Indiana State Department of Health

Sarah Fentem / Indiana Public Broadcasting

It’s a Thursday, not a Sunday, but the First Baptist Church in East Chicago is open for business. The president of the state’s NAACP is hauling in large cardboard boxes of nectarines. The fruit is placed beside milk crates full of cucumbers and apples. The effect is similar to a booth at a farmer’s market, except the produce doesn’t have prices on it. It’s here for the taking.

The spread is part of a community effort organized by the NAACP. The vitamins found in fresh produce protect people from some of the harmful health effects of lead.

Nick Janzen / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Three weeks into what some agencies refer to as “National Preparedness Month,” the Indiana Department of Health has sent out a press release congratulating itself on the state’s response to health crises and reminding Hoosiers to keep themselves safe from public health concerns. But the affirmation comes at a strange time -- during a public health crisis in East Chicago.

Governor Tom Wolf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/governortomwolf/

Update: Governor Mike Pence, on September 22nd, has directed the ISDH to move forward on the following initiative, which was introduced at the Governor's Task Force on Drug Enforement, Treatment and Prevention Tuesday afternoon.

cheriejoyful / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheriejphotos/

The infant mortality rates among black babies in Indiana are more than twice the state’s average, according to data from the Indiana State Department of Health.

In 2014, 14.7 babies per every 1000 born to black mothers died before their first birthday. The state’s total infant mortality rate was a little over 7 per every 1000.

Additionally, the rate of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome—SUIDS—among black babies is getting exponentially higher. In 2014, 240 African-American babies per every 100,000 died from SUIDS, a 60 percent increase over the year before.

deepfruit / https://www.flickr.com/photos/slippek/

More than a year after the first one was established, more than one thousand people are now enrolled in Indiana’s several county-run needle exchange programs, and the Indiana State Department of Health is crediting them as one of the most effective ways to combat the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

IAEA Imagebank / https://www.flickr.com/photos/iaea_imagebank/

Despite assurances from officials that local transmission of the Zika virus is unlikely in Indiana, the Indiana Department of Health is set to receive millions of dollars from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with hopes of preventing the virus.  

The CDC is sending $3.6 million Indiana’s way so the state’s health department can better monitor Zika and aid in prevention efforts.

University of California-Santa Barbara Sociology / http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/article/medically-induced-abortions

More women in Indiana are choosing to abort pregnancies with the so-called “abortion pill,” even while the total number of procedures is decreasing in the state.

The vast majority of abortions are done using one of two procedures. So-called “chemical” or “medical” procedures use a pill to abort a fetus at home. “Surgical” abortions, which are also referred to as "suction curettage,” use a vacuum-like device to suction out fetal tissue. Both methods are legal in Indiana and cost approximately the same.

Courtesy Governor Mike Pence

Indiana governor Mike Pence will be in the spotlight tonight as he delivers the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.

In selecting Pence as his running mate, presidential candidate Donald Trump more than once has touted the corporate tax cuts implemented during Pence’s administration to attract new investment and create jobs.

Pence also has impacted health issues during his nearly four years as governor and 12 years in Congress. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jake Harper looks at the governor’s record on health policy in Indiana.

Craig Zirpolo

More than 500 pharmacies and treatment centers across the state can now distribute naloxone without a prescription under a new standing order from the Indiana state department of health.

The barriers to obtaining the overdose intervention drug have been falling throughout the last decade as the number of drug overdoses related to heroin and other opioids has increased statewide.

HCC Public Information Office / https://www.flickr.com/photos/hagerstowncc/

Indiana health officials are endorsing a new set of guidelines for emergency departments prescribing opioids for acute pain.

The Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention voted Tuesday to help the Indiana State Medical Association and the Indiana Hospital Association — which wrote the guidelines — distribute the information to the state’s emergency rooms.

Guidance includes when an emergency room doctor should prescribe a painkiller, to whom a doctor should give the medicine and how large a prescription is appropriate.

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