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Surgeon General

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John F. Kennedy made one of the most lasting contributions to public health by appointing Luther Terry as U.S. Surgeon General, because Terry turned the world’s attention to the dangers of tobacco smoking.

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A controversial abortion bill becomes law in Virginia, the high costs of Alzheimer's, the link between hair relaxers and uterine fibroids and more from our Daily Briefing.

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Surgeon General Regina Benjamin got an earful today from participants in a conference call unveiling a high-level prevention council and strategy called for in the new health reform law.

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Here’s what we’re reading today:

ADHD: Researchers find the first evidence that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is genetic, a finding that could lead to better treatment. Reuters’ Kate Kelland has the story.

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Is geography destiny? At today’s Community Health and the Blogosphere conference (Twitter hashtag #uscbloggercon), participants wanted to know more about the ways in which where you live affects your health. If you’re interested in learning more for your reporting or blogging, here are some resources from ReportingonHealth and beyond.

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Follow the money. That simple phrase – though never uttered by Bob Woodward’s most famous source – has propelled countless reporters to dig deeply into all manner of news stories.

And nearly four decades after Woodward and Carl B

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On Thursday, Bay Area News Group (Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, etc.) hosted a live online chat with Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General, and Rich Hamburg, deputy director of Trust for America's Health. Health reporter Sandy Kleffman and I (the science reporter for the chain) moderated it.  

Both men responded to questions posted by participants on how Congressional health reform legislation offers an unprecedented amount of funds for disease prevention, and funds for novel programs to improve health by improving neighborhoods. It's archived at: 

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While reporting for a four-part series on the wide gap in life expectancies and disease rates between people in nearby neighborhoods – due to drastically different conditions and social status – I expected to find that health care reform legislation would do little to address this issue. The reform legislation, after all, is primarily about health care insurance. But I was surprised to find that, for the first time, Congressional legislation contains at least $3.4 billion to focus on improving health disparities.

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We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

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Announcements

More than 100 anti-transgender rights bills were introduced in state legislatures this year. Many focus on children and teens. Join us for our next Health Matters webinar, where we'll explore the health and well-being of transgender youth as states such as Arkansas and Tennessee seek to limit their rights. Our expert panel will share the latest research, seed story ideas and offer reporting advice. Sign-up here!

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States?  Apply now for one of our positions. 

The best journalism these days wraps compelling narratives around scrupulous data analysis. Apply now for our 2021 Data Fellowship to learn the skills necessary to use big data to inform your reporting on health and social welfare issues. Learn more in this webinar on Aug. 3.

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