Durrie Bouscaren

Health and Science Reporter

Durrie Bouscaren covers healthcare and medical research throughout the St. Louis metro area. She comes most recently from Iowa Public Radio’s newsroom in Des Moines, where she reported on floods, a propane shortage, and small-town defense contractors. Since catching the radio bug in college, Bouscaren has freelanced and interned at NPR member stations WRVO, WAER and KQED. Her work has aired on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Harvest Public Media, a regional reporting collaborative. 

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Ebola
10:33 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Patient Tests Negative For Ebola In Jefferson County

The Ebola virus, shown through transmission electron micrograph.
Credit CDC

Updated at 6:40 p.m.

A Jefferson County woman who was showing symptoms of Ebola has initially tested negative for the virus at Mercy Hospital in Crystal City. As a precautionary measure, officials said she will remain in an isolation room for treatment and will be monitored according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

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Chronic Homelessness
10:10 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

At Garfield Commons, A Chance For A New Life

Curesa Atkins sits in her apartment at the Garfield Commons.
Durrie Bouscaren St. Louis Public Radio

When Curesa Atkins moved into her apartment at Garfield Commons, a group from her church decorated it for her.

“It was snowing, and I just thought, 'Thank God. I’m watching it from the other side of the window when there’s so, so many people out there,'” Atkins said.

Atkins, a 42-year-old former dental assistant, said she became homeless after a dealing with series of car repairs, a change in her marital status and, eventually, the loss of her job.

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Children & Families
4:29 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Fewer Missouri Children Using Subsidized Childcare

Credit (Courtesy University City Children's Center)

About 12,300 fewer children attended federally subsidized day cares in Missouri during fiscal year 2013 than in 2012. That marks the largest decline in the country. But child service nonprofits say it’s unlikely the decline is due entirely to a reduction in need. Instead, it may be due to changes within the state agency that administers the funds.

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Open Enrollment
5:12 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Missouri Under the Affordable Care Act: Where Are We?

Dara Taylor of Community Catalyst trains insurance navigators in the St. Louis area.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

On Saturday, open enrollment season for Healthcare.gov begins. For the second time around, public health organizations and insurance "navigators" are holding outreach events, running ads, and looking for the remaining uninsured Missouri residents.

But who are those uninsured Missourians? And how have the changes implemented through the Affordable Care Act affected the state?  

Hundreds of thousands of people in Missouri are uninsured. Who are they?

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LGBTQ Health Disparities
6:19 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Growing Number of Insurance Plans Cover Gender Reassignment

Andre Wilson, an inclusive health advocate and transgender man, is speaking at Washington University in St. Louis on Nov. 13 and 14.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

Andre Wilson lived as a woman for the first 43 years of his life. It was excruciating, he said.

“I lived a life of depression, suicidality. I couldn’t even explain to myself, let alone others, what the barriers were,” Wilson said. “One lives a life of never having access to the core self.”

When Wilson began hormone therapy to transition into becoming a man, everything changed.

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Landfill Gas
5:55 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

East St. Louis Landfill Facility To Convert Trash To Fuel

Project Manager Tom Kappelmeier holds a model of the facility's landfill gas filtration system during a tour at the Milam Landfill.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

There’s a network of pipes underneath the Milam Landfill in East St. Louis. The pipes gather the methane and carbon dioxide given off when organic matter heats up and decomposes. And soon, the landfill will be using it to produce natural gas.

The landfill’s operator, Waste Management, received a $2.4 million dollar grant from the state of Illinois to build the facility, which is the first of its kind in the state. Total construction costs reached $19 million, according to the company.

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Affordable Care Act
3:24 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Rate Review Laws Could Reduce Health Insurance Costs, Consumer Group Says

Credit Adrian Clark / Flckr

On Monday, Missourians had their first glimpse at the health insurance rates they can choose from on the federal exchange. According to some, that shouldn't have been the first time the information was public.

Missouri is one of only a few states that does not have a state entity tasked with reviewing health insurance rates before they are finalized. Consumer groups say that means Missourians might be paying more for health insurance on the federal exchange than they should be. 

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Affordable Care Act
5:44 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Missouri Gets First Peek At 2015 Health Plans On Federal Exchange

Credit Adrian Clark / Flckr

Even though open enrollment doesn't start for several days, Healthcare.gov began on Monday to allow visitors to take a peek at the individual health insurance plans and rates that will be available for 2015. 

In the St. Louis area, two additional insurance companies  — Cigna and UnitedHealthcare — began offering plans on the federal exchange. For zip codes in St. Louis, the marketplace lists 41 plans with varying monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

Ryan Barker of Cover Missouri said the additional competition likely led to a slight decrease in plan prices.

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
8:15 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Missouri May Owe Feds $11.5 Million For Improper Medicaid Claims

Credit Adrian Clark / Flckr

The state of Missouri may be required to repay $11.5 million to the federal government, after miscalculating Medicaid payment rates for some case management services to people with developmental disabilities. The findings  were published last week in an audit by the Office of the Inspector General. 

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Small municipalities
10:28 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Some Bel-Ridge Trustees Say Village Police Problems Have Been Ignored

Police cars park outside of the Bel-Ridge Municipal Complex, which includes spaces for Village Hall, its municipal court and the police department.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

A 2012 audit of the police department in Bel-Ridge is getting new attention from some members of the community's Board of Trustees.

Longtime resident and trustee Rachel White has been pushing for change since she found the audit this year in a stack of papers. It showed mismanagement and possible misconduct of officers. But the entity with the power to address it — the Village Board of Trustees —  had failed to make major changes.

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