Jackie Fortier

StateImpact Oklahoma

Jackie Fortier joined StateImpact Oklahoma in November 2017, reporting on a variety of topics and heading up its health reporting initiative. She has many journalism awards to her name during her years of multi-media reporting in Colorado, and was part of a team recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists with a Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in breaking news reporting in 2013.

She is a former young professional fellow of the Journalism and Women's Symposium, and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Reporters without Borders, and a lifetime member of Kappa Tau Alpha, awarded for her thesis on disability and technology in news reporting.

She holds a bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Colorado State University and a Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder. When she's not reporting, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three cats.

Ways to Connect

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

It’s hard to get basic health care like shots and x-rays in rural Oklahoma. The federal government considers all but one of the state’s 77 counties to have a primary care shortage. The problem is driving a legislative effort to allow highly educated nurses to fill that gap — but doctors and nurse practitioners are butting heads on who is qualified to help.

Lindsi Walker sits behind a glossy wooden desk at Cordell Memorial, a hospital on Oklahoma’s western plains. She’s surrounded by pictures of her family — a stethoscope hangs around her neck.

ALEX DODD / FLICKR - CREATIVE COMMONS

Oklahoma had the second highest rate of certain drug overdose deaths between 2015 and 2016, a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Overdose deaths from a class of drugs known as psychostimulants increased in 14 states. Oklahoma and New Mexico shared the second highest rate behind Nevada. These drugs include methamphetamine, ecstasy and drugs like Ritalin used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Oklahoma’s heroin, illicit opioid and cocaine death rates also ticked up slightly.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

New research suggests people with intellectual disabilities are being turned down for organ transplants because of their disability. A growing effort to take human bias out of the decision highlights a little-known area of medicine.

Shiny red hearts decorate the tables at a restaurant in Moore. It looks like a Valentine’s Day party, but tonight the decor is literal: It’s the 10-year anniversary of Henry Weather’s new heart.

A bill that would save Oklahoma $84 million by changing Medicaid income requirements passed out of the state Senate Monday.

The measure would would change parent and caretaker group income requirements from 41 percent of the federal poverty level to 20 percent, a move that would make more than 43,000 currently covered adults ineligible for Medicaid.

Senator Josh Brecheen (R-Coalgate) is one of the bill's authors. He says the adults who lose coverage under his plan could get health care on a sliding scale from a federally qualified health center.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests drug overdose deaths declined in some states — but not in Oklahoma.

Drug overdose deaths dropped in 14 states, making health officials hopeful that policies aimed at curbing the death toll may be working. But preliminary numbers from CDC show drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma rose by 12 percent, to 844 people. That’s higher than in previous years, but not by much.

Opioids are on the White House agenda Thursday — President Trump plans to talk with members of his administration about the crisis. Meanwhile, all around the United States, state legislators, treatment providers, families and many others will be listening.

Lindsay Fox / EcigaretteReviewed.com

Newly published research suggests that more than 10 percent of Oklahomans vape–the highest rate in the country.

Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine found that states with strong tobacco-control laws, like smoke-free air rules and taxes on cigarettes have fewer e-cigarette users.

The study’s lead author Omar El-Shahawy says Oklahomans are more likely to try e-cigarettes because smoking is socially acceptable and allowed in a lot of locations.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Interim health commissioner Preston Doerflinger resigned Wednesday after allegations of past spousal abuse surfaced.

The board of the Oklahoma State Department of Health accepted Doerflinger’s resignation, after spending over an hour in a private meeting to discuss his employment.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma increased 91 percent over the last decade and a half, prompting the state to form a task force charged with a daunting goal: Brainstorm a plan to guide the state out of an opioid epidemic that kills three Oklahomans nearly every day.

The Commission on Opioid Abuse released its final report in January.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Jacob is just a few hours old when registered nurse Amy Burnett begins one of the simplest measurements to tell if a newborn is healthy — their weight.

“You want to make sure that they are naked, they have no diaper, and you bring him to the scale,” she says as she removes his tiny Pampers.

She gently picks him up, confidently balancing his body on her forearm like a football. Her purple gloved fingers encircle his neck as she hits a button on the scale, which beeps loudly, zeroing it out.

He squirms as she places his head toward the top of the plastic rim.

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