public health

Public Health Study Committee Wraps Up Summer Work

Oct 26, 2017

A legislative study committee on public health issues voted Thursday to recommend the General Assembly take action on diabetes and the state’s nursing shortage as it wrapped up its work ahead of the next legislative session.

In recent years diabetes action plans have failed at the Statehouse. But this year’s study committee showed momentum.

Eskenazi pharmacist Jasmine Gonzolva, a non-legislative member of the committee, says much of the focus is on screening and prevention.

A public health study committee addressed the state’ provider shortage at the Statehouse. The issue is far-reaching and widely varied in Indiana.

The state ranks near the bottom when it comes to physicians per capita and the problem is only expected to increase as more providers retire and people live longer.

In rural Indiana, it’s difficult to retain doctors and nurses.

Hanna Maxey, Director of Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research says the state should consider the shortage as a development opportunity.

Gretchen Frazee / IPBS

Tippecanoe County has become Indiana’s ninth with a declared public health emergency – an intermediate step in establishing a needle exchange in the county.

State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams Thursday approved the request from Tippecanoe County Health Officer Jeremy Adler, based primarily on increased numbers of hepatitis C cases linked to IV drug use.

The city of Lafayette has battled a spike in major crimes in the past several years, and elected officials including Mayor Tony Roswarski  have attributed the additional crime to a corresponding drug use epidemic.

Drug Abuse Symposium Focuses On Preventing Addiction

Oct 14, 2016
Erin DeMay / https://www.flickr.com/photos/65962201@N03/

Day two of a drug abuse symposium in Indianapolis focused on prevention Friday. Officials say a disproportionate amount of time and money is focused on what to do after someone gets addicted rather than preventing someone from becoming an addict.

The philosophy behind drug prevention has changed in the last 20 years, says Indiana Prevention Resource Center educator Jasynda Radanovich.

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.

Rob Ketcherside / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tigerzombie/3874088349

A report from the Governor’s State Highway Association estimating the nation will see a 10 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2014 and 2015 made waves earlier this month.

Data from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute indicates the state saw nearly twice that increase in the same time period.

Richard Retting, who works for Sam Swartz Consulting and served as the lead author of the GSHA fatality report, says one would need to go back nearly 20 years to see similar fatality numbers.

Sharan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mauigal/

Every year, states with their own occupational safety and health agencies are reviewed by the federal OSHA. 

The latest audit of Indiana’s agency, IOSHA (which is charged with ensuring the safety of all places of employment in the state, minus federal workers and certain maritime and agricultural operations), has shown that in 2014, the agency took 14 times longer than the national average to respond to complaints and only completed a little more than half the number necessary to meet its workplace inspection goal.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/takomabibelot/2627161575

State health officials Friday were pressed into releasing numbers showing a statewide increase in the number of syphilis cases, after the Tippecanoe County Health Department announced a spike.

Tippecanoe County has seen 12 cases of the sexually transmitted disease this year. That’s a big increase over the last four years – none of which registered even five cases for the whole year.