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2021 National Fellows


Christina CaronNew York Times, will report on the link between experiencing racism and mental health challenges for Black and Latino children. 

TyLisa JohnsonPublic Source (Pittsburgh), will explore the Pittsburgh Public School district’s struggle to narrow achievement gaps between Black and White students and how COVID has deepened the educational inequities.

*Kassie McClungThe Frontier (Oklahoma), will explore maternal and infant health in Oklahoma

Nina ShapiroSeattle Times, will report on the digital divide in the age of COVID -- a time in which much of the world has gone remote.

Sushma SubramanianWashington Post Magazine (freelance), will report about a new approach to child custody arrangements following divorce.

Jessica WashingtonThe Fuller Project, will report on how Native girls in Hennepin County, Minnesota are impacted by school discipline and the foster care and juvenile justice systems.


David Barer and Josh HinkleKXAN (Austin TV), will investigate socioeconomic and racial trends in Texas’ mental competency cases involving people charged with violence against public servants.

Jorge Carrasco and Juan Cooper of Noticias Telemundo will report on Latinos’ participation in clinical trials.

Allison Herrera KOSU (Oklahoma public radio) will report on tribal-run mental health programs in Oklahoma and whether they are having an impact on policing by both tribal and non-tribal law enforcement in the state.  

*Laura GarciaSan Antonio Express-News, will examine systemic inequities in San Antonio’s health care and social services systems that have long encouraged economic growth and investment in more affluent parts of the city, leaving predominantly Latino and Black communities with scarce access to medical services. 

Usha Lee McFarling, Stat, will examine one disease through the lens of health equity, looking at how issues from clinical trials to the development of drugs by biotech startups to genomic work to further personalized medicine, to widespread screening and accessible treatment, have not included underrepresented minorities.

*Sabrina MorenoRichmond Times Dispatch, will look into the chronic underfunding of public health departments in Virginia and how that led to a deadly inequity toll on the state's Black and Latino residents.

Yereth RosenArctic Today, will examine the connection between respiratory diseases and inadequate water/wastewater services and housing in rural Alaska, where the population is mostly indigenous. The project will focus on responses and solutions, including new designs appropriate for an Alaska environment undergoing rapid climate change. 

Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, will analyze health disparities throughout Arkansas, with a focus on the Delta area, where the once thriving cities of Blytheville and Pine Bluff have declined, affecting residents' access to health care.

Center for Health Journalism Fund Grantees

*Donnell AlexanderCapital & Main (freelance), will look at efforts to redress disproportionate drug prosecution in communities of color by providing opportunities to Black entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. Traditionally, ownership is mostly White, and Blacks have historically been servers, not owners.

Natalie KrebsIowa Public Radio, will examine the health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Iowa’s meatpacking industry and its workers, who accounted for thousands of confirmed cases, and what action one of Iowa’s largest industries is taking to protect the health of its workers in the future. 

Susie NeilsonSan Francisco Chronicle, will focus on health care providers within California’s county jail system.

Jared Rutecki and Casey TonerBetter Government Association (Chicago) and Frank MainChicago Sun-Times, will document the hundreds of thousands of arrests over the past decade of people accused of possession of small quantities of narcotics in Cook County, Illinois — and the massive costs to society of those drug cases, which, more often than not, get quickly dismissed.

Sara SatulloEaston Express-Times, will explore the intersection of the coronavirus pandemic and a housing shortage exacerbated by the gentrification of South Bethlehem. It’s a story where health, race, real estate, urban development, and gentrification all converge. 

*Letitia SteinUSA Today, will investigate how nursing homes caring for the elderly and medically fragile lacked adequate protections for their residents and staff during wave after wave of the pandemic.

* Denotes community engagement grantee


The pandemic is far from over but crucial COVID-19 protections and benefits are gone. In our next webinar, we'll explore the end of renter protections, unemployment benefits and other emergency relief, and what it means for the nation’s pandemic recovery and the health and well-being of low-income people and their communities. Glean story ideas and crucial context. 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. 


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