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The Medicare NewsGroup asked its newly formed Medicare Leaders Advisory Board – a group of prominent former leaders of the federal program and political veterans – this question: “What context should journalists have in order to evaluate competing Medicare reform proposals?”...

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Dr. David C. Martin may be onto something. In three Antidote posts last week, he made the case that health care workers should not wear surgical scrubs out in public. If seen doing so, they should be confronted. Now, doctors are talking back. 

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Wayne A. Beach is a professor of communication at SDSU and an associate member of the Cancer Center in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on conversational and institutional interactions and their convergence, including medical interviewing and how families talk through cancer diagnosis and treatment. Beach has pioneered studies on how family members talk through illness dilemmas, including bulimia and terminal cancer, providing innovative approaches to understanding communication in casual and institutional health care contexts.

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Stuart Cohen, an infectious disease specialist and professor in the UC Davis School of Medicine, can discuss West Nile infection in humans -- its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. He also can discuss the possibility of West Nile virus transmission through blood transfusions or organ transplants.

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Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, professor of internal medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine, is the acting chair of the National Mental Health Association. In 2003, he was invited by then U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson to serve on the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Dr. Mark D. Smith is president and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation, or CHCF, an independent philanthropy committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California and to helping consumers make informed health care and coverage decisions. Since CHCF's formation in 1996, Smith has led the California HealthCare Foundation in developing research and initiatives aimed at improving California's health care financing and delivery systems.

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Dr. Sullivan-Marx brings her national leadership reputation and skills to the forefront for Penn nursing students. With a strong background as a primary care nurse practitioner, Dr. Sullivan-Marx teaches the foundation course on assessment, health promotion, and critical thinking at the undergraduate level - Promoting Healthy Lifestyles II. In addition, Dr.

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David M. Rocke is a distinguished professor of biostatistics in the UC Davis School of Medicine and a professor of applied sciences in the UC Davis College of Engineering. He was co-director of the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization at UC Davis. 

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The USC Center for Health Journalism's Impact Funds provide reporting support — funding and mentoring — to journalists who think big and want to make a difference. 

Apply today for our National Impact Fund for reporting on health equity and health systems across the country. 

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