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Contra Costa Times

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Asthma is the most common cause of hospital stays for children. It can strike anyone, but has a disproportionate impact on low-income and African-American children. Katy Murphy, a 2012 National Health Journalism Fellow, shares lessons learned from her Fellowship project for the Oakland Tribune

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Whooping cough is still a major concern for California kids, tainted tomatoes are recalled, and more from our Daily Briefing.

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Why have medical bankruptcies not declined in Mass. after the state's own health reforms? Answers and more in our Daily Briefing.

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On Thursday, Bay Area News Group (Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, etc.) hosted a live online chat with Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General, and Rich Hamburg, deputy director of Trust for America's Health. Health reporter Sandy Kleffman and I (the science reporter for the chain) moderated it.  

Both men responded to questions posted by participants on how Congressional health reform legislation offers an unprecedented amount of funds for disease prevention, and funds for novel programs to improve health by improving neighborhoods. It's archived at: 

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While reporting for a four-part series on the wide gap in life expectancies and disease rates between people in nearby neighborhoods – due to drastically different conditions and social status – I expected to find that health care reform legislation would do little to address this issue. The reform legislation, after all, is primarily about health care insurance. But I was surprised to find that, for the first time, Congressional legislation contains at least $3.4 billion to focus on improving health disparities.

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On Sunday, a four-part series a year in the making runs in the Bay Area News Group. As the science reporter for the chain, I teamed with health reporter Sandy Kleffman to report and write this series.

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Pia Christensen of the Association of Health Care Journalists responded to an earlier blog post that I had essentially ignored some good reporting on the Public Citizen report about how hospitals are failing in a very big way to report bad doctors to the National Practitioner Data Bank. She cited three stories, saying:

Announcements

Domestic violence affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Yet media outlets mostly treat incidents as "cops" items, if they cover them at all, as opposed to treating domestic violence as a public health problem. Our free two-day symposium will help journalists understand the root causes and promising prevention, intervention and treatment approaches.  Plus participants will be able to apply for grants to report California-focused projects.

The pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of misinformation, lies and half-truths capable of proliferating faster than the virus itself. In our next webinar, we’ll delve into what one of our speakers has termed “the natural ecology of bullshit” — how to spot it, how it spreads, who is most impacted, and how to counter it. And we’ll discuss reporting examples, strategies and story ideas that incorporate these insights and effectively communicate to diverse audiences. Sign-up here!

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 Uited 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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