Lori Kurtzman, The Columbus Dispatch

Lori Kurtzman

The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus, OH, United States

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Past articles by Lori:

Chronic pain’s emotional toll can lead to suicide

He was bowling with friends when the tumor inside his head fired, knocking him to the alley floor. The sudden seizure ignited 12 years of pain. There were brain surgeries and constant headaches, sleep binges that lasted for days. His right side partially frozen, Steven Lichtenberg could barely walk. Then came Crohn’s disease, which caused regular bouts of diarrhea and nausea, leaving him keeled… → Read More

Nitrate warnings seldom result in illness

When Columbus officials announced late last month that there was something wrong with the city's tap water, Betsy Sharp and her wife immediately switched to bottles. Never mind that neither of them fell into the two categories that concerned health officials. (They were neither pregnant nor infants.) The couple was unsettled knowing that what was coming out of their faucets in Merion Village… → Read More

Program aims to provide eye exams, glasses for the uninsured, poor

The tape kind of worked. The glue might have, too, but it dripped onto the lens, clouding the vision in his right eye. Frankly, Anthony Inthavongsa's glasses were ruined, but he patched them together as best he could. Months passed. He finished eighth grade. Summer rolled around. So did some much-needed help. This morning, the 14-year-old stepped into a mobile care unit parked outside the… → Read More

Columbus lifts drinking water nitrate warning

Go ahead and drink the tap water. Columbus has canceled an advisory it issued last week after drinking water at the Dublin Road Water Plant tested unacceptably high for nitrate levels. The advisory included parts of Downtown, the city's West and Southwest sides, Grandview Heights, Grove City, Hilliard, Lincoln Village, Marble Cliff, Upper Arlington, Urbancrest and Valleyview. → Read More

Ohio State surgeon uses robot in hip replacements

Adam Berkowitz's limp had become so pronounced that people would approach him to ask if he was OK. His hips had begun to fail him. He wasn't even 40. "I hate to tell you this," his doctor told him, "but both your hips are looking awful." So three years ago, he opted to have his left hip replaced using a new technique that Dr. Andrew Glassman was exploring at Ohio State University's Wexner… → Read More

MRI-guided laser surgery for epilepsy patients less invasive

Driving wasn't a problem until she found herself racing up Neil Avenue, foot jammed on the gas pedal, her husband bracing in terror beside her. She got lucky and veered into five parked cars, but Jennifer Casto knew. It was time to give up the keys. → Read More

City of Columbus issues nitrate warning for tap water

The city of Columbus has issued a nitrate warning for some customers who get water from the Dublin Road Water Plant. The Division of Water said tap water should not be given to infants younger than 6 months and that it should not be used to make infant formula, juice or cereal. Women who are more than 30 weeks pregnant also should avoid drinking tap water or any beverages made from tap water. → Read More

Sweet and deadly: City has new weapon in fight against mosquitoes

Usually, the goal is to drive mosquitoes away, or to kill them in their tracks. Spray, bam, drop dead. But Columbus Public Health has one tool in its mosquito-destroying arsenal that doesn't quite work that way. Attractive toxic sugar bait, as it is so seductively called, actually lures mosquitoes with a gift of sweet syrup. Then it poisons them with surprise garlic oil. "Their systems can't… → Read More

2-year-old undergoing experimental therapy defies the odds

Tenley Johnson turned 2 recently, and for her, it was probably no big deal. A room of people sang to her. Balloons bobbed around her tiny body. She slurped on a stick of candy nearly as long as her arm. There were presents and cake and sparkly shoes. But her mom sat just a few feet from the girl’s hospital bed on June 17 and said what a lot of people were thinking: “It’s a huge deal.” Lacretia… → Read More

Smog alert issued today for sensitive groups

You might consider staying inside today. Not only is it going to be uncomfortably hot — a forecasted high of 90 degrees — but the air quality isn't expected to be so great, either. The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has issued a smog alert, predicting that the air quality will be potentially unhealthy for sensitive groups, including older adults and active children and people with lung… → Read More

Wexner patient spreads cheer with cookies

Illness has stolen a lot from Carma Schilling. It’s taken away her energy. It’s left her unable to work as a nurse. It’s sent her to the hospital more than anyone should ever go to the hospital. There’s sadness in this story, but this isn’t a story about sadness. Without Schilling, there is no Cookie Lady. → Read More

Mental-illness tag not so simple to explain shootings

Invariably, after someone steps into a crowd of strangers and begins firing a gun, the words mental illness appear in the social dissection of what went wrong. The ex-wife of the man who shot up an Orlando gay club early Sunday quickly told reporters that he was bipolar and that “he was mentally unstable and mentally ill.” She and the imam of the Islamic center that the shooter attended both… → Read More

Children's Hospital announces major expansion, behavioral health center

Nationwide Children's Hospital officials announced a massive expansion today that will cost $730 million and transform the patch of campus west of Parsons Avenue. The plans detailed today include some previously announced projects that already are under construction. But perhaps the most lauded — and most surprising — piece of the plan is the Behavioral Health Pavilion, a comprehensive center… → Read More

Blue Jackets fan favorite 'Dancing Kevin' hits major weight-loss milestone

His trainer announced the number on the scale, and Kevin Schroeder seemed to deflate. He bowed his head, shoulders trembling. Schroeder was crying. He was standing on a scale inside a loud gym, shirtless and sobbing. "Why you shakin'?" asked his trainer, Jack Skaggs. "'Cause that's a lot," Schroeder said. → Read More

First case of Zika confirmed in Columbus

A Columbus woman has tested positive for the Zika virus following a trip to the Dominican Republic. → Read More

Keeping disease-carrying mosquitoes at bay

Imagine inviting a houseguest for the night and rolling out all of the accommodations: plate of fresh cookies, turned-down sheets, thermostat set just right. Now, imagine your guest thanking you for all of this by casually squirting some poison into your morning coffee. Mosquitoes can be a lot like that rude houseguest. And you — and your neighbors — can be a lot like that gullible host. → Read More

Japanese superhero Ultraman brings pop culture to Asian Festival

With forecasts calling for a muggy Sunday in the mid-80s, Adam Bonner squeezed into the rubber-coated wetsuit he'd bought a few months ago on eBay. He climbed out of an air-conditioned tent at the Asian Festival inside Franklin Park and headed into the crowd. → Read More

Bureau of Workers' Compensation cracks down on opioid prescriptions

A rule that could make it tougher for doctors to prescribe opioids to injured workers took another step forward this week. → Read More

Nurse jumps into unknown to volunteer for 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

If you're the type of person who craves order and solid planning, this story is going to drive you nuts. It's about an adventure-seeking nurse with a ticket to Brazil and a vague notion of the role she'll play in the Summer Olympics. It's about a woman chasing a hazy dream. It's heavy on excitement. Light on details. → Read More

Dormant butt syndrome? Diagnosis nothing to giggle at

It's pretty easy to forget about your butt. You never really see it, and it just kind of sits there. Or rather, you just kind of sit there. On your butt. Anyway, your butt notices, and it doesn’t appreciate the neglect. Neither does the rest of your body. A weak butt forces everything else to work harder. → Read More