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Fellowship story

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

With no money, a right leg amputated at the knee (due to an infection), no prosthesis, and living completely dependent on a wheelchair that has, at times, been stolen, and a brother to push him over our city’s hills and curbs, it’s quite a trek for Ken to make it to a location where’s there’s a food possibility.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

But like many people on the street, Nate can’t seem to physically relax; no matter how safe the environment he is constantly vigilant. He rarely makes eye contact, his smile is fleeting and involuntary and his shoulders stay hunched. And Nate’s story about how he ended up here is also in many ways remarkably similar to many others’.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

Both gratitude and altruism are good for your health and there’s nothing like giving a gift to a homeless person to help you experience both. Her are some easy, practical, cheap ways to be selfish and give a gift to a homless person.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

The batterings and bruisings and infections and rapes. You began to wonder how anyone survives homelessness. And why couldn't they come in for medical treatment when something went wrong?

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

Even if the death rates among the homeless are higher, isn't it just because the people we're talking about are deeply flawed to begin with? You've probably heard people say that the only reason someone is homeless (especially those chronically homeless) is because they're not like you and me.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

I went to needle exchange to hang out. You may be asking yourself what a soccer mom from the burbs is doing perched on a folding chair in the parking garage of 101 Grove on a dark November night, surrounded by syringes. I was there as a guest observer because I'm working on a series of articles about mortality and homelessness, as part of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship I received.

Basically, I was looking for death on the streets.

Picture of Rong  Xiaoqing

Familial piety is so highly valued in the Asian culture, contributing to the image of Asian Americans as a model minority, that many people, including Asian Americans themselves, don't even realize that senior abuse exists in this community.

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

"It's the alcohol hangover," Gerardo Cuapio thought five years ago when he woke up thirsty and with blurred vision. National Health Journalism Fellow Pedro Frisneda tells the story of a man who was on the verge of death without knowing he had Type 2 diabetes. It's a cautionary tale for what happens to many Latin American immigrants who move to the United States, adopting a new lifestyle and diet that can contribute to developing the disease. "The Big Apple is confronting one of the worst diabetes epidemics in the nation and health authorities have declared it an emergency," with Hispanics suffering disproportionately. 

 

Picture of Elizabeth Simpson

Victims of traumatic brain injuries often fall through the cracks of the system of care in Virginia, particularly those with behavior problems. Injuries often cause problems like impulse control and anger issues. These victims often ping-pong from one facility to another because their behavior gets them thrown out. They need structured treatment but few long-term residential facilities that specialize in brain injury rehab take government insurance like Medicaid. This is a population that is growing because improvements in emergency medical care have saved more people who suffer brain injuries in accidents. Also, more military personnel are surviving traumatic brain injuries sustained in battle. People with severe mental problems, dementias and disabilities such as autism also sometimes have these behavior issues that make them difficult to place.

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Announcements

“Racism in medicine is a national emergency.” That’s how journalist Nicholas St. Fleur characterized the crisis facing American health care this spring, as his team at STAT embarked on “Color Code,” an eight-episode series exploring medical mistrust in communities of color across the country. In this webinar, we’ll take inspiration from their work to discuss strategies and examples for telling stories about inequities, disparities and racism in health care systems. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team. 

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