Holmes Co., Ohio, is a patchwork of farmland. Modest houses perch on sloping hills and laundry hangs from clothes lines, flapping in the wind. There are horses and buggies – some driven by farmers in straw hats, others by women with their hair covered in bonnets, babies on their laps.

Holmes is one of the healthiest counties in Ohio. It’s also the least insured.

Earlier this week, a State Medical Board of Ohio committee decided there wasn’t enough scientific proof that medical marijuana would help with anxiety and autism spectrum disorder. That reversed a recommendation made earlier this summer that the drug be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in Ohio. But the board's change isn’t sitting well with parents who had hoped to be able to transition their autistic children off prescription drugs to marijuana. 

Reach Out hosts a free medical clinic for the uninsured and underinsured at the AME Chapel in Yellow Springs every Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:30.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Yellow Springs is now home to a free medical clinic. And while the clinic is only open two hours a week, the free care is going a long way for some people in Greene County.

It’s 4:30 on a Tuesday, and the free medical clinic at the AME Chapel in Yellow Springs just opened.

Charles Browder Jr. was first in line. He came in hopes of getting medication for his high blood pressure and arthritis.

“They took me in,” Browder says. “They took my vitals and everything, got me my prescriptions that I needed.”

Miami Valley Hospital President, Michael Uhl, and trauma workers gather for lunch in a room that has served as a response headquarters since a mass shooting took the lives of nine people in Dayton's Oregon District, early Sunday morning.
Jerry Kenney

The level of skill and attention required in the aftermath of a mass shooting is significant, even for healthcare workers experienced with trauma care. 

Several area hospital systems responded to Sunday’s mass shooting and one Dayton hospital has found fellowship with colleagues across the country.

Late Monday morning several dozen trauma workers at Miami Valley Hospital gathered in a room that has served as a response headquarters since a mass shooting took the lives of nine people in Dayton’s Oregon District, early Sunday morning.

Rural areas in America have high death rates from car crashes, hunting accidents and other trauma. But many rural hospitals are only equipped to handle basic emergencies. In one Iowa town trauma experts are helping a small ER prepare for big emergencies.

Health officials plan to oppose a bill under consideration in the Ohio House that would prohibit employers from requiring workers to get vaccines. The son of former U.S Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy came to the Statehouse to support the legislation earlier this week. But many in the public health community stand ready to fight against the bill.

Deepa Halaharvi is a morning person.

"Eat, read, pray, and get ready to go to work," she says, laughing. "And usually I’m out the door around 6:15 or 6:30."

Losing a loved one to gun violence can cause anxiety, stress and other mental health symptoms. So can simply living in an environment where violence is common.

But experts say early intervention and support can help prevent some of those negative, long-term consequences.

Lawmakers say health care professionals are in a position of power and to take advantage of that trust to commit sexual imposition should come with increased criminal penalties. 

As the opioid epidemic continues, hospitals are looking for new ways to treat pain and combat addiction. At Indiana University Health, which has 16 hospitals across the state, that means change. They’re cutting back on opioid prescriptions and giving more advice to patients.