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.

Report: Well-Being of Alabama Children Still Lags Nationwide

Alabama’s teen birth rate has decreased dramatically in the last decade. That’s according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which has ranked the overall well-being of kids across the US for 30 years.

CDC Director Visits Alabama to Discuss Ending HIV

The director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, visited Montgomery on Friday to discuss strategies to combat HIV.

Alabama’s Chemical Castration Law Draws Criticism

Certain convicted sex offenders in Alabama will soon have to undergo chemical castration if they want to be released on parole. That’s according to a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Top Wheelchair Rugby Teams Battle it out in Birmingham

Four of the world’s top wheelchair rugby teams squared off recently in Birmingham. It was their last chance to compete in the U.S. ahead of the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

Mt. Vernon Arsenal, Searcy Hospital Among Most Endangered Historic Places

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced this week that Mt. Vernon Arsenal, which later became Searcy Hospital, is one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2019.

$21 Million Study Will Research Health Disparities in the Rural South

People who live in the rural South are more likely to die sooner than people in other parts of the country. A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health tries to figure out why.

UAB Closing Residential Addiction Unit to Expand Other Services

UAB hospital recently announced it will close its residential addiction treatment unit, which has provided overnight care for patients with substance use disorder for more than 20 years. Some are criticizing the decision, but officials say the closure is part of a bigger plan.

Crime Wave Highlights Barriers Between Police and Hispanic Community

Recently there’s been a surge in crimes targeting the Hispanic community in and around Birmingham. Police want victims to feel comfortable reporting the incidents, but that means overcoming some roadblocks.

Jeffco Commission Approves UAB-Led Authority for Cooper Green

The Jefferson County Commission approved a resolution Thursday to allow UAB to manage operations at the county’s indigent care clinic.

Trash Talk: Why Doesn’t Birmingham Recycle More?

One way to reduce the amount of trash is to recycle more. That’s a challenge in the city of Birmingham.

SPLC Proposes ‘Collaborative Process’ to Address Prison Crisis

The Southern Poverty Law Center sent a letter Tuesday to Gov. Kay Ivey and state Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn proposing its own plan to address the state’s prison crisis.

UAB Launches Program to Improve Treatment of Opioid Overdose

UAB’s Emergency Department is starting a new program to better treat patients with opioid use disorder. The initiative focuses on increasing the use of a drug called Suboxone.

DOJ Alleges Alabama Prisons Violate the Constitution

The Department of Justice released a report Wednesday alleging that violence and other dangerous conditions in the state’s male prisons violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

Jeffco Health Officials: Violence is a Public Health Issue

Violence is the newest strategic focus for the Jefferson County Department of Health. It was one of several topics discussed in Tuesday’s annual State of Health in Jefferson County address.

Officials Investigate Fish Kill Along Black Warrior River

State officials are looking into a fish kill that happened near Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas in Walker County. Environmental advocates say they found at least 100 dead fish downstream of the plant.

Alabama is Offering Free Genetic Testing. Here’s Why.

Scientists in Alabama want to capture a statewide genetic footprint. Free testing, they say, can help residents detect their risk for disease and bolster future genomic research.

Scientists Track Alabama Bear Cub Survival Rate

Alabama’s black bear population could be in trouble. Scientists say young bears might be dying before they reach adulthood. Researchers at Auburn University will study the problem with a $1.1 million grant from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Report: Violence, Housing Costs Affect Health Outcomes

A report out Tuesday ranks the health of all 67 counties in Alabama. It found that things like violence and housing costs are important predictors of health outcomes.

Alabama Says its $900 Million Prisons Plan Can Help Fix Mental Health Crisis. Some Disagree.

As Alabama prisons continue to grapple with a federal lawsuit over mental health care, officials say they have a plan: they want to build three big regional prisons for men.

$25 Million Cyclotron Brings New Cancer Treatment to AL

A 90-ton cyclotron arrived Tuesday on the campus of UAB. The machine will be part of a new proton therapy center, bringing a specialized cancer treatment to Alabama.

Despite Restoration Efforts, Alabama Oysters Reach Historic Low

With Alabama oysters at a historic low, scientists involved in restoration efforts are finding that what has worked before is no longer working. Now, state biologists are trying something new.

Proposed Change to the Clean Water Act Open for Public Comment

The public has 60 days to comment on an EPA proposal that would limit which waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act. In Alabama, environmental groups say the change would have a significant impact.

Governor Announces Plan to Build Three Prisons for Men

Governor Kay Ivey announced Tuesday a plan to replace existing prison facilities with three regional men’s prisons to address “violence, poor living conditions and mental illness” in Alabama’s corrections system.

Flu Activity Widespread in Alabama

Rates of flu-like activity are on the rise throughout Alabama. They’ve been increasing for a few weeks now, and a number of schools have closed because of the virus.

Pig Hearts Could Keep Babies Awaiting Transplants Alive

Scientists hope in the future, pig hearts can be a temporary solution for babies who need a transplant. UAB researchers recently presented their findings about this, and early results seem promising.

At Children’s Hospital, a Note with Lunch

Patients at Children’s Hospital of Alabama now get a little extra pick-me-up. Every day at lunch, kids there receive a note, called a napkinism.

Uniontown Hopes to Finally Fix its Sewage Problem

The city of Uniontown is set to receive more than $31 million in mostly federal money to address a decades-old sewage issue. But some say the problem should have already been fixed.

Alabama Licenses Midwives for the First Time in Decades

For the first time in more than 40 years, Alabama has licensed professional midwives. Last week, the newly formed Alabama State Board of Midwifery issued credentials to five women.

This Weekend’s Super Blood Wolf Moon … or Something Like That

Alabamians, along with millions in many parts of the world, are getting ready for a show Sunday night. There will be a total lunar eclipse. Some call it a ‘super blood wolf moon.’

With $30 Million Gift, UAB Says Cancer Research is the Future of Birmingham

Leaders of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB have big plans to use the recently announced $30 million gift from O’Neal Industries. They want to triple the number of clinical trials.

State Attorney General Asks Supreme Court to Rule on Banning Abortion Procedure

Alabama’s attorney general Steve Marshall wants the US Supreme Court to weigh in on restricting a certain abortion procedure.

Comet Passing is “Space Mission in Reverse”

There is plenty of activity in the night sky this weekend. In addition to the Geminid meteor shower, one of the brightest comets of the year will pass overhead.