Bills Would Increase Mental Health Care for Veterans

Mar 11, 2015
United States Senate

US Senator Joe Donnelly is introducing three more bills aimed at increasing the quality of  mental health care given to the country’s armed forces and veterans.  

Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly calls his three bills a “care package” for service members.     

The proposed legislation would require the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to  provide the best care for mental health conditions.  It would also help train community health  providers and new physician assistants in mental health care to address what Donnelly says is a national provider shortage. 

Courtesy / Indiana House Republicans

The House this week easily approved legislation aimed at making it easier for midwives to operate legally in Indiana.  But the bill’s future is less certain in the Senate.

Legislation in 2013 established the framework for legalizing midwifery.  But the law requires midwives to have written collaborative agreements with physicians, and unwillingness by doctors to enter into those agreements derailed the state’s attempt to create a licensing process.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he lobbied against legislation encouraging more young people to get vaccinated against HPV because of concerns about government mandates. 

The proposed House bill, authored by Muncie Democrat Sue Errington, set a goal for the state to have  80 percent of 13 to 15 year olds vaccinated against HPV by 2020. 

HPV is a virus linked to several forms  of cancer, including cervical cancer, and only around 20 percent of Hoosiers are currently vaccinated  against it.

Sean Bueter / WBOI News

After 30 years of operation in Fort Wayne, the AIDS Task Force announced Wednesday it’s changing its name and sharpening its focus.

The change comes after AIDS Task Force staff worked for a year to reexamine the appropriateness of its image. After research that included focus groups, client interviews and additional community input, the group has picked a new name: the Positive Resource Center.

Courtesy / Abraham Schwab

It’s a surprising thing that Mississippi and West Virginia are the two states with the highest vaccination rates. Less surprising: this fact is attributed to a simple policy—these states do not allow religious or personal exemptions from the policies requiring vaccinations.

Courtesy / Abraham Schwab

If you ever have your child’s blood tested for an allergy, there’s a chance it will be the allergen-specific IgE antibody test. This test’s results appear pretty straightforward.

For example, a score higher than 0.35 for peanuts is indicative of an allergy. When they gave my son such a test in 2010, his score was about 100 times this minimum threshold.

The American Cancer Society says Indiana isn’t doing nearly enough to support its breast and cervical cancer screening program.

Government relations director Brianna Herndon says going into a budget session, cancer prevention programs are one of the first items on the Cancer Action Network’s to-do list. 

The Failure to Police Medical Professionals

Dec 17, 2014
Courtesy / Abraham Schwab

The method that caught my eye immediately was “rectal feeding."

I’d never heard this term before, but I thought I could guess what it involved. In one instance it involved pureeing hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins that were then rectally infused into a detainee. Just one of many techniques, this procedure makes clear the role that professional medical practitioners played in enabling this sexual assault of persons suspected of terrorist activity.

Going Gently into that Good Night

Oct 17, 2014
Abraham Schwab

Brittany Maynard recently announced her decision to end her life. By all accounts she’s an articulate bright young woman who is afflicted with an aggressive brain tumor. Her prognosis includes prolonged suffering and a loss of control. In part because of how vocal she’s been and in part because she is young and looks so vibrant, she has brought national attention back to the question of physician assisted suicide (PAS).

Remembering Your Right of Refusal

Sep 17, 2014
Courtesy / Abraham Schwab

Let’s say that your father, mother, grandmother, sister, or other family member is admitted to the hospital. Given their poor and slowly deteriorating health, this admission comes as no surprise. Your loved one makes it through the event and is now ready to be discharged from the hospital.

Where should they go?

The answer we all would like to give: the place that best fits their medical and personal needs.