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Freelance journalist Martha Rosenberg recently made an interesting comparison between embattled drug giant Wyeth and former insurance giant AIG. The latter famously handed out massive bonuses and planned lavish company retreats at a time when the company was receiving billions in federal bailout funds.

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Felice Freyer, veteran medical writer at the Providence Journal and Association of Health Care Journalists board member, is surveying reporters about how state and local agencies are releasing, or refusing to release, basic demographic information (not names) about people who have died from H1N1/swine flu.

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We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

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The Record in Hackensack, New Jersey, awoke to its worst nightmare recently when one of its biggest advertisers pulled all of its ads.

The reason?

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Yolanda Vera oversees health care, public health and mental health issues for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

She is the former director of LA Health Action, an organization that seeks to expand access to health coverage and care to all Los Angeles County residents through policy and advocacy, coalition-building, linking of existing resources and grant-making to local, community-based organizations. LA Health Action is funded by The California Endowment and is run out of this grant-making foundation's headquarters in Los Angeles.

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Wendy Lazarus is founder and co-president of The Children's Partnership, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan child advocacy organization with offices in Santa Monica, Calif., and Washington, D.C. Lazarus has spent nearly 25 years working as a children's advocate to secure improved health care and other needed supports for children and families. She served as the Children's Defense Fund's first director of health, as founding vice president for policy for Children Now, and as a consultant to the Conrad Hilton and Piton foundations.

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As director of administration and finance for On Lok, Inc., Ms. Sue Wong serves as the chief financial officer for the On Lok family of nonprofit corporations. On Lok SeniorHealth is a comprehensive health plan serving frail seniors who live in San Francisco and Fremont. This program provides an alternative when nursing home care and placement seem necessary. Ms. Wong is responsible for the overall management of personnel, administrative, and plant functions for all the On Lok corporations.

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Sheila Hall is director of the HIV/AIDS & Health legal assistance program at the East Bay Community Law Center, the largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay and a nationally recognized poverty law clinic. The center, founded in 1988 by law students at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, serves several thousand low-income clients and community groups each year with legal matters directly affecting their income, shelter and health care. The HIV/AIDS & Health practice offers legal services to HIV-positive clients and their families.

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Roger Doughty is executive director of Horizons Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through grant-making, strengthening of LGBT organizations and leadership, and increasing philanthropic giving. Doughty was most recently the executive director of Horizons Community Services in Chicago, the Midwest's largest LGBT social service and advocacy organization. During his tenure, Doughty led the organization's expansion into the Chicago LGBT Community Center.

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The USC Center for Health Journalism's Impact Funds provide reporting support — funding and mentoring — to journalists who think big and want to make a difference. 

Apply today for our National Impact Fund for reporting on health equity and health systems across the country. 

Apply today for our California Impact Fund for reporting that brings untold stories to light in the Golden State. 

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