Mary Scott Hodgin

Mary Scott Hodgin

Health and Science Reporter



Mary Scott Hodgin is WBHM’s Health and Science Reporter. She started as a freelance reporter for WBHM in 2015 and has covered topics ranging from downtown revitalization to the statewide prison crisis.

Hodgin grew up in Birmingham and attended the University of Alabama. Before joining public radio, she lived in Spain and previously worked as a camp counselor in rural Wyoming and Alaska. She has experience in documentary filmmaking and is fluent in Spanish.

When she's not reporting, Hodgin enjoys spending time outdoors, finding new music and experimenting in the kitchen.

‘It’s A Reality For Us.’ ICU Nurse Shares The Impact Of COVID-19

Kelsey Jacks is a registered nurse in the medical Intensive care unit at UAB Hospital, where she takes care of the sickest COVID-19 patients. To help people understand the impact of the virus, she recorded an audio diary during a recent shift.

Face Masks Required Throughout Jefferson County Starting Monday

Beginning Monday, face masks will be required in indoor spaces open to the public throughout Jefferson County. Health officer Dr. Mark Wilson announced the new order Friday, citing concerns about the recent increase in spread of COVID-19.

NASCAR Fans React To Confederate Flag Ban, Noose Incident

A day after a noose was placed in the garage of NASCAR’s only full-time Black driver, fans at Talladega Superspeedway condemned the incident, but were mixed on NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag.

Removed Birmingham Confederate Monument ‘A Weight Lifted Off Of This City’

Sparked by protests calling for racial justice, a growing number of cities across the country are taking down Confederate monuments. What’s next for these structures and the communities who remove them?

Birmingham Mayor Issues Citywide Curfew Due To ‘Civil Unrest’

Birmingham city residents are under a new nightly curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Mayor Randall Woodfin announced the order and declared a state of emergency Monday morning in response to violence that erupted Sunday evening.

Families & Advocates Want More Data On COVID19 In Alabama Nursing Homes

More than half of Alabama’s nursing homes have reported coronavirus cases. But families and advocates say they don’t have a clear picture of what’s happening inside these places because state health officials don’t disclose information on individual facilities.

Alabama Utility Commission To Consider Ban on Recording Meetings

Alabama’s Public Service Commission is considering new rules that restrict recording formal hearings. Critics say the “Media Coverage Plan” goes too far and limits transparency of the agency.

As State Loosens Restrictions, Health Experts Worry About COVID-19 Spread

As Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey allows more businesses to reopen next week, UAB infectious disease expert Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo is worried about the state’s recent increase in average cases and deaths related to COVID-19.

Players & Coaches Prepare For Uncertain Future In College Athletics

The cancellation and delay of sporting events due to the coronavirus is creating uncertainty for student athletes. College coaches have fewer opportunities to scout new players and they face mounting financial pressure that’s led some schools to cut athletic programs.

In Rural Alabama, Pandemic Highlights Need For Broadband Access

The internet is helping a lot of people get through the COVID-19 crisis. But many people in rural areas like the Black Belt have no internet access at all.

Birmingham Mayor Announces Nightly Curfew, Defends Mask Ordinance

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is defending two new city ordinances tightening restrictions around COVID-19. Beginning Friday, residents will be under a nightly curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and they must wear face coverings in public.

UAB Hospital Losing $70 Million Per Month Due To COVID Restrictions

UAB Hospital is taking a financial hit from COVID-19. Officials announced Friday a projected loss of $70 million per month due to fewer clinical visits, elective surgeries and hospital stays.

Inside Alabama’s Prisons, Fear Of A Coronavirus Outbreak

Alabama corrections officials recently reported the first inmate death related to COVID-19. With several prisoners and staff members testing positive for the virus, those inside Alabama prisons worry this is just the tip of the iceberg.

After 22 Days, UAB Staff Celebrate First COVID Patient Released From ICU

After falling ill with COVID-19, Bill Chambers was admitted to intensive care and placed on a ventilator. He spent 22 days in the hospital and was recently released, becoming the first COVID patient discharged from UAB Hospital’s ICU.

Parole Hearings Will Resume With “Reduced Person-To-Person Interaction”

The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles will resume parole hearings May 18 after stopping them last month in response to COVID-19. Advocates say the state should expedite the parole process to protect inmates and alleviate prison overcrowding.

Surviving A Pandemic: How The 1918 Spanish Flu Changed Life In Alabama

COVID-19 is not the first pandemic to strike around the world. In 1918, the Spanish Influenza had a dramatic impact on daily life everywhere, including Alabama.

Pregnant Women Are Changing Their Birth Plans Amid COVID-19 Fears

Due to COVID-19, hospitals are limiting the number of people who can be present during labor and delivery. That’s one reason some pregnant women are considering giving birth at home.

Distance Learning Begins Monday. What’s The Plan?

Closed through the end of the academic year, Alabama K-12 schools will being distance learning Monday. Jefferson County Schools released information Friday about their plan.

Doug Jones: Alabama ‘Critically Unprepared’ For COVID-19

Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones says Alabama is an “unhealthy” state with a high-risk population. He says officials should implement strict measures to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Advocates Call For COVID-19 Resources In Spanish, Other Languages

Local advocacy groups say non-English speaking immigrants are an especially vulnerable group during this crisis, and not enough is being done to help them.

‘Critical Shortage Everywhere’ Of Personal Protective Equipment

The health care workers who care for COVID-19 patients are on the front lines, but hospitals and clinics are running out of the protective equipment medical providers need to protect themselves.

Alabama K-12 Students Will Finish School Year From Home

Amid growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says K-12 students will not return to classrooms to finish out the 2019-2020 school year.

Getting Out For A Walk In The Woods? Social Distancing Still Applies

With gyms closed and kids home from school, more people are visiting area parks. Some officials are grappling with how to manage the crowds without putting the public’s health at risk.

As COVID-19 Spreads, Meals On Wheels Adapts To Serve Seniors

With volunteers at home and the economy in decline, area nonprofits are feeling the impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, communities are seeing an increased need for charitable programs.

UAB Hospital To Open Appointment Only Test Site For COVID-19

Starting Monday, UAB hospital will offer testing for COVID-19 at a drive-thru center in downtown Birmingham. Symptomatic patients must call first and make an appointment.

Protecting People In Prisons, Jails And Shelters From COVID-19

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, health officials are asking people to stay home and practice social distancing. But in Alabama prisons and homeless shelters, following this advice is virtually impossible.

‘Drastic Efforts’ In Jeffco Aim To Curb The Spread Of Coronavirus

To help slow the spread of the coronavirus, health officials announced Tuesday a series of orders to limit public gatherings in Jefferson County.

How To Get Tested For COVID-19 In Alabama

Days after Alabama confirmed its first case of coronavirus, testing is ramping up across the state. There are a growing number of options to get screened and tested for the virus.

Alabama Still Has Not Detected Coronavirus. Health Officials Advise Acting Otherwise

Alabama remains one of a handful of states where the coronavirus has not been detected. Some say officials should be doing more to prepare and test for the disease.

Shelby County Residents Vocal On Proposed Toll Bridge

For weeks, Shelby county residents have voiced concerns about a proposed private toll bridge that would cross Lay Lake on the Coosa River. Developers say the project will spur economic development but not everyone is convinced.

Construction, Welding, GED: The Impact Of Prison Education

Across Alabama, state inmates are getting GED certificates, learning to fix cars, and even how to code. As Alabama faces mounting pressure to reform its prison system, many state leaders want to increase funding for these educational programs.

Possible Focus on Inmate Education, DOC Oversight in 2020 Session

The 2020 legislative session begins Tuesday and prisons are at the top of the agenda. Lawmakers are likely to consider proposals presented last week by Governor Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy.