Jake Harper

Jake is a reporter with Side Effects and WFYI in Indianapolis. He decided to pursue radio journalism while volunteering at a community station in Madison, WI, and soon after began an internship with NPR's State of the Re:Union. Jake has received a first place award from the Milwaukee Press Club and he was a finalist in KCRW's 24-Hour Radio Race. In his spare time, he runs and tries to perfect his pizza crust recipe. 

Scottie Edwards died of COVID-19 just weeks before he would have gotten out of the Westville Correctional Facility in Indiana.

Edwards, 73, began showing symptoms of the disease in early April, according to the accounts of three inmates who lived with him in a dormitory. He was short of breath, had chest pain, and could barely talk. He was also dizzy, sweaty and throwing up.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

President Trump has put his No. 2 in charge of the U.S. response to the new coronavirus.

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Indiana has announced that it hopes to add a work requirement to its Medicaid program. The changes would increase the program’s overall cost by tens of millions of dollars per year, according to the state’s proposal, and could add new hurdles to maintaining coverage for low-income residents.

Jake Harper, Side Effects Public Media

On a hot day, some adults have taken a group of kids to explore the neighborhood around their school, SENSE — the Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence, a K-8 charter school in Indianapolis. They’ve left the school’s air-conditioned cafeteria to perform a walk audit.

They’re looking for missing sidewalks and bike lanes, potholes, and other issues that may make it unsafe to walk to school. The theory is, if you identify and fix some of these obstacles, and kids might be more likely to walk or bike to school.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Addiction costs Indiana taxpayers, healthcare providers and employers billions of dollars each year, according to two papers released Thursday by the the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI.

Costs associated with tobacco use total $6.8 billion each year, according to Paul Halverson, the dean of the school of public health and the lead author on the papers.

“That includes not only the medical care costs, but also the lost productivity,” says Halverson. “So it’s a huge number.”

Indiana governor Mike Pence is in the spotlight this week as the man Donald Trump has chosen as his running mate. His decisions about health and healthcare in Indiana have drawn attention from within and outside the state. And his record could be important in November, because his running mate doesn’t have a legislative record at all.

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.

In a sunny patch of grass in the middle of Indianapolis' Crown Hill Cemetery, 45 people recently gathered around a large blackboard. The words "Before I Die, I Want To ..." were stenciled on the board in bold white letters.

Sixty-two-year-old Tom Davis led us through the thousands of gravestones scattered across the cemetery. He'd been thinking about his life and death a lot in the previous few weeks, he told us. On March 22, he'd had a heart attack.

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It’s been a year since Governor Mike Pence declared a public health emergency in response to a historic HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana.

The declaration allowed the county to start a needle exchange to limit the spread of the virus through injection drugs.

The exchange was also meant to connect people to addiction treatment.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jake Harper reports, talking to people about treatment is just one of the first steps toward overcoming addiction.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / www.cdc.gov

Indiana has received about $3.3 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help reduce opioid overdose deaths.

The state says some of the money will be used to upgrade its drug monitoring program, which tracks prescription opioids dispensed across Indiana. The funding will also be used to evaluate and improve how doctors prescribe the drugs.

According to data from a few years ago, Indiana ranks 15th in the country for its overdose rate, and each year, doctors write more opioid prescriptions than there are people in the state.

Today At The Statehouse: The 2016 Session's Final Days

Mar 8, 2016
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BMV FEES  

Legislators should take a final vote this week on making license branch trips cheaper and easier.

Two million motorcyclists, truckers and bus owners will see their costs go down as dozens of fees are eliminated entirely.

BMV general counsel Adam Krupp says Hoosiers who own only a car probably won’t see their costs change – but they could.

Carla used to get dialysis a couple of times a week at the public hospital in Indianapolis, Eskenazi Hospital. She would sit in a chair for hours as a machine took blood out of her arm, cleaned it and pumped it back into her body.

Then one day in 2014, she was turned away.

Even though her lungs were full of fluid, the doctors said her condition wasn't urgent enough to treat that day, she says. "I explained to the doctors that I couldn't breathe," she recalls, "and they told me it wasn't true, that I had to wait three more days."

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Sarah Jackson had quit abusing drugs and was sober for six months before finding out she has hepatitis C. The Fort Wayne, Indiana mom says she was newly focused on starting her career and on raising her six kids. The diagnosis came as a shock.

“That was weeks of not sleeping and just constant tears,” she says. “I had already put a lot of that behind me and had been moving forward with my life and this was just a major setback.”

Last year, Erin and Isaac Hougland of Indianapolis got certified to become foster parents, with the hope of adopting a baby. Just a few weeks later, they got a call.

An 8-week-old baby needed a home. All they knew was that the boy's mother was a heroin addict and had left him at the hospital. They were told that because of the drugs, the baby might require some special care. But mostly, he just needed a place to go.

"Both of us were just like, 'Let's do it,' " says Isaac Hougland. "We wrapped up what we were doing at work and went to the hospital."