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Michigan Department of Community Health

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Nearly 500 Detroit children have died in homicides since 2000 — an average of nearly three dozen a year. Most were gun-related, and most were among children 14-18. Many youngsters just got in the way of a bullet intended for an adult, or for no one in particular.

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Hospital systems, nonprofits and foundations are finding innovative ways to improve health and safety for kids and work around obstacles that have stymied progress in the past.

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Mayor Mike Duggan said he’s well aware of Detroit’s infant mortality problem and to tackle it he will draw upon his experience as president and CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, a position he held from 2004 until he resigned to enter Detroit’s mayoral race.

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Since 1986, Detroit's Infant Mortality program has had more than 1,600 babies born and only five infant deaths with no maternal deaths. The majority of participants are African-American women between 16 and 27 years old, and 98 percent are single mothers living at or below the poverty line.

Picture of Valerie Lego

In 1973, nearly every Michigan resident was exposed to a toxic chemical. As I brought this story out of the shadows and examined the lasting health effects, I had an advantage: the story was heavily archived and documented.

Picture of Valerie Lego

In 1973, it was discovered that Michigan Chemical had accidentally used the flame retardant chemical PBB instead of a vitamin additive for cattle feed.

Picture of Jeff  Kelly Lowenstein

This story talks about how agencies working on HIV and AIDS prevention efforts in Chicago have to rely on dated records on the disease's prevalence while the Chicago Department of Public Health labors to release the latest epidemiological data.

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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