Public Health News For Indiana

The Indianapolis skyline.
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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

Esparta Palmer

Every other week Cassidy Linnemeier carpools with a friend to their OB-GYN in Indianapolis from Seymour Indiana, where they live. The drive is about an hour and 20 minutes with traffic.

They drive this far because they can’t find a doctor nearby who will prescribe the addiction medicine they need to keep them healthy during pregnancy — and who also takes their insurance, a Medicaid plan.


Emily Forman / Side Effects Public Media

Nurse Catherine “Bizz” Grimes moves like her name sounds: at a frenetic pace. She darts across the hall from the prenatal diagnosis clinic at Indiana University Health University Hospital in Indianapolis, sits down at her cubicle, puts on her headset over curly white blonde hair and starts dialing.

National Governors Association / https://www.nga.org/cms/SummerMeeting2017

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Niki Kelly has been covering the Indiana Statehouse for years. Working the beat that long instills a reporter with insider knowledge of "where the bodies are buried," so to speak. 

The Milk Bank / https://www.themilkbank.org/about/

Indiana’s only donor breast milk bank is growing and expanding its services to new mothers. The Milk Bank, based in Indianapolis, collects, processes and distributes breast milk to mothers unable to produce sufficient milk to feed their infants.  

A new study shows some people are still afraid to call 911 when helping an overdose victim, despite an Indiana law that permits friends and bystanders to administer the overdose antidote naloxone.

More than a quarter of people surveyed by two researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis said they didn’t call 911 at the scene of an overdose for fear of arrest.

For Pro-Obamacare Groups, A Wary Reprieve

Jul 18, 2017
Tedd Eytan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/taedc/

Health care advocacy groups are tentatively celebrating news that the Senate’s latest health care bill is dead. But after months of protesting the GOP’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they’re still not calling it a victory.  

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

This year’s Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is in full swing. The event is the Expo organization’s biggest annual fundraiser, which runs through Sunday at the Indiana Convention Center.

UPDATE: County Reverses No-Naloxone Policy After Supply Restocked

Jul 13, 2017
School nurses learn to use naloxone
Michelle Faust/Side Effects

The Monroe County, Indiana Sheriff’s Department says it will continue to administer the overdose antidote Naloxone when responding to emergency calls after receiving an additional 100 doses from the county health department.

Office of the Attorney General for Elkhart County

In Indiana, seven federal criminal investigations have uncovered over $1 million in Medicaid fraud, leading to the indictment of 15 individuals and two companies on various charges.

Support Wanes As Indiana County Officials Stall On Syringe Exchange

Jul 11, 2017
OZ in OH / http://bit.ly/2tG9mHo

Tippecanoe County, Indiana received state approval for a syringe exchange in late 2016, after county health officials raised the alarm about fast-rising rates of Hepatitis C, spread by sharing needles for injection drugs. As of July 2017, it has yet to open its doors.

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