Kaiser Health News covers health care in the Midwest, with a bureau headquartered in St. Louis and staff reporters based in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

Why Two States Remain Holdouts on Distracted Driving Laws

Missouri and Montana are the only states without distracted driving laws for all drivers. With traffic fatalities rising significantly nationwide, some Missouri lawmakers and advocates for roadway safety are eyeing bills in the new legislative session that would crack down on texting while driving in the Show Me State.

HIV Outbreak Persists as Officials Push Back Against Containment Efforts

Research shows offering clean syringes to people who misuse IV drugs is effective in combating the spread of HIV. But an epidemiologist and advocates say state and local officials in West Virginia, home to one of the worst HIV outbreaks in recent years, have taken measures that render syringe exchange less accessible.

To Combat Gun Violence, This Artist Turns Ammunition Into Art

In a city plagued by gun violence, Mykael Ash is turning ammunition into art. Ash, who lives in East St. Louis, Illinois, frequently walks through parts of the city where bullet shells aren’t hard to find. The shell casings represent a cycle of inequality, Ash says, and the art he makes with it serves as a call to action.