Mary Scott Hodgin

Mary Scott Hodgin

Health and Science Reporter



Mary Scott Hodgin is an award-winning journalist from Birmingham, AL. She covers health and science, as well as the Alabama prison system.

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.

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.

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.