Public Health News For Indiana

The Indianapolis skyline.
Credit Pixabay/CC0

An opioid epidemic.  High mortality rates from smoking.  Lack of access to care in rural communities.  Indiana faces serious public health challenges.  For in-depth coverage of these issues and more, Side Effects Public Media, headquartered at WFYI, is a news service that examines the state of Indiana’s health.

Do you have a story idea regarding Indiana health?  Or have a question about the news service? Please write to us at sideeffects@wfyi.org.  

Ways to Connect

Uninsured Rate Falls To Record Low

Sep 15, 2017

Three years after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, the number of Americans without health insurance fell to 28.1 million in 2016, down from 29 million in 2015, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

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.

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.


Emily Foreman / Side Effects Public Media

Pregnant women with opioid addiction often face obstacles in managing their treatment, including finding a doctor and battling with insurance paperwork. At a vulnerable time, they often stumble and relapse because of these problems.

While treatment for the disease is relatively straightforward, the communication between insurers and providers can be riddled with clerical errors and prone to delays.

A proven training model helps diabetics control their disease, but only fraction of people have access to it. On Wednesday, pharmacist Jasmine Gonzalvo urged state lawmakers to make it easier for patients to access the training model, Diabetes Self Management Education or DSME.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

On a cold morning last winter, Christopher Hinds says he woke up early, sick from withdrawal. He called a friend and they trekked across a highway, walking for more than two miles through the snow on a street without sidewalks to buy heroin. 

“You don’t think about nothing but getting it when you’re sick like that,” he says. 

Department of Foreign Affairs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfataustralianaid/

Indiana’s Medicaid will soon cover methadone treatment for people suffering from opioid addiction. That could mean more people seeking treatment, and savings for people already receiving it.


Wikimedia Commons

One of the first Indiana counties to implement a syringe exchange is now the first in the state to effectively shut its program down.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/social-security-disability/

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act could save the government money by causing fewer people to sign up for disability benefits, according to a new study from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.


Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Philip Kirby says he first used heroin during a stint in a halfway house a few years ago, when he was 21 years old. He quickly formed a habit.

"You can't really dabble in it," he says.


Pages