Balancing daily news with stories that take the long view

Published on
July 31, 2010

I'm in the most recent round of national health fellows, which means I just returned from a terrific week in Los Angeles. I loved my fellow fellows! Also full to the brim with new story ideas and resources. Now back to the world of daily journalism, where I've been writing about researchers from our local medical school who helped develop a microbicide that women can use to block the AIDS virus, hospital mergers and a profile on a trauma surgeon. 

Thankfully, I've also had time to fit in some interviews for a project about health disparities in my region. I want to look at infant mortality rates, and possibly some other key health indicators, in a network of communities that include rural, suburban and urban localities and compare and contrast successful interventions.

I recently met with two women who review infant deaths in the region. They interview mothers who have had a baby die. They had terrific insight into the myriad of factors that play into high rates of baby deaths in some areas. Hope to look into the problems of poor dental care, obesity, and bouncing on and off Medicaid. Public health folks have been focusing on getting women healthy before they get pregnant, a bit trickier than improving access to prenatal care.