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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Affordable Care Act
9:07 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Uninsured Last Year? You May Pay A Penalty On Your Taxes

Rachel Bingham, a single mother, earns too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford health insurance for herself and her daughter.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

While rolling silverware at the City Diner in St. Louis, waitress Rachel Bingham recalled her attempt to buy health insurance for herself and her five-year-old daughter last year. She said when she signed on to Healthcare.gov, she realized she couldn't afford it. 

"They were wanting $231 a month. That was not doable," Bingham said. She’s been paying out-of-pocket for doctor’s appointments ever since: $60 for primary care, $200 for the dentist. Luckily, her daughter’s a healthy kid, she said.

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West Lake Landfill
3:25 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

'Something Is Different,' Emergency Coordinator Tells Bridgeton Community Meeting

Pattonville Assistant Fire Chief Matt LaVanchy discuses recent data from the Bridgeton Landfill's underground fire, which has been smoldering since late 2010.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Residents in municipalities surrounding the Bridgeton Landfill are growing increasingly frustrated with the pace of cleanup efforts and a "lack of communications" between environmental agencies tasked with overseeing the project.  

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Bridgeton Landfill
5:29 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Low Air Pollution Risk Near West Lake Landfill, EPA Says

A view of the Bridgeton Landfill, taken in the fall of 2014.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The underground fire at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site does not produce air pollution that exceeds hazardous standards, the regional head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.  

“The air around the West Lake Landfill site in north St. Louis resembles the air elsewhere in metro St. Louis. There’s nothing distinctive,” said Karl Brooks, who leads EPA’s Region 7 from his office in Kansas City.

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Care for the Uninsured
5:04 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

After Five Years, Casa de Salud Looks Back

Casa de Salud sits at 3200 Chouteau Avenue in Midtown.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Five years ago, an old auto repair shop re-opened its doors as a community health center to serve uninsured people, many of them Hispanic immigrants. Today, more than 400 people walk through its doors each month.  

On Friday, Casa de Salud marked the fifth anniversary of its first patient visit. Anna Castro has worked as the clinic’s receptionist since the beginning, assisting patients who don’t have health insurance due to their employer, their immigration status or lack of resources.

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Cancer Research
10:28 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Inventor of 'Cancer Goggles' Receives St. Louis Award

Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering student Suman Mondal demonstrates "cancer goggles" at Washington University's Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

One year after "cancer goggles" were first used in a successful breast cancer operation, Dr. Samuel Achilefu is still getting emails from surgeons all over the world, hoping for a chance to use them.  

“We’ve been inundated,” he said from his desk in Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute, hours before receiving the 2014 St. Louis Award for his invention.

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Trauma Deserts
5:30 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Rural Hospitals Should Address Trauma Center Scarcity In Illinois, Report Says

A Level I Trauma Center at St. Louis University Hospital.
Credit St. Louis University Hospital

Get in a car crash, take a gunshot, or survive a farm machinery accident in rural Illinois or parts of the Metro East, and you’ll likely be taken to St. Louis University Hospital, across the river.   

“The quicker you get somebody here, the better they’re going to do,” said Helen Sandkuhl, who directs the Emergency Department. More than half of the hospital’s trauma patients come from Illinois, and the trip can be a long one. Broad swaths of the state do not have certified trauma centers within 50 miles, creating "trauma deserts" in southern and central Illinois.

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Cancer Research
7:06 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

‘Paradigm Shift’ In Cancer Research Emerging At Washington U

Dr. Michael Rettig, research technician Stephanie Meier, Dr. Daniel Link, and Dr. Todd Fehniger, in the lab at Barnes Jewish Hospital.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Researchers at Washington University are conducting some of their first human trials for a new cancer drug that would treat one of the most lethal forms of adult leukemia. While standard leukemia treatments involve months of intense chemotherapy, this drug uses a specialized antibody to help the body’s own immune system learn how to fight back.

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Alternative Medicine
11:05 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

As Illinois Implements Medical Marijuana Program, One Family Waits to Come Home

Adam, 37, Michaela, 3, and Kristy Frederick, 37, on a family hike in Colorado. The family moved to the state in 2013, in the hopes of treating Michaela's frequent seizures with an oil made from medical cannabis.
Credit Frederick Family

 The state of Illinois has already missed a self-imposed deadline to license medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries by the end of 2014.

The law allows people suffering from one of about 40 conditions to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval. It passed the Illinois legislature more than a year ago, but with a Republican governor soon to take office, it’s unclear exactly when state regulators will issue permits to the future suppliers.

In the meantime, patients continue to wait.

In Denver, One Family Delays a Homecoming

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Beyond Ferguson
5:20 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Newcomers Reflect On Their First Months In St. Louis

From left, Stephanie Lecci, Willis Ryder Arnold, Emanuele Berry, Durrie Bouscaren. Wayne Pratt was not available for this photo.
Credit St. Louis Public Radio

This summer, the newsroom of St. Louis Public Radio hired five people who had never lived in St. Louis. As 2014 draws to a close, we asked each to reflect on what they've discovered in their five months here.

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Missouri Statehouse
5:25 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Health Care Bills To Watch In Missouri This Year

Credit Adrian Clark / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers pre-filed more than 500 bills over the past month that they plan to take up during the next legislative session, which begins on Jan. 7. Here’s a selection of bills related to health care that St. Louis Public Radio’s Health Desk will be keeping an eye on in 2015:   

HB 282: Consumer Rate Review on Health Insurance Plans

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