WILL - Focus - April 25, 2014

Unmet Needs: “Folk Wisdom” about health perpetuates stereotypes

Talking about mental health and mental illness is hard; sometimes it awkward. Most of the time it’s uncomfortable. Should it be?


(Duration: 15:35)

Joey Ramp and her ex-husband in WILL's studios.

Joey Ramp gets uncomfortable in large crowds of people. New places also make her uneasy. It’s her service dog, Theo, and her highly regimented schedule that helps her handle her anxiety and cope with her post-traumatic stress disorder. Theo is always with her, and since her disability isn’t visible, she says people are curious. Sometimes they ask; sometimes they don’t. “Most often, when people ask and I say I have PTSD, people want to thank me for my service.”

That makes it awkward for Ramp to explain that she never served in the military.

WILL - Focus - April 14, 2014

Unmet Needs: three things we learned during our #WILLchat on Twitter

As a part of our series, "Unmet Needs: living with mental illness in central Illinois," we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats. Here's a recap.

As a part of our series exploring difficulties in accessing mental health care in central Illinois, we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats with WILL’s newsroom Friday morning. 

We wanted to talk with you to find out if we are accurately characterizing problems with stigma through our reporting and wanted to find out more about the problems you and others in the area are having trying to find care. Sean Powers, and I learned a lot

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - April 11, 2014

Unmet Needs: Look onscreen, the doctor will see you now

In many places in Illinois, providers are looking to telemedicine to expand access to psychiatric care. Friday on Focus, we take a look at the nuances of treating patients via a computer screen as a part of our series “Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois.”


(Duration: 52:06)

Harry Wolin manages Mason District Hospital in Havana, Illinois, one of many clinics in Illinois that provide care to medically underserved areas. The hospital has been treating patients via telepsychiatry, when a patient meets with a doctor via a computer screen, for about four years now. Wolin says they started offering appointments that way after the county mental health center shut down due to lack of funding.

“If we wouldn’t have started offering this service, many of our patients would have had to travel an hour or more to see somebody,” he explains.

In an evolving health care system where cost control and efficiency are key, some are looking to telepsychiatry as a solution; some are more skeptical. Could the technology a way to offer more patients quicker access to a doctor? Is that really the best solution? 

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - April 10, 2014

Talk to us: Twitterchat Friday at 11:00 a.m. CT

Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, Lindsey Mooon @lindseysmoon will be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.

Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, I’ll be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - March 28, 2014

“Young Invincibles” sign up for Affordable Care Act last minute


(Duration: 10:01)

Director of Outreach for Get Covered Illinois Brian Gorman says young people are signing up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's health care marketplace in the final days for enrollment, something that Illinois officials has been concerned about. He talked with Scott Cameron during this Focus interview about how many people have signed up so far. He says its important that the "extension" for enrollment announced yesterday by the Obama administration doesn't give people more time to start the process of enrolling; it only gives you more time to finish an already exisiting application for insurance.

Categories: Government, Health

WILL - Focus - February 21, 2014

Encore: What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine

Have you ever had a moment at work when you were so overwhelmed by how you felt, either for personal reasons or because of something that happened at work that it was hard for you to function? This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation about the intersection between human emotion, medicine and patient care.


(Duration: 51:27)

Dr. Danielle Ofri

We’ve all seen the caricature of the unfeeling, cold-hearted, bitter doctor on cable television. Gregory House, after all, is not an exactly a model for compassion. Danielle Ofri argues in her newest book “What Doctors Feel:  How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine,” that the idea that doctors don’t have feelings, or that they can ignore those feelings, negatively affects patient care. This hour on Focus, we'll relisten to Lindsey Moon talking with Dr. Ofri about why that caricature developed and how it affects the way doctors practice medicine.

Categories: Health, Public Health, Science

WILL - Focus - January 28, 2014

Health Care in All the Wrong Places

Our current medical system is a business. Should it be?


(Duration: 51:16)

Our current medical system is a business. Should it be? According to filmmaker Susan Parenti and Dr. Patch Adams, the answer to that question is “no.” In her new film “Health Care in All the Wrong Places,” Parenti explores the disconnect between the phrase “health care” and the actual meaning of the word “care.”

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Parenti and with Dr. Adams, who appears in the film as a patient, about what medicine could be. Adams, who is a student of Parenti’s in the Urbana based “School for Designing a Society,” has been working since he entered medical school in the late 1960’s to build a hospital where medical care is free and says that providing care should be, even though it often isn’t, at the heart of medical interaction.

Read more to see the trailer.

Categories: Health

WILL - Focus - January 09, 2014

A drug to prevent HIV

There’s a pill that can protect against HIV infection. Why aren’t more people taking it?


(Duration: 51:37)

For decades, the message has been that the only way to prevent HIV infection is to wear a condom every time you have sex. Jim Pickett, who heads prevention advocacy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, says that advice will never be effective enough to eradicate the disease.

Truvada, a drug made by Gilead, was approved more than a year ago by the FDA as another option to prevent the spread of the disease. In clinical trials, it has proven more effective in protecting HIV negative people from contracting the disease than condom use, but it’s been slow to catch on. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about Truvada, why the HIV community has been slow to embrace the drug and how new HIV prevention tools are changing the way we think about the disease. Jim Pickett of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Mike Benner, Executive Director of the Greater Community AID Foundation in Champaign join us.

Categories: Health

WILL - Focus - December 16, 2013

Preventing a meningitis outbreak

Last week, a meningitis vaccine that is unapproved by the FDA was made available to Princeton students in an effort to stop an outbreak of the disease from getting worse. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about why the outbreak prompted such concern and why college students are most commonly affected by meningitis.


(Duration: 51:57)

 Renee Galloway, a microbiologist in the Centers for Disease Control’s Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch (MSPB), in the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), was shown here running a Pulsed-field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) analy

Meningitis infections are considered medical emergencies because many are life threatening. Dr. Tom Clark, who heads meningitis prevention and surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control, was on campus at Princeton University last week when university officials started administering a vaccine for meningitis b that’s not normally available in the US. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with him about the disease and why 8 confirmed cases of the disease prompted officials had to bring a non-FDA approved vaccine to the states.

During this hour on Focus, Brandon Meline of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District also joins the show. A new Illinois law will make meningitis vaccination mandatory for 6th and 12th grade students starting January 1st of next year.

Categories: Health, Public Health

WILL - Focus - October 02, 2013

Get Covered Illinois! Health Marketplace Now Open for Business

Do you have questions about the new health care marketplaces? Maybe you think you should be shopping for insurance, but you’re not sure. This hour on Focus, we’ll try to demystify Illinois’ new health care exchanges. 


(Duration: 51:29)

Charlene Aumiller (left) gets help with the health care marketplace from Shannon Killian (right) of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on Oct. 1, 2013.

Yesterday, Illinois’ new health care marketplace opened for business, enabling people to start enrolling in new health insurance plans. There are several plans to choose from with several different levels of coverage, but not everybody should be looking to the marketplace for coverage. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Claudia Lenhoff, Executive Director of Champaign County Health Care Consumers and Julie Pryde, Executive Director of  the Champaign County Public Health District, which is working to educate people about the new marketplaces, also known as exchanges, and get them enrolled in coverage.

Categories: Health

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