Health

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

By the slimmest of margins, Tippecanoe County’s needle exchange program will survive for at least one more year.

A 2-1 vote by the county commissioners Monday came down only after Commissioner David Byers – who’d declined for weeks to state his stance publicly – voted in favor of a continuance.

Byers says he was swayed by talking to other commissioners at a recent state conference and by listening closely to public comment at Monday’s meeting from those who are unhappy about the exchange operating in a residential neighborhood in Lafayette.

An annual conference for Indiana youth workers was held in Indianapolis this week. It’s the largest gathering for these workers in the Midwest with over 1,300 attendees this year.

The Indiana Youth Institute has hosted The Because KIDS COUNT Conference for 16 years. CEO Tami Silverman says it’s a chance for Hoosiers who work with children in many settings including schools, foster care, after school or crisis centers to come together.

Brain Training Linked To Reduced Dementia Risk

Nov 28, 2017

A long-term study found cognitive training may reduce dementia cases and Indiana researchers were involved in this first of its kind analysis.

The Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly or ACTIVE study observed almost 3000 older adults in different types of cognitive training. Researchers set out to determine if cognitive training improves functions like memory and problem solving.

Indiana University School of Medicine professor, Dr. Fred Unverzagt, says this leads to further analysis.

A law authored by U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) is now implemented throughout the Armed Forces.

The Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act was named after an Indiana National Guard member died from suicide in 2009 while on leave from Afghanistan. Donnelly says the bill, his first as a senator, was based on common sense.

“It recognizes that mental fitness, like physical fitness, is a crucial component of military readiness,” Donnelly says.

A state plan for the support needs of Hoosiers with intellectual and developmental disabilities will get an update soon for the first time in 20 years. A new state task force aimed at helping the estimated 100,000 Indiana residents with such disabilities met in Indianapolis Monday.

Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) authored a bill last session to update the state’s plan to provide community-based services.

“Unfortunately, some people are not being served well or as well as they could be served,” Clere says.

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.

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