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Fellowship Story Showcase

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As part of the Center for Health Journalism Fellowship, journalists work with a senior fellow to develop a special project. Recent projects have examined health disparities by ZIP code in the San Francisco Bay Area, anxiety disorders and depression in the Hispanic immigrant community in Washington state, and the importance of foreign-born doctors to health care in rural communities.

Jackie YellowTail smudges herself with cedar smoke in her home near Garryowen. YellowTail's 16-year-old son committed suicide in January 2001. She says her faith has pulled her through the tragedy. JAMES WOODCOCK/Gazette Staff

Jackie YellowTail dares to break the Crow taboo by calling out the name of her dead son. She wants to break the stigma of suicide, especially on Indian reservations.

Letitia Stewart talks about losing her 21-year-old son, Edward Bee Fast Horse III, to suicide on Dec. 29, 2008. She feared her son's soul had been lost afterward, but her pastor assured her that was not the case. "That really lifted that burden. It made me feel better. I believe he's in heaven."  JAMES WOODCOCK/Gazette Staff

A mom recounts the story of how she and her grandchildren witnessed the suicide of her son. “I was hoping there wouldn’t be too much damage," she said. "We tried to sit him up so he didn’t choke. Then I reached over and felt his pulse. I knew he was gone."

The latest spate of suicides has shaken the Crow Indian Reservation, even as Montana tribal leaders and tribal communities undertake aggressive intervention efforts to reduce the rate of suicide among their youth.

Gordon Belcourt, executive director of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, discusses the reasons for the high rate of suicides among Native Americans on Montana's Indian reservations.  JAMES WOODCOCK/Gazette Staff

Montana Native Americans have the highest rate of suicide in a state that has the highest rate in the nation. Tribal Leaders are not taking these deaths lightly, and the fight against suicide has begun.

Roxanne Gourneau, a Fort Peck juvenile judge,

Roxanne Gourneau's only son, Dalton's, death followed the suicides of six students, during a six-month period in Poplar, about 20 miles east of Wolf Point on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. These suicides have led tribal officials to declare an emergency and start taking action.

Cindy Uken's fellowship series on suicide in Montana for the Billings Gazette got the attention of state policymakers, who are now beginning to make some changes.

Ondelee Perteet and his mother enjoy a light moment together.

2012 National Health Journalism Fellow Carlos Javier Ortiz has been documenting the impact of gun violence on Chicago youth for six years through compelling black and white photographs. For his Fellowship project, he documented Ondelee Parpeet's struggle to learn to live with a paralyzing injury

Elsa Gonzalez worked for four years by the company of Jack DeCoster Egg. (Jon Lowenstein / NOOR)

Are those eggs in your breakfast omelette safe to eat? 2011 National Health Journalism Fellow Jeff Kelly Lowenstein looks at the problems that led to the biggest egg recall in history.

Dying Landscapes

Chicago Photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz, a 2012 National Health Journalism Fellow, has been chronicling the impact of violence on Chicago youth for six years.



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? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 



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