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Wendy Johnson spent five years as a reporter at newspapers in Cape Cod and then on Capitol Hill before taking the leap to the B2B (business-to-business) media world.

"It's something that I fell into accidentally," Johnson says. But she discovered that writing about one industry for a new audience of executives and others in healthcare was both "really interesting" and viable. "I could see that there was a career track here."

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Elizabeth Forer is the chief executive officer and executive director of the Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the nation, which provides services to 23,000 patients a year at seven locations. Before joining the Venice Family Clinic in 1994, she served for five years as executive director of Settlement Health and Medical Services, a nonprofit community health center in East Harlem, New York. She also directed a department at Metropolitan Hospital in New York City. Ms. Forer is a California HealthCare Foundation Health Leadership Fellow.

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Health authorities have declared the United States on alert, in response to increasing cases of type 2 diabetes in the country. Official reports refer to a threat of major proportions that makes a state of emergency public health, so much so that there is already talk of an emerging epidemic. The most affected are children and members of minorities, particularly Hispanics.

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Sheri Fink won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting this year for her compelling narrative about life-and-death choices made by health care providers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. While the story ran in The New York Times Magazine, she did her reporting while enmeshed in the nonprofit journalism world, as a Kaiser Media Fellow and later as a reporter at the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica.

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Tom Linden seemed to be on a fast track to a successful career in journalism.

He was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper in Southern California. As a college student at Yale University, Linden got his reporter's legs at the Yale Daily News and covered the New Haven Black Panther trials for the Los Angeles Times. When he graduated in 1970, he won a fellowship and secured a book deal to write about army deserters in exile who were protesting or escaping the Vietnam War.

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Have you ever gone in for an oil change and left with the suspicion that the mechanics didn’t do anything beyond opening your hood?

Anemona Hartocollis at The New York Times has exposed this same type of behavior in a much more critical venue: a local hospital. She wrote:

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Melvin Baron has spent his career educating the public about health and medicine, first as a pharmacist and then as a USC Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy. He’s 77 now, and he confesses to some frustration with the handouts that pharmacists and doctors use to inform patients about health and medicine.

“Much of what we give you is lousy,” he told me. “It’s a lot of words. Most of it is way above the audience. It doesn’t resonate and it’s boring.”

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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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