Alumnus serves Indiana town struggling with opioid and HIV crisis

November 2, 2017

President Donald Trump recently ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. But while officials in Washington debate how to best confront the crisis, one Indiana University School of Medicine alumnus has been on the front lines for years, drawing national attention as he serves a small Indiana town struggling with opioid abuse and its aftermath.

Will Cooke, MD, noticed the drug problems soon after he arrived in Austin, Indiana. When he opened the doors of his family medicine practice in 2004, he became the sole medical provider in the community. Many residents hadn’t seen a doctor in years, and some of the health issues he encountered shocked him: fatal cases of cervical cancer that could have been prevented; tumors that had grown out of control; advanced diabetes; children who were not receiving their vaccinations.

Read more about Dr. Cooke’s experience on the front lines of Indiana’s addiction crisis.