Jake Harper/Side Effects

How One Hospital Works To Improve The Lives of Violent Crime Victims

Keith Smitherman makes a stop at an apartment complex in one of Indianapolis’s most violent neighborhoods, near 38th Street and Sherman Avenue. He’s delivering food vouchers to a young, pregnant mom, and she invites him to the baby shower. “I ain’t coming to no baby shower,” Smitherman said with a smile, before getting back into the car. It’s a hot day—I'm sweating into the seat of his car—and in his work, temperature matters. “People start getting shot more as it starts getting warmer,” he...
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Jake Harper/Side Effects

Keith Smitherman makes a stop at an apartment complex in one of Indianapolis’s most violent neighborhoods, near 38th Street and Sherman Avenue. He’s delivering food vouchers to a young, pregnant mom, and she invites him to the baby shower.

“I ain’t coming to no baby shower,” Smitherman said with a smile, before getting back into the car.

It’s a hot day—I'm sweating into the seat of his car—and in his work, temperature matters. “People start getting shot more as it starts getting warmer,” he said.

Plan To Scale Back Medicaid Gets Mixed Response In Kentucky

6 hours ago
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

If Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to change the state’s Medicaid system is approved, about 86,000 fewer people will be enrolled in the program by July 2021, according to his administration. That will save the state money, as he’s said, but it’s also raising concerns about lost coverage.

Virtual Reality Aimed At The Elderly Finds New Fans

Jun 29, 2016

Virginia Anderlini is 103 years old, and she is about to take her sixth trip into virtual reality.

In real life, she is sitting on the sofa in the bay window of her San Francisco assisted-living facility. Next to her, Dr. Sonya Kim gently tugs the straps that anchor the headset over Anderlini's eyes.

Drug And Device Makers Find Receptive Audience At For-Profit, Southern Hospitals

Jun 29, 2016

Where a hospital is located and who owns it make a big difference in how many of its doctors take meals, consulting and promotional payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies, a new ProPublica analysis shows.

A higher percentage of doctors affiliated with hospitals in the South have received such payments than doctors in other regions of the country, our analysis found. And a greater share of doctors at for-profit hospitals have taken them than at nonprofit and government facilities.

Teen Bullies And Their Victims Both Face A Higher Risk Of Suicide

Jun 29, 2016

Bullying and cyberbullying are major risk factors for teen suicide. And both the bullies and their victims are at risk.

That's according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that urges pediatricians and family doctors to routinely screen teenagers for suicide risks.

Report: When It Comes To Traumatic Injury, Civilian Doctors Can Learn From War

Jun 28, 2016
US Marines and Sailors cary a wounded Afghan civilian to a medical transport after an IED explosion.
Cpl. Matthew Troyer via Flickr / Resolute Support Media

It took too long for blood supplies to get to Baghdad, so Dr. Philip Spinella and his Army colleagues gave their own blood. To their surprise, it worked better.

“We started to use whole blood, out of our arms into the casualties,” said Spinella, who served as an Army doctor between 1995 and 2007. “Their shock would resolve, their bleeding would resolve a lot quicker than just using plasma and red cells that we had shipped from home.”

Minnesota's Largest Health Insurer Will Drop Individual Plans

Jun 27, 2016

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will retreat from the sale of health plans to individuals and families in the state starting next year. The insurer, Minnesota's largest, said extraordinary financial losses drove the decision.

"Based on current medical claim trends, Blue Cross is projecting a total loss of more than $500 million in the individual [health plan] segment over three years," the insurer said in an emailed statement.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Restrictions In Texas Anti-Abortion Law

Jun 27, 2016
In a 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor or Whole Woman's Health in their case against Texas health commissioner John Hellerstedt.
Jordan Uhl via Flickr

The Supreme Court struck down key aspects of a Texas abortion law Monday, casting doubt on similar laws in nearly two dozen states.

This week: when it comes to work life, primary care doctors and women (in general) may be getting a raw deal. Plus, the House GOP releases its long-awaited alternative plan to Obamacare, and a pioneering nonprofit welcomes drug users to sit out their highs with nurses at-the-ready. 

Dr. Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, inside the conference room where heroin users are monitored while they ride out a high.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

It's  just a quiet room filled with comfortable chairs, stocked with oxygen tanks and blood pressure cuffs. But it's likely the only place of it's kind in the country - a safe place where drug users can come to sit out a high under medical supervision. 

As nurse April Donahue tells WBUR's Commonhealth, the experience is different from working with this population in the past. 

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