Jackie Fortier

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.

After a seven-week trial, a judge in Oklahoma is now considering whether Johnson & Johnson should be held responsible for the state's opioid epidemic.

The lawsuit, which is the first of its kind to play out in court, alleges Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the opioid crisis with aggressive marketing, leading to thousands of overdose deaths. The state is asking for more than $17 billion.

The new anti-abortion tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court has inspired some states to further restrict the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy and move to outlaw abortion entirely if Roe v. Wade ever falls. But the rush to regulate has exposed division among groups and lawmakers who consider themselves staunch abortion opponents.

The Red Bud Dispensary in Marlow, Okla. looks like an Apple store, with white walls and track lighting. The dispensary is packed with people, but they aren’t here to buy medical marijuana. The dispensary hasn’t technically opened yet, so it doesn’t even have THC products – the mainly middle-aged crowd is standing around empty glass cases. They are here for something else – a doctor’s recommendation.

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

 

Oklahoma medical marijuana and CBD businesses may need an $850 dollar food license.

Foods infused with CBD or THC, like oils, candy or honey are popular choices at dispensaries. Now the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which runs the state’s medical marijuana program, is reminding businesses that sell or manufacture those products that they need a food license by late April, or risk fines.


Kjelsea McDonald just finished her shift as a nuclear medicine technologist at the Seiling Regional Medical Center. She’s still wearing her teal scrubs at the Crooked Arrow Cafe during the dinner rush. She worked as a waitress here for years, including when she was a junior in high school — and pregnant.

This year the Trump Administration said it would support states imposing “community engagement” requirements on Medicaid. That means, for the first time in the program’s history, states can require people to work a certain number of hours to be eligible for the government health program for low-income Americans.

After a decade of improvement, a new study suggests the rate of uninsured children is increasing in Oklahoma.

The largest group representing state government workers is preparing to sue the Oklahoma State Department of Health for $3 million on behalf of 161 former employees laid off during a financial crisis.

In November 2017, health department officials reported a sudden budget shortfall that led to the layoffs of nearly 200 employees and an emergency infusion from lawmakers of $30 million to help the agency stay solvent.

Air ambulance rides can be lifesavers. But how much should they cost?

In the ongoing, crowdsourced "Bill of the Month" investigation, NPR and Kaiser Health News have received more than a dozen bills from people around the country on the hook for medevac helicopter rides that ranged from $28,000 to $97,000.

What gives? Why should a lifesaving flight come with a life-altering bill?