The Importance, and Limits, of Advanced Care Planning

Apr 16, 2015
Courtesy / Abraham Schwab

As many of you may know, Diane Rehm recently agreed to limit her participation with Compassion and Choices. Her involvement with the group became more publicly known in February, but her dissatisfaction with our current end-of-life choices was catalyzed by her husband’s passing on June 23, 2014.

Remembering Kokomo's Ryan White 25 Years On

Apr 8, 2015
Courtesy /

Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Kokomo teenager Ryan White. After contracting HIV five years earlier via a blood transfusion, the 18-year-old died in Indianapolis.

In the 1980s, HIV was still a relatively new disease to most people. Those who contracted it were often highly stigmatized, in part because of the disease’s association with gay men.

Wikimedia Commons

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index has consistently found the Hoosier State to be  among the worst for individual well-being.  And in a new report released Wednesday, Indiana landed among the top ten states for  mood-altering medication use. 

According to the polling firm, Gallup, more than 22 percent of Hoosiers claim to use  prescription or illegal drugs regularly. 

Courtesy / Abraham Schwab

I have watched from a distance since Aurelia was born. My friend Megan’s third daughter demonstrated developmental delays from early on, and no one was sure why. Appointment after appointment, and yet Megan and her husband, Keith, were given no diagnosis. The good parents that they are, they simply loved and cared for their youngest child.

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.