Oklahoma

Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Jackie Fortier

Health Reporter

Doctors Question Push For More Independent Nurses As Lawmakers Consider How to Fill Health Gaps

Lindsi Walker, a nurse practitioner, insider her office at Cordell Memorial Hospital.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lindsi Walker, a nurse practitioner, insider her office at Cordell Memorial Hospital.

It’s hard to get basic health care like shots and x-rays in rural Oklahoma. The federal government considers all but one of the state’s 77 counties to have a primary care shortage. The problem is driving a legislative effort to allow highly educated nurses to fill that gap — but doctors and nurse practitioners are butting heads on who is qualified to help.

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People With Developmental Disabilities May Face Organ Transplant Bias

Henry Weathers had a heart transplant 10 years ago, when he was five years old. His parents are worried he may not get another, due to bias.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Henry Weathers had a heart transplant 10 years ago, when he was five years old. His parents are worried he may not get another, due to bias.

New research suggests people with intellectual disabilities are being turned down for organ transplants because of their disability. A growing effort to take human bias out of the decision highlights a little-known area of medicine.

Shiny red hearts decorate the tables at a restaurant in Moore. It looks like a Valentine’s Day party, but tonight the decor is literal: It’s the 10-year anniversary of Henry Weather’s new heart. Continue Reading

Oklahoma Opioid Deaths Continue To Rise

Narcan, also known as Naloxone is an opiate overdose antidote.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact

Narcan, also known as Naloxone is an opiate overdose antidote.

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests drug overdose deaths declined in some states — but not in Oklahoma.

Drug overdose deaths dropped in 14 states, making health officials hopeful that policies aimed at curbing the death toll may be working. But preliminary numbers from CDC show drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma rose by 12 percent, to 844 people. That’s higher than in previous years, but not by much. Continue Reading

Experts Say Oklahoma’s Opioid Plan Does Little to Expand Treatment

Janet Cizek, CEO of the Center for Therapeutic Interventions in Tulsa speaks to an employee.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Janet Cizek, CEO of the Center for Therapeutic Interventions in Tulsa speaks to an employee.

Drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma increased 91 percent over the last decade and a half, prompting the state to form a task force charged with a daunting goal: Brainstorm a plan to guide the state out of an opioid epidemic that kills three Oklahomans nearly every day.

The Commission on Opioid Abuse released its final report in January.

“The sort of clear and present danger is overprescribing and oversupply, and that was the focus of what we looked at,” Attorney General Mike Hunter, who headed the nine-member commission, said in an interview with StateImpact. Continue Reading

How Increasing The Minimum Wage Could Lead To Healthier Babies

Baby Jacob weighs 7.14 pounds - some infants aren't as lucky.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact

Baby Jacob weighs 7.14 pounds - some infants aren't as lucky.

Jacob is just a few hours old when registered nurse Amy Burnett begins one of the simplest measurements to tell if a newborn is healthy — their weight.

“You want to make sure that they are naked, they have no diaper, and you bring him to the scale,” she says as she removes his tiny Pampers.

She gently picks him up, confidently balancing his body on her forearm like a football. Her purple gloved fingers encircle his neck as she hits a button on the scale, which beeps loudly, zeroing it out.

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Q&A: A Look Ahead At The Stories StateImpact Is Following Into The New Year

StateImpact reporters preview the key health, education, energy and environment issues they'll be tracking in 2018.

StateImpact Oklahoma

StateImpact reporters preview the key health, education, energy and environment issues they'll be tracking in 2018.

Twenty-seventeen is wrapping up, but the growing group of reporters at StateImpact are following many important government policy issues that will carry on into the new year.

Senior Reporter and Managing Editor Joe Wertz brought the StateImpact team into the studio for a preview of their coverage in the year to come. Here are some excerpts from the conversation edited for clarity:

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