Health

Influx Of Holiday Food Donations Always Welcome

Nov 24, 2017

Indiana’s food banks serve at least 1.1 million people every year and an increase of food donations and drives help pack the pantries.

Gleaners Food Bank CEO John Elliot says around this season people become more sensitive to the hunger issue.

“You know we’ve got a truckload of hams coming in from Smithfield,” Elliot says. “This is the season when everyone thinks about others in need.”

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An Indiana lawmaker wants the state to take the next step toward making Indiana’s drug database more effective at preventing opioid addiction.

Fourteen states currently require both physicians and pharmacists to check someone’s prescription history before dispensing certain powerful medicines, but Indiana isn’t one of them.

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Starting December 1, patients on Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan will have an easier time getting certain opioid addiction medications. The four insurers that manage plans for Indiana’s Medicaid program, HIP 2.0, are eliminating an administrative hurdle that can cause patients to wait days to receive their prescription, leaving them vulnerable to relapse and overdose.

Opioids Impact Indiana's Infant Mortality Rate

Nov 15, 2017

The Indiana Department of Health marked five years of its Labor of Love summit, an annual event aimed at reducing the state’s infant mortality rate. The rate of infants dying before their first birthday has risen steadily since the campaign began, mainly because of substance use disorders.

When the initiative kicked off in 2012, 556 babies lost their life – last year that number was 623. Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box says any progress the state has made has been overshadowed.

The Indiana Commission On Improving the Status of Children is working to tackle one part of the shortage of mental health providers.

Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy executive director Cathleen Graham says the shortage of professionals comes from a number of factors: Indiana has almost doubled the number of children in the welfare system and the opioid epidemic contributed to longer stays in the system while parents and guardians get sober.

Worker Injuries, Illness On The Decline

Nov 10, 2017

Indiana workplaces set a new low last year for on the job injuries and illnesses last year. Since 1992, the Indiana State Department of Labor has tracked the data that reports on Injuries and illnesses related to work incidents. There were more than 84,000 incidents in 2016 – a 5 percent drop from 2015 and a 69 percent drop from a 1994 high.

courtesy Jordan University of Science and Technology

Purdue disease researchers have partnered with a university in the Middle Eastern nation of Jordan on a project searching for infectious disease treatments.

The pact allows easier sharing of faculty between Purdue and the Jordan University of Science and Technology, or JUST.

Falah Shidaifat is the dean of JUST’s veterinary program and says the focus is on more than treating disease in either Indiana or Jordan.

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A presidential commission last week released its report on recommendations to help curb the nation’s opioid crisis. Indiana stakeholders say they’re heartened the crisis is receiving national attention but think parts of the report missed the mark.

Targeted Cancer Dyes Get One Step Closer To Market

Nov 2, 2017

A large gift to an Indiana biotech company will help targeted fluorescent dyes advance, the technology helps make cancer surgeries more successful. The imaging compound armed with fluorescent dyes, given to patients before surgery, illuminates cancer cells and help surgeons find and remove lesions that might have been missed.

On Target Laboratories CEO Martin Low says many skilled surgeons have used the product.

“As experienced as they are they still have found additional lesions that they said were clinically relevant and would benefit the patient by removal,” says Low.

In an effort to respond to patients’ desires for speed and convenience, health networks are thinking small.

Microhospitals — which typically offer limited procedures and acute care services in a building with a significantly smaller footprint than traditional hospitals — have proven popular in other states, and a handful of the facilities are planned to open in Indiana.

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