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Upcoming Events:

Disabilities and Health Inequities: A Conversation 

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act set out to create a more equal experience for people with disabilities throughout all aspects of life. Thirty years later, though, disparities still abound. People living with disabilities are consistently more likely to have poorer health outcomes than those who live without them. Why is that still the case—and how can it be addressed?

Join Side Effects Public Media and WFYI for a panel discussion exploring the experiences people have when it comes to their disabilities and their healthcare. The panel will be recorded for broadcast over the summer as part of the station’s Move to Include partnership.

When: Wednesday, March 25, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Where: WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian St.
RSVP required.

Healthy In Any Language: Diabetes

Diabetes is a difficult condition to manage at the best of times. But what if you don’t have medical insurance to help you navigate the healthcare system? What if you don’t speak English or you live in a food desert? What if you don’t feel safe going to the doctor at all?

That’s the reality facing many immigrants and refugees living with diabetes in the United States. Through a series of stories, Side Effects Public Media is taking a look into these issues and the people working to address them. Join us for a free panel discussion on the subject and a screening of the upcoming documentary from Boston-based WGBH, Blood Sugar Rising, about the increasing rates of diabetes in America.

Where: WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian St.
When: Thursday, April 2, 3-5 p.m.
Free to attend. RSVP required



Past events:

Agitation and Stagnation: A panel discussion


Rooted in the drama of Indiana’s homegrown revolutionary, Eugene V. Debs, this panel discussion will explore how class affected health outcomes 100 years ago and how it continues to affect outcomes today.

By talking about the life of a rabble-rouser like Eugene V. Debs and coupling that information with current public health issues, we hope to spark a conversation that will put history into action. How did class affect a person’s health in 1919? Are there parallels to 2019? With 100 years in perspective, what worked? What failed? Is the health care system continuing to evolve or does it need a wholescale revolution?

Kim Jacobs, producer of WFYI’s historical documentary “The Revolutionist: Eugene V. Debs,” will lead a discussion with Indiana Medical History Museum historian Sarah Halter and Dr. Wesley Bishop of Marion University, as well as community health experts. Join us for this informative and thought-provoking panel discussion and audience dialogue. Parking is free and available in the lot by the museum and on the museum’s campus.

RSVPs required due to limited seating. Walk-in guests can only be accommodated after all registered guests have been seated. Presented by Side Effects Public Media & WFYI Productions and the Indiana Medical History Museum.

Youth And E-Cigarettes In Indiana

Cigarette smoking has declined among middle and high school students for years. But now, e-cigarette sales are rising, with young people using them at epidemic rates. Public health officials are concerned about the impact – including exposure to addictive nicotine.

In April 2019, Side Effects held listening sessions in Kokomo and Terre Haute to hear comments and questions about teen vaping from residents around Indiana. On June 4, reporter Araceli Gomez-Aldana led a panel discussion on the topic featuring Dr. Leslie Hulvershorn of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital at IU Health; Dr. Dana Stewart, a pediatrician at Meadows Medical Center; and Olivia Teague, a student at Indiana State University.

Happier Birth Days: Improving Birth and Health Outcomes For Indiana's Black Moms and Babies

On Dec. 11, 2018, and Jan. 8, 2019, Side Effects Public Media, the Indianapolis Recorder and the Indiana Minority Health Coalition hosted conversations on how maternal and infant mortality disproportionately impacts communities of color in Indiana.

The panel discussion, moderated by Indianapolis Recorder Editor Oseye Boyd, was split into two parts. The first focused on pregnancy and issues related to delivery, and the second focused on postpartum and infant health.

Part I panelists included Dr. Kristina Box, state health commissioner for the Indiana Department of Health; Bianca Wilson-Gillespie, a mother, advocate and doula in training; Dr. Indy Lane, an obstetrician-gynecologist with Community Health Network; and Ashley Rainey, a nurse and clinical educator in labor and delivery.

Part II panelists included Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Health Department; Kelli Brien, program director of Speak Life; Ryan Karim, WIC breastfeeding coordinator; and Dr. Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds of the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Fact Meets Fiction: A Discussion of "Frankenstein" and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

Side Effects Public Media and the Indianapolis Public Library hosted a discussion of the themes present in two books -- one fiction and one fact. In the first, "Frankenstein," scientific curiosity (and madness) led to the creation of what some called a monster. In "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," scientific curiosity motivated doctors to harvest and culture cancer cells from Mrs. Lacks without her knowledge. The consequences for Dr. Frankenstein were destructive; the HeLa cells, as they are called, enabled countless medical advancements. One of them is an HPV vaccine, which widely prevents cervical cancer, the disease that led to her death. The use of HeLa cells raised questions regarding informed medical consent and access to care. 

A Night of Live Storytelling: Stories From People in Recovery


On Aug. 14, 2018, six storytellers shared personal, genuine stories of life before and after the turning point into recovery. Grit, perseverance, and resiliency were highlighted, along with change and growth. 

WFYI aired an hour-long radio special featuring these stories on Dec. 17, 2018. 

Children and Food Insecurity In Wayne County, Indiana

Paul Stanley, interim president of the United Way of Whitewater Valley, addresses stakeholders gathered at a community conversation on children and food insecurity in Wayne County.

Community stakeholders and nonprofit leaders met July 24, 2018, at Reid Health to discuss children and food insecurity in Wayne County. The event was sponsored by Side Effects Public Media and the United Way of Whitewater Valley. Read Side Effects' coverage of the event.

Three Years After Scott County: What Has Indiana Learned From A Historic HIV Outbreak?

On May 1, 2018, Side Effects Public Media hosted a conversation exploring the impact of a 2015 public health crisis in Indiana. What was the statewide response, and have communities taken the lessons of Scott County to heart? The morning began with Brittany Combs, Scott County public health nurse, exploring the before and after as a public health nurse. Indiana’s FSSA Secretary, Dr. Jennifer Walthall, followed providing updates of what is being done in Indiana by connecting resources and offering new programming statewide to improve public health. We closed out the event with a panel addressing addiction treatment, harm reduction, and prevention at the grade school level. Panelists were Tonja Eagan, Carrie Ann Lawrence, and Dennis Watson. The panel was moderated by Jake Harper.

The Indiana Opioid Epidemic and Minority Impact

This event happened on Feb. 13, 2018 and it was a virtual panel discussion. When a New York State Senator said, “It’s not a ghetto drug. It’s happening to doctor’s kids,” he was referring to opioids. He was also describing two mindsets – one focused on criminality, the other on treating a disease. And many perceive racial and ethnic implications in these two ways of thinking about the opioid epidemic. The topic is explored in a conversation hosted by WFYI’s Side Effects health reporting unit in partnership with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition. Guests: Dr. Jocelyn Bush, MD, Brad Ray, PhD, Ronald Sullivan, and Joselyn Whitticker. The panel was moderated by Michal Twyman. 

Prescription Drug Monitoring and Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

The topic of this event was prescription drug monitoring programs, prescription guidelines and pain management. You can find our reporting related to this topic here and here.

Kicking off this event was Jim McClelland, who serves as the Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement for the State of Indiana. This presentation focused on an overview of the opioid epidemic and its impact in Indiana. Mr. McClelland spoke about how Indiana is dealing with this complex problem by leveraging resources strategically to make a positive impact. He also touched on legislation and the state’s work in regards to prescription guidelines and Indiana’s prescription drug monitoring program INSPECT.

Following was Chris Harle, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health. In his presentation entitled “Opioid Prescribing Decisions: Patients, Providers, Pain and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs”, Dr. Harle shares research and data highlighting workflows and challenges for clinicians.

Lastly is the panel discussion followed by a Q&A session. This panel explores how Indiana can help health care providers manage patients’ pain without fueling addition, with an emphasis on prescription drug monitoring programs, how they are used, and what potential they have. Panelists were Brad Ray, PhD, Dr. Jennifer Buehrle, and Dr. Christopher Suelzer. The panel was moderated by Sarah Fentem. 

Endings Matter 


This Side Effects Public Media event focused on end of life care, and the value of planning for it in advance. You can find our reporting related to this topic here and here.