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Maine

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In half of all cases in Maine in which a child is removed from the home, an Office of Child and Family Services investigation identified the parent or caregiver's substance use a risk factor.
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The Sun Journal analyzed data from Maine Department of Health and Human Services reports on child welfare, including 18 years of annual child protective services reports and annual reports on Office of Child and Family Services staffing.
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Recovery advocates want to see a move toward trauma-informed recovery and state officials and lawmakers are looking at how the child welfare system is uniquely positioned to help.
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Maine lawmakers and health officials realized easy access to prescription opioids was creating dependency issues and clamped down, but did not anticipate how well the illegal drug market would fill the void.
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Twenty years after Purdue Pharma introduced its pain medication, OxyContin, Maine lawmakers passed a bill that significantly stemmed the flow of pain pills into the state.
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States such as Kentucky and Arizona are seeking to change how their Medicaid programs work through new policies that include work requirements, enrollment lockouts and increased cost sharing.
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Doctors are famously busy. Would having their staff run checks of patients’ prescription histories instead make drug-tracking databases more effective?
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"There were a few times when I felt I had reached a dead end," writes Patricia Wight. "I worried that my stories would be missing the critical first-person experiences needed to bring the issues surrounding obesity to life."

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The case of Dr. Reinaldo de los Heros illustrates a troubling tendency for critical information about a physician to go missing. State medical boards could do much more to keep the online paper trail intact over time.

Picture of William Heisel

Finding out about a doctor's record from state medical boards isn't as easy as it should be. Consider the story of Kelly Deyo, who died of a prescription overdose last year. Her doctor's record spans four states, but the details aren't easy to unearth.

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“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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