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Chicago,Illinois,United States

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The future of Natividad

Part 1: On the verge of closure: Natividad's financial struggles threten its existence

Part 2: Turning around a public safety-net hospital: A last-ditch effort to save Natividad suceeds beyond expectations

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Investigative journalist-turned-GIS expert Ann Moss Joyner has made some pretty persuasive maps in her time. There was the map showing how an Ohio community’s water plant just couldn’t seem to serve a historically black neighborhood just hundreds of feet away, even as the plant’s water lines snaked miles to other, white neighborhoods.

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Surely if a doctor has gone to trial in a malpractice case and been ordered to pay millions by a judge or jury, this would catch the attention of the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation.

This is what I was thinking when reading about some recent huge malpractice judgments against doctors in the Chicago area. I tried to see if any information about these payments showed up in the state’s professional license lookup system.

Every attempt ended in disappointment.

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For medical malpractice attorneys in Chicago, Dr. Robert Levi-D’Ancona’s name sounds like victory. For patients, however, his name could become synonymous with a major patient safety defeat.

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Decades of anti-smoking public health campaigns have turned into background noise. We all know smoking is bad for us, but yet we allow ourselves to get caught up in the sexiness of it when a show like Mad Men comes along. Even our president has admitted to a regular habit.

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If relative risk is the guy that drug companies always want to have at the party, absolute risk is the guy who never gets invited, the total buzz kill, the guy who showed up with someone’s cousin once in a bad outfit and ended up mumbling to himself in the corner about how everything would be better if people just listened to him.

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Here are 10 ideas from three journalists talking about how to cover health reform’s rollout at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference in Chicago:

1. Will there be a physician shortage in your area? Start checking in with your local medical school or teaching hospital and the Association of American Medical Colleges and Teaching Hospitals.

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This article was first published by Zócalo Public Square, and is reposted here with the author's permission.

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