The cost of removing a cataract - between $2,000-$4000 - is prohibitive for many, leaving them to struggle with a completely curable form of blindness. The Moran Eye Center has started a Charitable Surgery Day, to help restore sight to some Utahns.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2010, there were 20 million people who had become blind because of cataracts; that’s half of the world’s blind population.
Jeff Pettey is an Ophthalmologist at the University of Utah Moran Eye Center. He said many kinds of blindness, including that caused by cataracts, can be fixed.
"Eighty percent of blindness in the world is either curable or preventable. And 90 percent of the blindness is in developing nations, but we have a lot here, I mean among us. This is a place where there’s no reason anyone should be walking around with preventable or curable blindness," Pettey said.
But they are. Barbara Simons’ vision has been impaired by cataracts for around seven or eight years.
"It's hard to see and read and I haven't driven a car for a while and I trip a lot," Simons said.
Simons doesn't have insurance and doesn't have the money to pay for cataract surgery on her own. Until recently, she was homeless. She receives health and eye care at the Fourth Street Clinic in downtown Salt Lake City. Kristy Chambers is the CEO for the clinic, and said the clinic tries to find specialty care for their patients when needed.
In 1995 at Ney Pond, Minnesota, local students found dozens of frogs and toads with extra limbs, missing limbs or even eyes in the wrong place. Shortly after, reports of other “hot spots” of malformed amphibians poured in from around the country.
"That was during probably the realization among many amphibian biologists that amphibians seemed to be declining in their study sites," said Karen Beard, Associate Professor of Ecology and Biology at Utah State University. "And so a lot of researchers were kind of wondering what was causing that, and there were a lot of hypothesis."
A national report released by the non-profit health consumers organization, Families USA, shows the majority of Americans with individual health coverage will qualify for premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.
“The overwhelming majority of people with private, individual health insurance today will soon be able to receive better coverage and pay lower premiums due to the Affordable Care Act,” said Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack.
Approximately 15.2 million people – 5.7 percent of the non-elderly population – receive their health coverage through private, individual (non-group) health plans. Pollack said a portion of this group has become the center of a controversy about whether or not Americans can keep their health coverage under the ACA.
In a unanimous decision Tuesday the Provo City Council asked their staff to begin researching housing and employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community in Provo.
Councilman Rick Healey said the issue was brought to the council by a special interest group, and that he has not personally heard of any discrimination in the city.
Healey said he is interested in seeing how ordinances have been implemented in other Utah cities like Salt Lake and Ogden—specifically, how common complaints are received and how they have been handled.
A comet new to the inner solar system from the distant Oort Cloud has made its way into Earth’s orbit and is now headed for the Sun. Astronomers hope the comet named ISON, discovered just last year, will put on a good show as it heats up. But so far, it has not been as bright as originally predicted.
Utah State University professor Joyce Kinkead received the national Carnegie Professor of the Year Award Thursday in Washington D.C., becoming the 13th to receive the award in the history of the school.