf Medical, Illinois-based PharmaCann and Florida-based Columbia Care. The other two licenses were awarded to newer ventures from Virginia entrepreneurs partnering with out-of-state partners: Dharma Pharmaceuticals and Dalitso LLC. The companies will open state’s first authorized marijuana-growing facilities within a year, but dispensaries are only allowed to sell non-psychoactive oil to approved patients. These companies will also have to undergo background checks before the licenses are finalized.

This is National Suicide Prevention Week and locally the Suicide Prevention Council of Roanoke Valley is gearing up for presentations at local middle schools that begin next Tuesday. The first meeting geared towards parents is at Cave Spring Middle School on September 18th at 6-30. There’s also a free documentary screening this Friday morning at the Grandin Theatre; “The Ripple Effect” is about a young man who survived a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge and now counsels others on “staying alive.” Ray Bemis is coordinator for the Council:

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