Side Effects

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Evan Walsh

On a rainy day in Austin, Indiana, Brittany Combs, the public health nurse for Scott County, drives around in a white SUV. Medical supplies are piled high in the back of the vehicle: syringes and condoms, containers for used needles, over-the-counter medications.


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

When Sarah Scantling went into labor this summer, she had to drive 30 miles and across state lines.

Three years earlier, the only maternity ward where she lives in Pemiscot County, Missouri closed down. Scantling had to choose between a handful of other hospitals in the region between 20 and 70 miles away. She chose to give birth in the hospital in Dyersburg, Tennessee.


Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

Every year, for the past 15 years, a group of first-year medical students in St. Louis, Missouri have climbed on board three yellow school buses and headed north. 


Diabetics Protest Rising Insulin Prices At Drug Company Headquarters

Sep 11, 2017
Jill Sheridan / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than half a million Hoosiers have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many of them rely on insulin to live healthy lives. But patients say the skyrocketing price of the medicine —which more than doubled from 2002 to 2013 — is squeezing them to the point of outrage.

More apartments are becoming smoke-free in Marion County.

Smoke Free Indy, a group from the Marion County Health Department, surveyed over 300 properties this year, and found 24 percent do not allow smoking. In 2015 only 14 percent were smoke-free, and when the group first surveyed apartment complexes in 2013 only 4 percent prohibited smoking.

ChiLam Ly / https://www.flickr.com/photos/28391140@N03/

The federal government has awarded the state a record-breaking $26 million to help treat patients with HIV. The Indiana State Department of Health says it’s the largest award for HIV services in the state’s history.


Cultural, Economic, Historical Factors Drive Black Breast-Feeding Gap

Sep 7, 2017
Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Tahwii Spicer gave birth to her son Reece almost two years ago at home with the help of a midwife. She said almost as soon as he was born, he "army-crawled" up her body to start feeding.

“He was so ravenous!” she said. “He was hungry.


Jake Harper / Side Effects

Indiana’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Curtis Hill, has accused the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of manipulating facts in order to push a “pro-needle-exchange agenda.” He made the accusation in a statement released Tuesday.

Allison Greene / Indiana Womens' Prison

A pregnant woman in prison typically has 48 hours with her baby after it’s born before it’s taken away: an intensely painful experience for the mother and child alike that additionally has the potential to damage the baby’s development. 


More people who are addicted to opioids are coming into the Marion County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. The influx has the sheriff calling on Indiana lawmakers to spend more to combat addiction.   

Lieutenant Colonel James Martin, the Marion County Jail commander, says the facility has seen an influx of people going into withdrawals. “The majority of the problems we are dealing with are your first 20 or so hours in custody,” says Martin.

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