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The Health Divide

The Health Divide explores the ways in which persistent disparities and inequities shape health in this country, with a focus on the role played by social factors outside of the doctor’s office. We look at the conditions where people live and work, and the influence of race, class and immigration status. We look at the health care policy landscape and efforts to close the gap between the haves and have nots when it comes to inequitable access and treatment in health care. The Health Divide explores the role of systemic racism and police violence as well as community safety and how such conditions can contribute to toxic stress and illness. Such factors can have an outsize role in determining individual and community well-being, influencing how long we live and the quality of our lives. We highlight great work around these themes in the journalism and policy sphere, and encourage our readers to weigh in with ideas.

Picture of Susan  Abram
A special edition of Health Affairs explores the long shadow of violence on health — and how public policy might respond.
Picture of Alexandra Demetriou
Addiction experts are pushing health care professionals to reexamine the way they discuss opioid addiction with patients and change how the establishment trains young doctors.
Picture of Alex Matthews
Researchers offer reporters some tips for avoiding common pitfalls when talking about the effect of socioeconomic status on health.
Picture of Molly Sullivan
At first the story of Dajha Richards' death was poised to be another daily about a fatal shooting. But as reporter Molly Sullivan combed through her social media accounts, she found a much deeper story of love and abuse.
Picture of Luanne Rife
“You understand you can’t change a culture on a dime," a CEO of a local health system told me. "You have to transform a culture over time."
Picture of Judith Mernit
The gap between African Americans and whites in controlling hypertension decreased by 58% from 2009 to 2017. Explaining why is trickier.
Picture of Sara Stewart
The future of abortion access in the US is in a major state of flux, with new restrictive laws or bills from red states in the news virtually every day. Advocates are responding in part by helping women get to clinics.
Picture of John Gonzales
Is California merely robbing Peter to pay Paul with its voter-approved bond measure to house mentally ill homeless people? Places such as Tulare County could end up losing badly needed mental health funding.
Picture of Susan  Abram
Recent research suggests gardens and green spaces have a positive effect on nearby residents' mental health. L.A. County is embracing the strategy in Watts.
Picture of John Gonzales
The bond money for Proposition 2 will be financed by funds from the Mental Health Services Act, which has been mired in controversy and ineffectiveness since its passage in 2004.

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Announcements

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 

 

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