Mary Scott Hodgin

Health and Science Reporter

An award-winning journalist from Birmingham, Mary Scott Hodgin joined WBHM as the Health and Science Reporter in 2018. In addition to a strong interest in Alabama's biodiversity and medical landscape, she has reported extensively on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as issues related to mental health care and criminal justice.

From 2019 through 2022, Mary Scott led the development of WBHM’s first narrative podcast, “Deliberate Indifference," which traces how Alabama’s prisons became among the nation’s most dangerous, culminating in a years-long battle with federal officials. The series won a highly coveted National Edward R. Murrow Award in the Podcast category for Small Market Radio in 2023.

Mary Scott has received multiple Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and Alabama Associated Press Media Editor awards. She was twice recognized by the Alabama Broadcasters Association as the state's “Best Large Market Radio Reporter."

A native of Birmingham, Mary Scott earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Alabama and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys exploring the outdoors, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen.

UAB building among Alabama’s first to feature ‘bird safe’ glass

Advocates hope the new glass will prevent window collisions, a leading causes of bird mortality.

This spiky-stemmed invasive grass is taking over Alabama

Classified as one of the worst weeds in the world, cogongrass aggressively crowds out native species and costs Alabama landowners tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

New pilot program will offer housing, resources to people leaving prison

The Birmingham Reentry Alliance will provide wrap around services to dozens of men and women adjusting to life after prison.

What happens when a rural hospital shuts its doors? Look to Pickens County

Residents in the west Alabama county warn that the lack of emergency care can have deadly consequences. It's a fate that could befall a growing number of rural communities.

Alabama pharmacists urge lawmakers to pass HB 238

Supporters of the legislation say it would create a more transparent reimbursement system for struggling pharmacies. The bill's opponents worry it could drive up insurance costs.

Two Alabama IVF providers resume treatment under new law

Patients celebrated the new legislation, which grants civil and criminal immunity to providers involved in IVF procedures.

Alabama fertility care in limbo as lawmakers discuss legislation

As patients lose access to care, the clock is ticking for Alabama lawmakers to agree on legislation to protect IVF.

‘Sick!’ New kids book by Alabama author explores how animals fight germs

A new children's book by Alabama author Heather Montgomery explores how animals fight off pathogens.

Court ruling offers temporary victory for Alabama birth centers

The preliminary injunction requires Alabama public health officials to license birth centers that meet certain national standards.

In Alabama’s Paint Rock Valley, researchers count every tree thicker than a pencil

In an effort to better understand the biodiversity of north Alabama, scientists are conducting a “tree census,” with the goal of studying roughly 100,000 trees for 50 years.

After 12 years and a pandemic, Jefferson County’s health officer steps down

Dr. Mark Wilson is well-known for leading residents through the COVID-19 pandemic, but his legacy includes a larger effort to expand the role of public health.

With spread of fentanyl, opioids kill record number of Black men in Birmingham

The number of opioid overdose deaths among Black men in Jefferson County has quadrupled since 2019, sparking action from residents and health experts.

Nature-based education on the rise in Alabama

At least three forest schools have opened across Alabama in recent years. It's part of a nationwide movement to teach kids in nature.

NIH selects UAB’s Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to replace Dr. Anthony Fauci

Marrazzo, who has led UAB's Division of Infectious Diseases since 2016, served as a national expert throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alabama providers sue over threat of prosecution for abortion assistance

In two lawsuits filed Monday, abortion-rights advocates and reproductive healthcare providers accuse Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall of violating the U.S. Constitution.

To meet rising demand, UAB emergency room begins $73 million expansion

After experiencing a 20% increase in patient volume over the past five years, the hospital plans to double treatment capacity in its emergency department.

How hard is life after prison? This simulation in Birmingham offers a taste

Across the country, U.S. justice officials are hosting simulated experiences to highlight the barriers many people face after leaving prison.

Alabama’s hemlocks face threat from a deadly insect

In the Bankhead National Forest, Eastern Hemlock trees foster unique habitat for a wide range of species. But a deadly insect is moving closer and closer.

Cahaba lily season draws crowds, inspires conservation efforts

Alabama is thought to be home to one of the world's largest populations of the unique flower, which is only in bloom for a few more weeks.

Alabama health officials seek to eliminate cervical cancer by 2033

A new campaign aims to dramatically increase rates of HPV vaccination, cancer screening and follow-up care.

Birmingham officials launch violence intervention program at UAB hospital

The initiative connects gunshot survivors with resources to try to stop the cycle of violence.

At Lovelady Center, women find hope after surviving fentanyl

Four women share stories of using and recovering from the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Increasing popularity of Alabama’s Pinhoti Trail sparks economic opportunity

A growing number of hikers are tackling Alabama's longest continuous footpath and trail communities are welcoming the growth.

Health advocates hope Narcan’s over-the-counter status will bypass Alabama’s strict laws

Public health officials say the federal rule change should expand access to the overdose-reversing medication, after years of navigating tough state restrictions on who can dispense Narcan.

After botched executions, Alabama will try lethal injection again

Alabama paused executions for three months after the state failed to execute two men and took more than three hours to kill another man. Now, after an internal review and a rule change, prison officials will resume the procedure.

Alabama medicinal plants inspire new UAB art exhibit

The new art exhibit showcases handmade books, sculptures and drawings inspired by medicinal plants found in Alabama.

In the quest for new cancer treatments, researchers look to outer space

The Southern Research team is studying how bacteria reacts in the microgravity environment, and whether it prompts the development of novel cancer therapies.

After deadliest year on record, families remember loved ones lost in Alabama prisons

Two hundred sixty-six incarcerated people died inside Alabama's prisons in 2022, and dozens have died so far in 2023.

Red Mountain Cut features time capsule of Alabama’s robust geologic history

A national natural landmark, the road cut along Birmingham's Red Mountain Expressway documents more than a hundred million years of geologic history and was once an educational centerpiece.

Alabama health officer reflects on lessons learned from COVID-19

Dr. Scott Harris describes the challenges of navigating three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, marked by political divisions and mistrust.

This swampy paradise is Alabama’s winter haven for sandhill cranes

As many as 25,000 sandhill cranes migrate to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge every winter, along with a handful of highly endangered whooping cranes. 

Residents worry about unknown health impacts of toxic landfill fumes

Officials have advised people to stay inside, seek medical care if they feel sick and relocate if necessary, a response that frustrates many residents.