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Tippecanoe County Health Department officials Friday tried to bar reporters from the public building where the county’s needle exchange had begun operating.

Reporters were able to talk with public health nurse Khala Hochstedler until a few minutes before 1 p.m. Friday, when she claimed they had to leave the building.

But because Tippecanoe County decided to start its program over the objections of Lafayette and West Lafayette officials, it had to be in a county-owned space – one that, by definition, is open to the public.

Hoosier Family Helps Push 'Right To Try' Nationally

Aug 10, 2017

A “Right To Try” bill that allows families to use prescription drugs that don’t have full FDA approval passed the U.S. Senate last week with unanimous support. U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) helped author the legislation, modeled after an Indiana state law, with encouragement from a Hoosier mother and her son.

Jordan McLinn, 8, became the face of Indiana’s “Right To Try” bill in 2015. Last year his mother, Laura McLinn, visited Donnelly to lobby for a federal version.

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One of the first Indiana counties to implement a syringe exchange is now the first in the state to effectively shut its program down.

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After months of struggling to secure a location, the Tippecanoe County Health Department plans to inaugurate a needle exchange program in its building this Friday. 

The program comes nearly a year after a public health emergency was issued for the county.

A partnership between food banks and Ivy Tech is providing healthy produce to people around the state. The sweet corn project began two years ago when Ivy Tech’s Terre Haute campus launched a hands-on field experiment for students.

The Terre Haute agriculture program teaches modern farming technology. Its corn yield kept growing so the campus donated to local food banks.

Becky Miller with the Ivy Tech Foundation says, this summer, students planted three different fields.

The latest assessment from the American Cancer Society details where Indiana lags and what progress it’s made in cancer fighting policies. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network annual progress report evaluates state legislative efforts.

American Cancer Society’s Bryan Hannon says failure to pass a cigarette tax increase last session set Indiana back in reducing smoking rates. But he says a modest funding increase for tobacco control programs was a step in the right direction.

Healthcare Partnership Aims To Help Children With Autism

Aug 3, 2017

Finding the right doctor or medical services for children can be hard. Finding those same services for children with autism can be even more difficult.

“In the autism world there can be long waits for services, there tend to be limited resources and difficulty accessing services that are needed,” says Tracy Gale, director of autism and behavior services at Easterseals Crossroads, the largest disability services organization in Indianapolis. “It can be very overwhelming for families.”

Planned Parenthood in Merrillville is able to provide abortions again after halting those services for a couple weeks.

A majority of former football players suffer from a degenerative brain condition. That’s according to a new study in the Journal of American Medicine. The condition is linked to concussions, but Indiana experts say it shouldn’t be cause for concern for all players.

Indiana University Health psychiatrist and neuroscience expert Thomas McAllister says the condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE is a type of dementia.

“And it’s been linked to people with certain head injuries,” says McAllister

Whooping Cough Cases On The Rise In Indiana

Jul 28, 2017

Twice the number of whooping cough cases have been recorded compared to this time last year and the Indiana State Department of Health is investigating. Outbreak supervisor Shawn Richards says

“One, is what we’re seeing normal?” says Richards. “Two, are there epidemiological links to other schools or states?”

For the first half of the year, 136 cases of pertussis or whooping cough have been reported compared to 66 in 2016.

The state says the increase could be due to more cases being reported or a waning vaccine. Richards says it could also be something else.