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