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Health Policy Institute

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When 11-year-old Shania Lape sees an overweight classmate struggle to keep up, she's filled with sympathy. "They can't run as fast, they can't play the games at school because they're not healthy," said Shania, a fifth-grader at Kenly Elementary in Tampa. Worse yet, not being able to play with their classmates could lead to a lifetime on the sidelines for some kids.

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A conference on health disparities for an audience of journalists is bound to produce lots of story ideas, and the one under way in Washington, organized by the National Association of Black Journalists, is no exception.

Here are some ideas for stories that have emerged from two days (so far) of discussions:

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Karen Pollitz is a Research Professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. There she directs research on health insurance reform issues as they affect consumers and patients. Her areas of focus include regulation of private health insurance plans and markets, managed care consumer protections, and access to affordable health insurance. She is also an adjunct professor in Georgetown's Graduate Public Policy School.

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Brian D. Smedley, Ph. D., is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He oversees all operations of the institute, which explores disparities in health and makes recommendations on how to resolve these concerns. Mr. Smedley was formerly the research director and co-founder for The Opportunity Agenda, a communication, research and advocacy organization.

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The nation's top infectious disease specialist will join us for a conversation with national health reporter Dan Diamond of The Washington Post. We’ll talk about the evolving threat posed by monkeypox, the current state of the COVID pandemic, and broader lessons on how we respond to emerging diseases. Sign-up here!

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