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

Jamie Landrum has been a police officer for two years in District 3 on the west side of the Cincinnati. In late August, the city was hit by 174 overdoses in six days. Landrum says officers were scarce.


Shira Gal/via Flickr

Tobacco use is costing Indiana taxpayers, healthcare providers and employers billions of dollars each year, according to a new report from the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI. According to the report, costs associated with tobacco use total $6.8 billion, which includes health care and lost productivity costs.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

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.


Brian Paul/Side Effects

A generation of young men missed out on the HPV vaccine. Now, Side Effects Public Media's 29-year-old correspondent wonders if that’s putting him at risk.

Brandon Smith/IPBS

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.

Twice a day, Angela and Nate Turner of Greenwood, Indiana, take tiny strips that look like colored scotch tape, and put them under their tongues.

“They taste disgusting,” Angela says.


Jake Harper/Side Effects

On a recent hot day in Indianapolis, Keith Smitherman made a stop at an apartment complex in one of that city's most violent neighborhoods, near 38th Street and Sherman Avenue. He was there to deliver food vouchers to a young, pregnant mom, and he got invited to the baby shower.


Making Menstruation Less Of A Hassle For Homeless Women

Apr 29, 2016

In the latest episode of Sick, a podcast from Side Effects Public Media, journalist Lisa De Bode got curious about how homeless women deal with menstruation, so she wrote a story on it. Then, things started to change.

Plus, our reporter Jake Harper learns a valuable lesson about how to approach this topic as a male. 

Jake Harper/Side Effects

In sunny patch of grass in the middle of Indianapolis’s Crown Hill Cemetery, 45 people gathered around a large blackboard. The words “Before I die…” were stenciled on the board in bold white letters.

Seth Herald/Side Effects

Four days a week, public health nurse Brittany Combs drives her SUV around the small town of Austin, Indiana, handing out clean needles to injection drug users and talking to people about going to rehab.

It’s a task that can be rewarding—when one of her customers finally wants help to get off drugs—and a bit agonizing, because there’s often not a rehab bed ready for them.


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