Paige Pfleger

Reporter, WOSU

Paige Pfleger is a reporter for WOSU, Central Ohio's NPR station. Before joining the staff of WOSU, Paige worked in the newsrooms of NPR, Vox, Michigan Radio, WHYY and The Tennessean. She spent three years in Philadelphia covering health, science, and gender, and her work has appeared nationally in The Washington Post, Marketplace, Atlas Obscura and more. 

Ways to Connect

Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media

Across the Midwest and the nation, many COVID-19 cases have been concentrated in nursing homes. It’s often the result of an outbreak. But sometimes, it’s actually by design. 

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On Aug. 3, Zach Matheny’s blood thinning medication was filled at his pharmacy, and sent out for delivery via the U.S. Postal Service. It never arrived at his home in Columbus, Ohio.

Health officials in the Ohio county that includes Columbus have apologized after releasing a document advising African-Americans to avoid face coverings that might be interpreted as being "associated with gang symbolism.”

Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media

Christopher has been struggling with addiction since he was 14. He uses heroin, and he says things have been hard since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

Prisoners can be heard coughing on calls coming out of Marion Correctional Institution, a minimum- and medium-security facility an hour north of Columbus, Ohio.

And mass testing recently revealed more than 80% of prisoners has contracted COVID-19, making Marion the nation's largest known COVID-19 hotspot.

Photo by Paige Pfleger/Side Effects Public Media.

Universities across the U.S. -- including Purdue, Indiana University, Ohio State and Iowa in the Midwest --have moved to suspend or cancel classes amid the spreading coronavirus.  This move has left some students scrambling. 

Paige Pfleger, Side Effects Public Media

The Midwest is home to one of the largest Amish populations in the nation. And many of these settlements overlap with rural Appalachian counties, where access to healthcare is hard to come by. But a project in Ohio aims to help by bringing cancer screenings to Amish women. 

Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media

Paramedic Scott Widener crouches in the back of an outfitted ambulance.

“I am six foot and I’m duckin',” he says, laughing.

Equitas Health

In many Midwest states it’s illegal for someone with HIV to have sex without telling partners about the illness. Some public health experts are pushing to change those laws.

Photo by Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media.

At first glance, the people inside Franklin County Municipal Court room 13C have little in common. There’s a man in cutoff jean shorts with tattooed arms. Behind him sits a younger woman with freckles who looks like she came from soccer practice.

The group is bound together by circumstance: All were addicted to opioids and got in trouble with the law.

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