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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Looking back at some of the best stories from 2013


INDIANAPOLIS — “Sound Medicine” announces a special program for Dec. 29, featuring some of the most interesting independently produced stories featured on the program in 2013.

Can massage help painful menstruation? One in 10 women misses one to three days of work each month because of debilitating menstrual cramps. “Sound Medicine” field producer Andrea Muraskin was one of those women. After trying every recommended medical treatment, Muraskin finally found relief from a massage therapist. Megan Assaf of Bloomington, Ind., specializes in the Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy. According to OB-GYN specialist Men-Jean Lee, M.D.,  the relaxation that Mayan massage promotes could be useful in reducing menstrual cramps.

What is the “walking school bus”? As part of the federal “Safe Routes to School” initiative, many communities are starting “walking school buses” — a group of children walking to school with adult supervision. Parent volunteers make several planned stops on the way to and from school each day to pick up the children. Sandy Roob reports on the four walking school buses at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Indianapolis.

How are Syrian physicians adapting to wartime conditions? According to the World Health Organization, more than half of Syria’s doctors have fled the country, leaving the war-torn country in dire need of medical assistance. The Ohio-based Syrian American Medical Society provides medical supplies and facilitates monthly training workshops by physicians in the U.S. to help the remaining Syrian physicians adapt to treating patients under wartime conditions with little technology.

Can breast milk be transported on a motorbike? At Birmingham Women’s Hospital in England, a local charity bike service called Midlands Freewheelers has switched from delivering blood to delivering breast milk. After the milk arrives at the hospital, it’s put into small bottles, pasteurized and frozen. The Midlands Freewheelers has been so successful that it is looking to expand to other hospitals.

How has health care been serving rural Australians for 85 years? In Australia, many people live a day’s drive away from any type of medical facility. So what happens when people need emergency or immediate medical attention? The Royal Flying Doctor Service in Jandakot, Western Australia, is dispatched to take care of the emergency. Field producer Maeve Frances details the ins and outs of delivering medical care by air.

How are Detroit’s homeless getting health care? Kyle Norris, a host/producer at Michigan Radio, reports on a traveling team of medical students and health professionals who meet homeless people on their own turf. Through a new mobile medical clinic that travels the streets in Detroit, they provide in-the-field, on-the-fly medical appointments.

Drawing with Doctors: “Sound Medicine” reporter Sandy Robb recently attended an art class with several medical residents at the Indianapolis Art Center. The classes are the brainchild of Dr. Christopher Jones of My Plastic Surgery Group.

“Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, “Sound Medicine ” airs on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

“Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).

Please check local listings for broadcast dates and times.