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In order to serve its increasingly multi-lingual population, New York State requires interpretation services in all hospitals. But when caring for immigrants, the language barrier is just one of a myriad of issues health providers grapple with. Even though there is no statewide mandate for cultural sensitivity, many doctors say it's become a necessary instrument in providing medical care for the city's immigrant population.

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While a weekend snowstorm raged in Washington, D.C., a small group of health care advocates gathered in a conference room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and were treated to a history lesson as well as a glimpse into the cold realities of Indian Country.

The topic: American Indian Health Policy. And unlike the weather that everyone talks about, a trio of speakers addressed a subject they insist is largely overlooked.

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Some doctors crave distinction.

They carefully place their many diplomas and certificates on their wall to signal to patients that they are high achievers who can be trusted with surgical instruments and drugs that can cure or kill you, depending on how they are dosed.

Michail Sorodsky craved the distinction of being a doctor. Instead, he now has the distinction of being thrown into jail with a massive bail: $33 million.

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Dr. Bruce Flamm, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at Irvine, has been waging a lonely war for nearly a decade. He took the unusual step of accusing fellow scientific researchers of fakery. In 2001, the Journal of Reproductive Medicine published a paper titled, "Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer?

Picture of William Heisel

Career archivist Kim Klausner takes her roles as a historian and as a public health advocate equally seriously. As the Industry Documents Digital Libraries Manager for the University of California-San Francisco, she is in charge of the Drug Industry Documents Archive, a collection of thousands of records that shine a light on practices by Wyeth, Pfizer, Abbott and other Big Pharma companies.

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The National Health Journalism seminar begins on Sunday, when 15 National Health Journalism fellowship recipients (and five Dennis A.

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Recently, at a meeting of social workers serving African immigrants, I brought up the issue of mental health. “We don’t have a problem with mental illness in the African community,” a caseworker told me, citing the resilience of a population largely familiar with extreme poverty, human rights abuses, and instability.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

I recently wrote about the new National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network launched by the Centers for Disease Control. A fascinating resource for reporters, but molasses-slow at its debut.

I'm happy to report that after playing with the network again, the online database has recovered from its torpor, which might be explained by an estimated 10,000 hits upon its launch.

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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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