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.

Alabama to Close Most of Holman Prison

The Alabama Department of Corrections is accelerating plans to close most of Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. Officials made the announcement Wednesday, citing growing maintenance costs and safety concerns at the 51-year-old prison.

Prisons Officials Request $42 Million Increase to Hire Staff, Improve Healthcare

Prisons will be a top issue in the upcoming legislative session. The state Department of Corrections presented its budget request Thursday, along with the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.

Ivey’s Study Group Proposes Prison Reforms Ahead of Legislative Session

Gov. Kay Ivey’s prisons study group made suggestions Tuesday after months of reviewing the state’s troubled prison system.

Slow Food Movement Fuels Birmingham’s Burgeoning Bakery Scene

In recent years, several artisanal bakeries have opened in Birmingham offering a wider selection of homemade bread. But will people make an extra stop to pick up a loaf?

Crisis Center Hopes to Reach Rural Survivors with Mobile Unit

Victims of sexual assault can often have trouble finding help, especially in rural communities. This year, the Crisis Center launched a mobile response unit to try to change that.

Inmate Deaths Prompt Alabama Prisons To Take Steps to Curb Violence

The Alabama Department of Corrections announced this week it is taking measures to cut down on prison violence. This follows the deaths of two inmates. One death allegedly involved the use of force by corrections staff.

Relatives of Alabama Inmates Call on Prisons Task Force to Improve Conditions

Advocates and relatives of Alabama prisoners called on Gov. Kay Ivey’s criminal justice study group to implement reforms. Concerns at Wednesday’s meeting ranged from violent prison conditions to the lack of re-entry services.

Public Hearing to Consider Future of Alabama Power’s ‘Solar Tax’

Solar power is becoming cheaper and more accessible nationwide. But in Alabama, residents face a roadblock. State regulators will hold a public hearing this week on Alabama Power’s fee for solar panel users.

After Two Month Delay, Parole Hearings Will Resume

The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles will resume parole hearings Tuesday. The state agency postponed hundreds of hearings since September, citing new legal requirements.

UAB Researchers to Study Silent Strokes

You could have a stroke and not know it. It’s called a “silent stroke.” And researchers at UAB want to know more about how it affects the brain.

Birmingham Approves No-Smoking “Health District”

The Birmingham City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday to ban smoking in a portion of downtown Birmingham.

Program Uses ‘Horse Sense’ to Improve Communication with Police

For people who have a communicative disorder such as autism, run-ins with police can escalate quickly. To tackle the issue, a local nonprofit recently developed a training program for police and kids, using horses.

Cyberattacks Like The One On DCH Are Increasingly Common

Officials with DCH Health System in Tuscaloosa are still recovering from last week’s ransomware attack. Experts say this kind of cybercrime is becoming more common.

First Alabama Death Related to Vaping Injury

A man from East Alabama is the state’s first resident to die from a vaping-associated injury, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Advocates Want Lawmakers to End the Habitual Offender Act

Gov. Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy meets Thursday to talk sentencing. Advocates want the group to address the state’s Habitual Felony Offender Act.

Biden at 16th Street Baptist Church Commemoration: ‘Hate is on the Rise’

Sunday marked the 56th anniversary of the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church. Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the memorial observance.

NOAA Head: ‘No One’s Job Is Under Threat’ Over Trump’s Disputed Tweets About Alabama

Acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs said “nobody’s job is at risk” after National Weather Service forecasters in Alabama contradicted President Trump’s claim last week that the state would be hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

Medicare Change a ‘Huge, Significant Thing’ for Alabama

Rural hospitals in Alabama are struggling to make ends meet. Now, experts say Medicare is throwing the state a lifeline.

Governor’s Study Group Meets on Prison Operations

Gov. Kay Ivey’s task force on criminal justice policy convened Wednesday in Montgomery to discuss the state’s troubled prison system.

UAB Using Whole Blood to Improve Trauma Care

For decades, blood banks have separated blood into different parts: cells, plasma and platelets. Experts say that has a lot of advantages, but sometimes, patients just need whole blood.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Spreads to Jefferson County

Health officials announced Tuesday the county is fighting an outbreak of Hepatitis A.

With Low-Impact Development, Cities Hope to Better Control Runoff

Many cities in Alabama now have ordinances in place to encourage low-impact development. The goal is to reduce the amount of runoff that pollutes and erodes area waterways and better prepare for extreme weather.

Development Fills the Cahaba River with Sediment

Increased construction around Birmingham has led to concerns about the amount of sediment in the Cahaba River.

How Prepared is UAB Hospital for a Mass Shooting?

UAB Hospital is Alabama’s busiest high-level trauma center. But how prepared is the hospital for tragedy on a larger scale?

UAB Study Shows Limiting Meal Times Can Lower Appetite

Research out this week shows the timing of your meals could help you eat less. The UAB-led study explored the benefits of a type of intermittent fasting.

Two Workers Found Dead After Trench Collapse in Hoover

Two workers were found dead Tuesday evening after a trench collapsed on them in a Hoover neighborhood. The discovery came after an hours-long rescue and recovery effort.

Biometric Technology Comes to Birmingham Airport

Air travelers flying out of Birmingham can now identify themselves with the touch of a finger or an eye scan. Officials at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Thursday unveiled new biometric technology from the company CLEAR.

Energy Storage Research Center Opens in Birmingham

Energy officials from around the country gathered in Birmingham Tuesday to mark the opening of the Energy Storage Research Center. They say the facility has big implications for the future of renewable power.

Putting a Price Tag on a Fish Kill

Last month’s wastewater spill at a chicken plant in Hanceville resulted in the largest reported fish kill in years. Environmental groups and residents want to see hefty fines against those responsible for the incident, but how do officials come up with a dollar amount?

The Story Behind Parcak’s “Archaeology from Space”

UAB anthropology professor Sarah Parcak uses satellite images to find buried sites in Egypt and around the world. She takes readers on that journey of discovery in her new book, “Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past.”

“Harsh and Sad at the Same Time” – Residents React to Case of Marshae Jones

Marshae Jones was charged with manslaughter in the death of her fetus after being shot in the stomach during a fight. The case has drawn international attention, with people on both sides of the debate over whether a fetus should have the rights of personhood.

Training Better Robotic Surgeons in Virtual Reality

Surgery today can look a lot different than it did 20 years ago. In addition to scalpels and forceps, many surgeons need to know how to operate using a robot. But learning to use the device can be a challenge.