public health

The opioid addiction crisis is getting worse, and it's often reported on in desperate terms. But to the people working on the front lines of the problem, there are known and proven approaches that can help. This series introduces you to these people and how they're tackling the issue in their communities — with hope, compassion and strength.

First, Do No Harm

Christine Herman

When U.S. officials feared an outbreak of the Zika virus last year, the Department of Health and Human Services and state officials kicked into high gear.

They tested mosquitoes neighborhood by neighborhood in Miami and other hot Gulf Coast communities where the virus was likely to flourish. They launched outreach campaigns to encourage people to use bug spray. And they pushed the development of a vaccine.

perzon seo /

If you’re like millions of other Americans, when a big event happens –a  shooting, a disease outbreak, a contentious election –you scour the internet to make sense of what’s going on.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

Jamie Landrum has been a police officer for two years in District 3 on the west side of the Cincinnati. In late August, the city was hit by 174 overdoses in six days. Landrum says officers were scarce.

Brian Paul/Side Effects

A generation of young men missed out on the HPV vaccine. Now, Side Effects Public Media's 29-year-old correspondent wonders if that’s putting him at risk.

Brandon Smith/IPBS

Indiana governor Mike Pence is in the spotlight this week as the man Donald Trump has chosen as his running mate. His decisions about health and healthcare in Indiana have drawn attention from within and outside the state. And his record could be important in November, because his running mate doesn’t have a legislative record at all.

Early Bedtime For Preschoolers Might Help Reduce Obesity Risk Later

Jul 17, 2016

For parents concerned that their preschoolers may one day gain excess weight, a study published Thursday suggests one strategy for keeping the little ones on track that isn't related to food: Tuck them in earlier.

Scientists reporting online in The Journal of Pediatrics found, in a study of not quite a thousand U.S. children, that preschoolers who got to bed by 8 p.m. were about half as likely as those who turned in after 9 p.m. to develop obesity in their teenage years.

Hispanics Least Prepared For A Major Disaster In Los Angeles

Jul 16, 2016
Heidi de Marco/KHN

In Los Angeles County the question is not whether a major disaster will happen, but when. Experts expect an earthquake measuring 7.0 or greater in the next 30 years. The area is prone to wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. Infectious disease outbreaks and terrorist attacks are also possible.

Though aware of the risks, less than half of the population is prepared for such emergencies.

A Permanent Fund That Could Help Fight Zika Exists, But It's Empty

Jun 6, 2016

Public health advocates who are exasperated by the fight on Capitol Hill over how much to spend to combat the Zika virus are looking longingly at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA has a standing fund that it can draw upon when disaster strikes. The fund is replenished when the money is spent cleaning up from hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters.

The use of fear in public health campaigns has been controversial for decades. A campaign with gruesome photos of a person dying of lung cancer to combat smoking might make people think twice about lighting up. But opponents would argue that the photos are too visceral, along with being morally objectionable.