Health

Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky / https://www.plannedparenthood.org

As a debate heats up in Washington over the fate of Planned Parenthood, the President of the group’s Indiana and Kentucky affiliate has announced she’s stepping down.

Joe Flintham
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeflintham/

A governor-approved bill that would give Indiana counties and municipalities the ability to set up their own syringe exchanges passed its first hurtle, clearing the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday afternoon.

Currently, local and regional governments need the state health commissioner to declare a public health emergency before counties can establish their syringe exchange programs. The new bill still does not allow the state to fund the programs, and communities would still have the option to establish exchanges through the state approval method.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

A bill designed to significantly reduce the restrictions on manufacturers who make e-liquids for vaping devices in Indiana had its first hearing in a Senate committee Wednesday. The bill is a response to highly-controversial regulations that went into effect last year.

Valentina Powers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/valentinap/253659858

Numbers from Tippecanoe County’s Local Child Fatality Review Team show a steep drop-off in sudden, unexplained or unexpected deaths of children under 18 from 2015 to 2016. Total deaths fell from 13 to just five and none of the 2016 deaths has been attributed to parents sleeping in the same bed with their young children.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — also known as SNAP or food stamps — to former offenders convicted of certain drug-related offenses.

A federal law prohibits former criminals convicted of, for example, trafficking controlled substances, from receiving food stamp benefits. States can choose to do away with the federal ban with a positive legislative vote.

C-SPAN / https://www.c-span.org/video/?421723-1/hhs-nominee-representative-tom-price-testifies-capitol-hill

During a Senate grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price at the Georgia Representative’s confirmation hearing this week, Indiana Senator Todd Young expressed support for a lesser-known part of the Affordable Care Act.

Matthew Hurst / https://www.flickr.com/photos/skewgee/2463077387

In light of the ongoing antitrust trial playing out in Washington, Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem has extended the deadline to complete a merger with Connecticut-based Cigna until April 30th, according to a form filed this week to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The merger between the two healthcare giants originally had a deadline of January 31st. However, the agreement left the door open to extending it three more months.

Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/6168273244

Approximately 1,000 Hoosiers showed up in Indianapolis Sunday to protest congressional efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The rally was organized by a coalition of local and state-wide organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the Indiana Democratic Party and the state chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Rallies across the U.S. were spurred in part by Senator Bernie Sanders (who was not in attendance at the Indianapolis event).

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On his first day of office, Governor Eric Holcomb signed an executive order creating an Executive Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement.

The new director, Jim McClelland, is a former CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. He takes a firm stance that addiction should be understood to be an illness.

In his new role, he will coordinate drug-related efforts across state agencies such as the state health department and the Family and Social Services Administration.

Sarah Fentem / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Carolyn Kelso and her husband Robert live in a big house north of Indianapolis, with original paintings on the wall and furry throws on the furniture. Carolyn herself is 71, with short blonde hair and stylish chunky black glasses. 

She and her husband take their health seriously, and her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s, so she noticed right away when something was wrong.

“I’d get to the car and go down to the corner, and couldn’t remember where I was going, couldn’t remember if I was going left or right,” Carolyn Kelso says.

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