Wheeze control: Children with severe asthma who are enrolled in a preventive-care program at Children's Hospital Boston receive free inhalers from insurance companies. The hospital sends nurses to visit families after discharge to make sure children have medicine and know how to use it; it provides home inspections to root out mold; and it offers vacuum cleaners to families who don’t have them. After one year of the program, the hospital readmission rate for young asthma patients dropped by over 80 percent and costs plunged as well. But empty beds meant lost revenue for the hospital (New Yorker, April 5).
In the nation’s capital, it now would be legal for Mary Kay Totty to perform marriages of same-sex couples. But in the United Methodist Church, the denomination that ordained Totty two decades ago, that act could get her defrocked. Totty, 46, said she’s willing to take the risk.
“This an epic moment in the life of the church,” exuded Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, the most populous U.S. Catholic archdiocese. The prelate was speaking of his projected successor to lead 4.18 million Catholics in heavily Hispanic southern California.
The man who murdered an abortion doctor in the foyer of his Lutheran church in Kansas has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years—the longest sentence possible under state law.
The Chinese government’s new head of religious affairs has downplayed the role of house churches during his first official visit to Hong Kong, saying they must be registered with the government for their own protection.
Wang Zuoan, the head of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs, met Hong Kong Protestant leaders at a Lutheran church on March 27.