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Attendees form a line representing the severity of certain mental or physical conditions at a Mental Health First Aid training session in Tucson.

Much like CPR training, the free 12-hour Mental Health First Aid class, taught over two days, teaches how to recognize and react when someone experiences anything from an eating disorder to thoughts of suicide. Despite what officials and advocates call a successful start, Arizona’s program could end in the next few months, and the Legislature has thus far failed to provide funding. (with video) Read more»

Gov. Jan Brewer and other Arizona officials pose with representatives from South Korea at the start of a three-day summit on trauma care.

A delegation seeking to establish a national trauma system in South Korea is in Arizona to see how hospitals, first responders and health care leaders manage the state’s system. Read more»

Though the effect that heat can have is still under debate, the Federal Drug Administration recommends that most drugs be stored below 86 degrees. Southwest Ambulance added temperature-controlled boxes, which run off solar panels, at a cost of about $2,000 per vehicle.

A small solar-powered compartment located behind the passenger’s seat of some of Southwest Ambulance’s vehicles keeps stores of potentially life-saving drugs at 70 to 74 degrees. Since temperatures inside ambulances can reach up to 130 degrees or more during summer, those 20 degrees make a big difference. Read more»

A room at Banner Good Samaritan’s Trauma Center in Phoenix.

Arizona’s free enterprise-based trauma system would benefit from increased government control and an updated comprehensive plan, according to a recent report by the American College of Surgeons. Read more»

Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, wants to establish state-level penalties for schools, districts and charters that violate the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

An Arizona lawmaker wants to create state-level penalties for schools that violate a federal law prohibiting them from releasing students’ private information to non-educational entities. Read more»

Arizona’s public universities benefit the state’s economy by attracting and partnering with businesses, creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in direct and indirect expenditures each year, officials told state lawmakers Wednesday. Read more»

Representatives from law enforcement, behavioral health and faith-based groups are urging lawmakers to expand a state training program that helps community members recognize and assist those facing mental health challenges. The he Mental Health First Aid program is backed by two Southern Arizona lawmakers, Victoria Steele and Ethan Orr. Read more»

Gov. Jan Brewer wants to commit $56 million to providing performance-based funding to Arizona schools. Of that amount, $18 million would come from reallocating per-pupil funding to all school districts and charter holders.

Supporters of Gov. Jan Brewer’s performance-based education funding model for school districts and charter holders say concerns about the formula’s effects on schools in low-income areas don’t take into account the bigger picture. Read more»

A map of areas in Arizona that have physician shortages.

Officials estimate estimates there are 141 primary care shortage areas, 94 mental health care shortage areas and 154 dental care shortage area across the state. Experts predict the problem will only get worse as more Arizonans get health insurance and Medicaid coverage. Read more»

Leslie Noyes told state lawmakers she was surprised to find that her son had been put in an isolation room within his special education classroom to control his behavior issues.

Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, wants a law requiring schools to obtain parental consent before using isolation or seclusion rooms to control student behavior. Arizona is among states without laws regulating the use of restraints and seclusion practices in schools. Read more»

Rep. Catherine H. Miranda, D-Phoenix, author of a bill that would allow participants in the Obama administration’s deferred action program to get driver’s licenses, said it was a victory merely to get the bill a hearing at the State Capitol.

Denying Arizona driver’s licenses to participants in the Obama administration’s deferred action program is setting up newly legal workers to break the law by driving anyway, an advocate told state lawmakers Thursday. Read more» 1

Two Tucson lawmakers want to appropriate $500,000 to expand a program that provides training on identifying and assisting individuals facing mental health challenges. Republican Rep. Ethan Orr and Democratic Rep. Victoria Steele represent the district that includes the Safeway store where a gunman killed six people and wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a dozen others on Jan. 8, 2011. Read more» 2

Chris Spiva, a former foster child, credits attending college with helping him transition successfully to adult life.

SB 1208, authored by Sen. Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix, would create a five-year pilot program to provide tuition waiver scholarships for current and former foster children at state’s public universities and community colleges. Read more»

A state lawmaker wants to change enrollment preferences for charter school admittance. HB 2494, authored by Rep. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix, would give enrollment preference to students who attended a charter school under the same educational management organization. Read more»

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, the House minority leader, addresses a news conference at which he accused GOP leaders of bottling up Democratic bills addressing gun violence.

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said he's troubled that none of the bills making up his Safer Schools, Safer Communities plan has been scheduled for a committee hearing. He says that by ignoring his bill GOP leaders are avoiding discussion of the issue. Read more»

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