Jake Harper

Reporter, WFYI

Jake Harper started his job at Side Effects shortly before the 2015 announcement of an HIV outbreak in southern Indiana, and since then has focused his reporting on addiction, Medicaid and access to health care. His investigations have covered medical industry influence in state and national government, a clinical trial that skirted federal regulations and various barriers to evidence-based addiction treatment. His stories have been broadcast at stations across the midwest and nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Latino USA and Here & Now.

Harper also co-hosts the podcast, Sick, with Lauren Bavis. Visit sickpodcast.org for more information. 

Ways to Connect

Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media

Physicians across the country have a message for the National Rifle Association: Gun violence is our concern. It's part of a battle being fought vigorously on Twitter in recent weeks.

Seth Herald for Side Effects

Months in prison didn’t rid Daryl of his addiction to opioids.

“Before I left the parking lot of the prison, I was shooting up getting high,” he says.

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Boxes are piled high in Anne Hickman’s hallway. Family photos peek out from behind the stacks in her one-bedroom Indianapolis apartment.

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Alaska plans to use federal grant money to purchase a controversial device used in opioid addiction treatment.

Last week, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced it will use part of a $1.3 million federal grant to purchase the Bridge device, which is made in Indiana. The Bridge is a nerve stimulator that attaches around a patient's ear to reduce nausea, aches and other symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal.

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

To the untrained, the evidence looks promising for a new medical device to ease opioid withdrawal. A small study shows that people feel better when the device, an electronic nerve stimulator called the Bridge, is placed behind their ear.

 

The company that markets the Bridge is using the study results to promote its use to anyone who will listen: policymakers, criminal justice officials and health care providers.

 

The message is working.

Jake Harper / Side Effects

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.


Jake Harper / Side Effects

In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Indiana, rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye. In overdose cases, the fluids may contain clues for investigators. 


Wikimedia Commons

The Indiana Senate has passed a bill requiring more complete reporting of overdose data from county coroners.

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Members who fail to renew coverage under Indiana’s Medicaid program will be subject to a six-month suspension period. That’s despite previous notice in 2016 from the federal government that the state can’t enforce such lockouts.

Indiana is now the second state that will make people work in order to receive Medicaid benefits.

Indiana’s Medicaid program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan, is approved by the federal government under a special waiver. That waiver allows the state to experiment with different ways to offer insurance coverage.


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