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Within hours of the news breaking about Michael Jackson's death, attention started to turn toward one of the only eyewitnesses to the event: his personal physician.

William Heisel's picture

A new Institute of Medicine report offers some excellent fodder for stories on "comparative effectiveness research," which examines whether and why some medical treatments are more effective than others.

You'll be hearing a lot about the comparative effectiveness buzzword as the national health reform debate unfolds, because it's seen as crucial in in lowering health costs. Why spend money on drug-eluting stents for heart disease, for example, if plain old stents might just keep people alive longer?

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

New York state has an interesting job that is foreign to most other states, the office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Lucky for health writers, the Inspector General there, James G. Sheehan, believes not only in rooting out people who are ripping off taxpayers, but in sharing his techniques and tactics with reporters.

William Heisel's picture

Just when you thought it was safe to make that triple-decker peanut butter and banana sandwich, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has slapped another big peanut processor with a warning letter.

I wrote about the salmonella outbreak at a Peanut Corporation of America plant in March and offered some advice on how to investigate our national food safety system.

William Heisel's picture

California's unemployment rate crept up to 11.5 percent in May, far worse than the national rate of 9.4 percent. By any measure those numbers are bad. But estimates of the jobless rate for people with developmental disabilities are twice that high. And organizations working to place people with autism and Down syndrome in jobs say they're facing a double hit in the current economy.

Reporter: Rachel Dornhelm

R_Dornhelm's picture

The national story of poor dental health and its implications — former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher called it a "silent epidemic" in 2000 — isn't getting the attention it deserves. Journalist Eric Eyre lays out the issues and offers tips for covering dental health in your community. 

Robin Lowe went to the Sano Medical Clinic in Costa Mesa one June with what appeared to be an obvious and urgent problem. She had felt a lump in her left breast.

At 29, she was young to develop breast cancer. Making matters worse, she was pregnant.

Dr. James Stirbl, the doctor who ran the clinic, examined Lowe but did not recommend she undergo a mammogram or a biopsy, according to the Medical Board of California.

William Heisel's picture

Walt Bogdanich, three-time Pulitzer-winning New York Times reporter, has written a phenomenal story about cancer care at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Philadelphia and tapped into a rich source of material for medical writers: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

William Heisel's picture

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