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ProPublica

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Only if you were too caught up in celebrity divorces this week could you have missed the latest blockbuster investigation from ProPublica: Dollars for Docs.

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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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When your child dies because of mistakes made by a doctor, you can sue. Scott and Kathy Broussard did that when Dr. Andrew Rutland twisted their daughter Jillian Broussard's neck so severely that he separated her head from her spine. Most patients either lose in court or settle their cases. If they settle, they go silent. How many times have you called a patient's family to be told, "We can't talk under the terms of the settlement."? The Broussards settled their case, but that didn't stop them from talking.

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Often following a major journalistic investigation a governor or a senator or a president even will call for hearings or declare the creation of a blue ribbon panel to assess the situation and decide how to proceed.

Years can go by before a report, usually thick with euphemism and buck passing, lands on someone's desk, often a different governor or senator or president than the one who called for the assessment. Processes are "streamlined." Efficiencies are realized. Nothing really changes.

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By the time you read about the case of 9-year-old Caitlin Greenwell, unable to talk because her brain was starved of oxygen during a botched birth, you are convinced: the oversight of nurses in California is abysmal.

Her story is deep inside "When Caregivers Harm," an investigative collaboration between ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times published Sunday.

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Taught by prize-winning journalists, community health leaders, policy analysts and health care experts, this Fellowship program features two intensive sessions, held three months apart. Fellows participate in field trips, workshops and seminars highlighting some of the top health challenges facin

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