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Disease, disaster and video games are highlighted in today's Daily Briefing.

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This story is Part 11 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Nearly 33 years after the federal government designated Gary a health professional shortage area and 17 years after federal health authorities qualified it as a medically underserved area, Gary continues to suffer from physician shortages.

Those shortages are partially to blame for the poor health status of many Gary citizens, according to local doctors and hospital officials.

Gary is home to disproportionately high numbers of severely ill patients suffering from multiple potentially life threatening conditions, including heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

On a tie vote, state senators on Thursday rejected a proposal to require a prescription for cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

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This story is Part 7 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Indiana.

Every dollar invested in a community health center yields returns beyond that investment, said an official of the association representing such centers in Indiana.

“Not only do we provide care to people without access to health services, but we improve the economy,” said Phil Morphew, chief executive officer of the Indiana Primary Care Association.

 

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This story is Part 5 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Once a white washboard with dry erasable markers kept track of the patients in the emergency room at Methodist Hospitals’ Northlake Campus in Gary. The board listed the staff on duty and noted the patients and their ER bed numbers.

Like so many other things in health care, that technology is outdated, replaced by a computerized tracking system produced by the Verona, Wis.-based company that created Methodist’s electronic health record and health care information technology system, EPIC.

Picture of William Heisel

Fined by the Nevada medical board and ordered to stop performing abortions, Dr. Algis Martell had a decision to make.

As so many doctors do when they make a mess of their primary specialty, Martell decided to get a makeover.

Picture of William Heisel

It’s doubtful that so many health journalists would have covered the case of the late Dr. Mel Levine if he had not appeared on Oprah.

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This story is Part 3 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Picture of Mark Taylor

This story is Part 2 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Construction of a new teaching hospital in Gary may sound like a pipe dream. But it’s a pipe many area health and political leaders are still smoking.

The conversation begins like this: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Methodist Hospitals and some unknown partners would build a replacement hospital in Gary close to the Indiana University Medical School-Northwest Campus near Interstate 94?

Picture of William Heisel

Health journalists and patient advocates should be on high alert for the changes that are sure to come with the announcement last week that the FDA has approved the Lap-Band device for nearly every person with a few pounds to lose.

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