Midwest

COVID-19 Surge Strains Midwest Hospitals

Nov 13, 2020
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.

The recent COVID surge was enough to push BJC Healthcare to start deferring some scheduled procedures at hospitals in the St. Louis area. In Columbia, where the University of Missouri is located, hospitals aren’t there yet.

But it’s not out of the question.


Winter Creates New Challenges To Slow COVID-19

Oct 26, 2020
Natalie Krebs / Side Effects Public Media

Parts of the Midwest have already seen snow, and with this winter weather comes an added layer of challenges for battling COVID-19. 

Photo by SJ Obijo / CCO Unsplash / https://unsplash.com/photos/K2Eb0BV4Jgk

Now that summer is over and temperatures are dipping across the Midwest, people are headed indoors, some experts fear the already striking rise in cases is the beginning of another wave of COVID-19.

“I think that as fall moves forward ... what we're seeing right now is kind of a preview of what we can expect, as we even see colder temperatures come,” says Brian Dixon, director of public health informatics at the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute. 

¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? Season 5: Helpers In The COVID Crisis

Aug 4, 2020

¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? is a bilingual podcast for midwestern Latinx who are missing an essential piece of their cultural identity. By sharing their stories, it aims to build a sense of hope and community. Season 5 tackles the coronavirus — but not through statistics and news. This season is about the people who are finding solutions to problems caused by the pandemic.

Graphic by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Four Midwestern states have infant mortality rates “significantly higher” than the U.S. average, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says.


Photo by Steve Rainwater is licensed under CC 2.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/steevithak/38676565790/in/photolist-21VHvxd-29CkoKn-24Xntgq-23CjviE-25N9oiy-Fkwenx-22eU9tE-HHHr9i-E27ecB-24VWTtE-MjkYbQ-L6RWTK-29qisaF-29FHLcp-25tzq3h-GRUtqw-JMDVEK-26CjHeS-2

Across the Midwest, health care has emerged as one of the year’s biggest campaign flash points — in races from U.S. Senate to state attorney general.

Forty Percent Of Rare 'Polio-Like' Cases Are In The Midwest

Oct 24, 2018
Photo by Flickr user clogsilk is licensed under CC 2.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/clogsilk/7036095981/in/photolist-bHKQcF-jjfaYR-8f3ZAJ-rBs5do-o7Lpgn-mGiCaB-ifCcs-4yRWha-fCdqcn-p3nA6i-52GPhg-9JmEE5-aexkpc-cgUsGq-o9Eo5n-nStkFv-85MNr3-4ojHh8-4aaQ1X-6Ynx

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t know why young children across the country are coming down with a rare condition called Acute Flaccid Myelitis. Many are calling AFM  a “polio-like” illness, because it causes weakness and paralysis in childrens’ arms and legs.

Photo by Alban Gonzalez is licensed under CC 2.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/paingouin/2942937382/

When Matthew Timion needed to get his son treatment for mental illness, he did not anticipate it would be so hard to get the insurance company to pay for it.

SARAH FENTEM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Every day, Amanda Moller scoops powdered formula out of a can and shakes it up with water from her kitchen sink in University City, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. “It's like mixing a cocktail,” she said, "but not that much fun."

Maddie McGarvey / Side Effects Public Media

Jenn Glaser lay in bed with a severe pain in her right hip. In the last few days a large abscess had developed under her skin--an infection from injecting drugs. 

Behind The Turntable, An Unexpected Resource For Assault Prevention

Feb 22, 2018

Bloomington, Indiana has no shortage of night clubs. A classic college town, on any day of the week, bar-goers can begin a crawl in the late afternoon and hit a dozen sticky dance floors by midnight.

Niko Si / Flickr

A law passed in 2014 was supposed to ensure Illinois families no longer have to give up custody of their children in order to get them necessary mental health treatment.

Matthew Hatcher / for Side Effects Public Media

On a Saturday afternoon at the downtown Columbus, Ohio courthouse, close to 20 men sat in a conference room; arms crossed, eyes staring blankly ahead, listening to a lecture. One white-haired man with glasses and hearing aids yelled for the presenter to speak up.


Andrew Villegas/WFYI

Across the country, states desperate to prevent opioid addiction are considering medical cannabis as a solution.

Citing the opioid crisis, lawmakers in several states are looking to initiate or expand their medical marijuana programs including KentuckyNew YorkNew Jersey and Indiana. And in Illinois, where opioids have claimed nearly 11,000 lives over the past decade, the legislature is considering a measure that would allow patients with an opioid prescription to get access to marijuana instead.


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

This story was originally published February 6. It has been updated as of February 9 at 1 pm.

The Atchison-Holt Ambulance District spans two counties and 1,100 square miles in the far northwest corner of Missouri. The EMTs who drive these ambulances cover nearly 10 times more land area than their counterparts in Omaha, the nearest major city. 

Esther Honig

In leggings and a long black hoodie, Ray walked idly up and down Sullivant Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. A block away, an elementary school had let out for the day and students walked home. For Ray, work had just started.

“You just walk around until you catch a date,” she said. 


Nationwide IV Bag Shortage Hits Midwestern Hospitals

Jan 23, 2018
Master Sgt. Val Gemp / US Air Force

It’s been five months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and wiped out houses, roads and the power grid, as well as factories that make prescription drugs and medical devices.

NIH NIAID / Flickr (Edited)

Southern Illinois University’s medical school has halted all herpes research, one of its most high-profile projects, amid growing controversy over a researcher’s unauthorized methods offshore and in the U.S.

Jacob Sippel / US Navy

After letting funding lapse for 114 days, the United States has reached an agreement for funding CHIP, the federally-run health insurance program for children and pregnant mothers.

For those not familiar with Missouri, the so-called "Bootheel" refers to the wedge of the state that juts down between Tennessee and Arkansas — a area that's been profiled by Side Effect's own Bram Sable-Smith, who covered a struggling rural hospital there in 2017.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

On Friday, Kentucky became the first state with federal approval to implement a so-called work requirement for Medicaid recipients. The commonwealth is one of ten states, including Indiana, that have requested approval from the federal government for such a provision.


Seth Herald/Side Effects Public Media

Though the shops along Sullivant Avenue in Columbus, Ohio had all closed their doors one cold November night, a young woman walked alone down the alley behind the Seventh Day Adventist Church. She was petite and wore lipstick, a tweed coat and blue jeans torn at the knee.


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

When the hospital closed in rural Ellington, Missouri, a town of about 1,000, the community lost its only emergency room, too. 

That was 2016. That same year, a local farmer had a heart attack.


bxgd / Flickr

Schools in Illinois are adjusting to a new state-mandated rule that takes effect next week. Starting in January, they’ll be required to provide feminine hygiene products to students at no cost.

Seth Herald / for Side Effects Public Media

On a recent morning in downtown Tippecanoe County Indiana, a standing-room-only crowd showed up for a county commissioners meeting. The issue at hand? Renewing the county’s syringe exchange program.


Pages