A remarkable story of how a doctor’s faith-in-action in rural Indiana helped shine the light on America’s opioid epidemic.
Dr. William Cooke, Indiana’s Family Physician of the Year, was recently on the front lines of one of America’s most devastatingly concentrated outbreaks of HIV, fueled by the widespread opioid drug use in his community. It made international headlines and brought major attention to America’s opioid crisis. The only doctor in the small town of Austin, Indiana at the time, Dr. Cooke wasn’t prepared for the role. He’d always imagined himself giving back to his community, but he never thought he’d be taking on government as a voice for the forgotten and hopeless of his town. He stepped up and soon found himself before then-governor Mike Pence, urging him to implement the controversial needle-swap program, which the governor reluctantly did to great success in curbing HIV spread.
Dr. Cooke nearly lost his practice during this crisis, treating every addicted person who came to him, regardless of whether they had Medicaid. And he never expected to be treating numerous hopeless, addicted mothers and delivering their babies, but he did and followed them afterward. Some stories ended well and others didn’t, but his love for the people of his community was never misplaced, and with God’s help he was able to make a true impact–he is internationally recognized for his work fighting HIV and opioid addiction–on the town and spread some hope. This is the story of how.
Through this book, readers will come to understand and empathize with a struggling subculture of brothers and sisters whose pain impacts everyone. They’ll learn how love can be applied toward healing and changing society for a better future. And they’ll be inspired by how the faith and courage of one person can make a real difference.