Public Health News For Indiana

Credit Pixabay/CC0

An opioid epidemic.  High  smoking rates.  Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges.   Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

Please write us with story ideas or questions at sideeffects@wfyi.org.  

Ways to Connect

New Project Brings End-Of-Life Planning To Nursing Homes

Sep 28, 2017
Samantha Horton / WNIN/Si

The Indiana State Department of Health awarded a three-year $332,360 grant to the University of Southern Indiana for research into advance care planning in 15 nursing homes in Southwest Indiana.

Emily Forman / Side Effects Public Media

Janice McClain climbed aboard the van at a stop in downtown Indianapolis and took a seat among a dozen or so other travelers on a recent September day. They were all women and were all on their way to visit children, spouses and fiancés in prison.


AJ Casey / AJKC LLC

One day in August 2016, 83-year-old Albert Fink crashed his 2012 BMW sedan into a tree, on a curve on Indiana State Road 46 just outside of Bloomington.

Indianapolis, Indiana.
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.


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. 

Pages