Brianna Smith

Brianna Smith is a freelance writer and editor in Southwest Michigan. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Brianna has a passion for politics, social issues, education, science, and more. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the simple life with her husband, daughter, and son.


Pediatricians-In-Training At High Risk for Burnout

Burnout is a serious problem among those working in the medical field, but studies suggest that pediatricians-in-training are especially vulnerable to burnout. Unfortunately, this burnout could lead to an increase in medical errors or residents taking “shortcuts during treatment.” How so? Well, pediatricians-in-training, often referred to as ‘residents,’ typically “work extremely long hours,” contributing to the likelihood of burnout. According to a recent study, “irregular work hours, sleep deprivation and limited leisure time” puts residents at a high risk for burnout, and “as many as three in four residents report feeling burned out in their jobs.”


Lawsuit Filed Over Drowning Death In Demi Moore’s Pool

The death of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare, especially when it could have been avoided. This is the situation that Jorge and Maria Valle faced a year and a half ago when they learned that their 21-year-old son, Edenilson Steven Valle, drowned in actress Demi Moore’s swimming pool. How could his death have been avoided? Well, according to a lawsuit filed by the Valle family, their son “had said he could not swim, making it unlikely he voluntarily entered the deep end of the pool.” As a result, they’re suing the “Tree House Trust that owns the Beverly Hills home, and Bessy Wong and Lenny Hernandez” who hosted the party back on July 19, 2015, where Valle drowned.


Maine Senator Protecting Senior Citizens From Car Insurance Hikes

Senator Bill Diamond (D) is pursuing legislation that will further protect Maine senior citizens from insurance rate increases due to their age. Diamond’s actions come on the heels of a dispute between Progressive and Maine Superintendent of Insurance, Eric Cioppa, last year when Progressive sought approval for “rate changes that would allow the company to charge older Mainers higher auto insurance premiums based solely on their age.” Fortunately, Progressive’s proposal was shot down by Cioppa, but Diamond wants to ensure “seniors in the state are protected against similar attempts from insurance companies in the future.”


Think Car Seats Don’t Have Expiration Dates? Think Again.

Any family with kids has a car seat or two…or three. From infant car seats and convertible seats to booster seats, there are many types of car seats on the market to keep children safe as they grow. But did you know they can expire? I didn’t, until now. Turns out car seats, like many other things, are only good for so long. I suppose this shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering the fact that car seats are made from plastic, and depending on the climate you live in, things like varying temperature changes and every day wear and tear and degrade a car seat over time. That’s why it’s important to check expiration dates on car seats and replace them as needed for your child’s safety.


4 Years After Patient Death, VA Employee Finally Suspended

Fredrick Harris, an employee of the Alexandria Veterans Affairs Health Care System, has finally been suspended indefinitely after being charged in a patient death four years ago. What has Harris been doing for the last four years? Well, he was allowed to continue working.


Recall Issued for Little Tikes Pink Swings

Warmer weather is right around the corner, which means families will soon be spending a lot of time outside. Unfortunately, a popular toddler swing has recently been recalled due to safety concerns by Little Tikes and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Exactly what swing has been recalled, and how many? The swing in question is the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure pink swings, and an estimated 540,000 have been recalled so far.


Poorly Designed Hospitals Are Making Us Sicker

From poorly designed rooms that increase the chance of patients falling, to loud noises and a lack of privacy, some suggest that hospitals and how they’re designed might be making patients sicker. According to a New York Times article, “hospitals are among the most expensive facilities to build, with complex infrastructures, technologies, regulations and safety codes,” but new evidence has found that we have been building them wrong. The way hospitals are currently built leads to high numbers of hospital-acquired infections, little to no privacy for patients, falling risks, loud noises, and an overall poor patient experience.


Lawsuit Filed Against Major Insulin Manufacturers Accused of Fixing Prices

Insulin is one of those medications that is absolutely necessary for the continued health of millions of Americans. In fact, about six million of the 29 million Americans who live with diabetes require insulin just to stay alive. Unfortunately, the price for this precious medication has shot up in price over recent years. Between 2002 and 2013 alone, insulin prices “more than tripled, to more than $700 per patient.” Fortunately for consumers, we may see an end to these dramatic price hikes because a federal lawsuit has been filed against the three big insulin manufacturers, accusing them of “conspiring to raise their prices.”


Penske Settles Lawsuit With Drivers Over California-Required Breaks

Penske Logistics has finally agreed to pay 344 current and former drivers $750,000 to settle an 8-year-old class action lawsuit that challenged the company’s “alleged denial of state-required breaks for its drivers.” The settlement agreement was filed back on February 6, and will award the three lead plaintiffs $15,000 each while the “rest of the drivers will receive a share of the remaining settlement.” Attorney fees and court costs for the plaintiffs will also be covered by the settlement.


New Bill Would Require Religious Daycares To Be Licensed and Inspected

A new bill has been introduced in Alabama by Republican and Democrat lawmakers that would get rid of the “God loophole” for religious daycares. What’s the God loophole, you’re wondering? This loophole is a law that has been around for a long time that currently “exempts more than 900 religious day cares from state oversight.” The bill, known as the Child Care Safety Act, would “require all day cares in Alabama to be licensed and inspected, and they would have to meet basic safety standards such as child-to-staff ratios and worker training.”