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Picture of William Heisel

What drives someone with a strong scientific reputation to cut a secret deal with a drug company for ghostwriting help just to have one more paper published?

Let's ask.

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In December of 2005, an elementary school in Addyston, Ohio was closed permanently after officials at Ohio's Environmental Protection Agency found enough chemicals in the air to pose a risk of cancer 50 times higher than the regulators considered acceptable.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Awareness of the afterschool programs and early intervention -- stories about their importance and effectiveness -- is very important to help combat prejudice, especially on television. But "for some reason, these stories don't sell," says Bennie Ford of LA's BEST, an afterschool program that offers education opportunities and programs to elementary schools in the City of Los Angeles.

Picture of William Heisel

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman has become the go-to source for comments on how drug companies have been using ghostwriters to inject marketing messages into the medical literature, a controversy that prompted powerful Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, to send a letter on Aug. 11 to the National Institutes of Health asking, among other things, "What is the current NIH policy on ghostwriting with regards to NIH researchers?"

Picture of Angilee Shah

Sandra Tsing Loh is a Caltech grad (Physics, '83) -- "truly a B.S. degree," so she "truly knows what is means to be confused by science."

She brought her one-woman show to open the second seminar of the California Broadcast Fellowship as the keynote speaker. Loh is the creative mind behind The Loh-Down on Science, a radio show that airs on over 100 radio stations, including KPCC 89.3 in Southern California.

Picture of William Heisel

If DesignWrite, the medical communications firm that has been ghostwriting articles on behalf of drug giant Wyeth, were an elementary school student, it would have a stack of papers heavy with gold stars.

Dr. Gloria Bachmann, the associate dean for women's health at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J., told the company it had written an "an A plus article" after it wrote a review article that Bachmann agreed to sign. The article appeared with hardly a word changed in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

Picture of William Heisel

In December, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Mitchell A. Leon, the president of DesignWrite Inc., the company that has now become Exhibit A in the unfolding ghostwriting scandal that has medical journal editors everywhere combing through their submissions looking for fakes.

Picture of Jeff  Kelly Lowenstein

This story distills a national analysis of nursing home data and finds that Illinois is the worst state in the country for black seniors seeking nursing home. Illinois has the highest number of poorly rated majority black facilities in the country and just one black nursing home that received an excellent rating from Nursing Home Compare.

We looked at black and white homes where a high percentage of resident care was paid for by Medicaid and found that the disparities between the two groups actually increased, rather than shrunk as some owners with whom we had spoken predicted.

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In a fascinating piece in the New York Times, Natasha Singer detailed how Dr. Gloria Bachmann leapt at the chance to sign her name to an article she had not written.

Picture of Natalie Walsh

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

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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.

Nowhere was the massive COVID wave of winter 2021 more devastating than in America’s nursing homes, where 71,000 residents died in the surge. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the lead reporter in the USA Today series "Dying for Care," who will show how an original data analysis and an exhaustive reporting effort revealed a pattern of unnecessary deaths that compounded the pandemic’s brutal toll. Sign-up here!

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