Jake Harper/Side Effects

Exploring and Planning For Death At A New Kind of Festival

In sunny patch of grass in the middle of Indianapolis’s Crown Hill Cemetery, 45 people gathered around a large blackboard. The words “Before I die…” were stenciled on the board in bold white letters. Sixty-two-year-old Tom Davis, was leading this tour through the thousands of gravestones scattered across across the cemetery. He has thought about his life and death a lot in the last few weeks. On March 22, he had a heart attack. Davis said he originally planned to write, “I want to believe...
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Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

Earlier this year, 69-year-old Aneita McCloskey needed her two front teeth filed down and capped.

“They were kind of worn down and they were also getting little tears and cavities,” she recalls.

Without dental insurance, McCloskey is on the hook for the full $2,400 cost of the procedure. She was given 18 months to pay it before she gets charged interest. That’ll be hard to do on her fixed income.

In years past she would have had to wait to see the dentist again until she could afford it.


Teen Birth Rates Plummet For Hispanic And Black Girls

3 hours ago

The nation's falling teen birth rate saw an even bigger drop over the past decade, with dramatic declines among Hispanic and black teens.

Birth rates are down a whopping 51 percent among Hispanics age 15 to 19 since 2006, and down 44 percent among black teens, according to a survey of census data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teen pregnancy rates among whites also fell by a third.

Study: E-Cigs, Hookah Popular Among Middle and High School Students

11 hours ago
Vaping360 via Flickr

E-cigarettes and smoking hookah have gained popularity among middle and high school students in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes tripled from 2013 to 2014.

Among high school students, 13.4 percent were found to be using e-cigarettes in 2014 compared with 4.5 percent in 2013. The number of middle school students using e-cigarettes also tripled from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014.

That Surgery Might Cost You A Lot Less In Another Town

Apr 27, 2016

Need knee replacement surgery? It may be worthwhile to head for Tucson.

That's because the average price for a knee replacement in the Arizona city is $21,976, about $38,000 less than it would in Sacramento, Calif. That's according to a report issued Wednesday by the Health Care Cost Institute.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

In sunny patch of grass in the middle of Indianapolis’s Crown Hill Cemetery, 45 people gathered around a large blackboard. The words “Before I die…” were stenciled on the board in bold white letters.

Sixty-two-year-old Tom Davis, was leading this tour through the thousands of gravestones scattered across across the cemetery. He has thought about his life and death a lot in the last few weeks. On March 22, he had a heart attack.

Officials Ask Flint Residents To Flush Their Pipes

Apr 27, 2016
Running water filling up a bathtub
ALENA NAVARRO- WHYTE / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Starting May first, if you live in Flint, officials with the EPA, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the city want you to flush water through your home or business every day.

They say you should take your water filter off your kitchen tap or flip the lever to bypass the filter, open your cold water taps in your kitchen and your bathtub all the way, and let them run for five minutes. They want you to do that every day for two weeks.

One year ago, while reporting on infant mortality rates in Kennett, Missouri, I met a 27-year-old expectant mother named Marylouisa Cantu. She was pregnant with her seventh child.

Her sixth child, a daughter named Alyssa, was born two years earlier and had spent two weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit due to complications from premature birth.


Many Grouchy, Error-Prone Workers Just Need More Sleep

Apr 26, 2016

Hey! Wake up! Need another cup of coffee?

Join the club. Apparently about a third of Americans are sleep-deprived. And their employers are probably paying for it, in the form of mistakes, productivity loss, accidents and increased health insurance costs.

Thousands Leave Maryland Prisons With Health Problems And No Coverage

Apr 25, 2016

Stacey McHoul left jail last summer with a history of heroin use and depression and only a few days of medicine to treat them. When the pills ran out she started thinking about hurting herself.

"Once the meds start coming out of my system, in the past, it's always caused me to relapse," she said. "I start self-medicating and trying to stop the crazy thoughts in my head."

Nurses try to distract 4-year old Daniel Atkinson as he gets his vaccines.
Michelle Faust

More than two years in, just who has benefited from the Affordable Care Act's exchanges and Medicaid expansion? The New York Times takes a look at the numbers. The opioid crisis has left sickle cell patients understandably frustrated. Suicide rates are up for teen girls.  And, Side Effects' Upstate New York reporter Michelle Faust takes us inside foster kids' health care. 

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