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Health Matters Webinar Series

Previous Webinars

June 09, 2021

Ohio is running a $1 million lottery to spur folks to get vaccinated. West Virginia is giving young people $100; Krispy Crème is touting free donuts; and restaurants in New Orleans are offering “Shots for Shots.” As vaccine supply overtakes demand, states, local governments, schools and employers are devising out-of-the-box incentives to get more people immunized against COVID-19. The stakes are high, with herd immunity hanging in the balance. In this webinar, we’ll explore who remains unvaccinated and efforts aimed at hard-to-reach and underserved groups. Along the way, we’ll share story ideas for covering the next phase of the fight against the pandemic in local communities across the country.

May 19, 2021

This month marks the sober anniversary of the police killing of George Floyd, which ignited global protests and renewed efforts to reform or dismantle conventional policing across the nation. To some, the recent conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for Floyd’s murder signaled the launch of a new era of police accountability. But in the weeks leading up to the trial’s conclusion, police in Chicago fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright, 20, who died at the hands of police during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb. This webinar examines the price our society pays for a criminal-legal system that disproportionately arrests, punishes and kills Black people. How does the system shape health and life outcomes, not just for individuals who come in direct contact with the system but in whole communities?

April 28, 2021

The wave of attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has been emotionally gutting for these communities. It has also galvanized action and challenged journalists to think about their role and responsibility in covering sometimes overlooked issues with sensitivity and nuance. This webinar will examine the impact of the crisis on the mental health of Asian Americans, especially the women who are often targeted. We’ll also look at forward-looking strategies to foster individual and community resilience. Join us for a deep discussion to inform your coverage of the crisis, your reporting on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and your understanding of some of the most fraught racial issues in the nation.

April 07, 2021

For a growing group of Americans, life has never been the same since testing positive for coronavirus. Long after the first wave of infection, patients report a host of debilitating and persistent symptoms — from extreme fatigue, heart problems and shortness of breath to brain fog, depression and even psychotic episodes. With more than 30 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., there is growing urgency for researchers and doctors to unravel the causes and potential new treatments for those living with the misery of long COVID. In this webinar, we’ll share an update of what we’ve learned about long COVID since the condition first grabbed headlines last year, and we’ll talk about how to tell informed and compelling stories about a medical condition that is upending lives and forestalling recovery in nearly every community across the country.

March 24, 2021

Housing insecurity is a huge story in every community. Even before COVID-19, one in four tenants nationwide spent more than half their income on rent, 1 million were evicted a year, and about half a million people experienced homelessness. Now, in the face of  massive job loss and financial distress, an estimated 10 million households are behind on rent. This webinar explores the growing housing crisis and its implications for health and wellbeing. We’ll look at the deep roots of the problem and the racist history that makes housing insecurity especially acute for people of color. We’ll examine policy solutions needed to protect struggling renters and homeowners and expand access to safe, affordable housing. Get ideas, tips and resources for covering this urgent topic.

March 10, 2021

The pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of misinformation, lies and half-truths capable of proliferating faster than the virus itself. “Fake news” has swamped social media feeds, upended presidential briefings, and flooded vulnerable communities, hindering the fight against COVID-19 on everything from mask-wearing to vaccinations to the reality of the virus itself. The potentially fatal dangers posed by the “infodemic” are especially acute in communities of color, where long histories of racism and medical mistrust — combined with a lack of trusted messengers — have paved the way for COVID-19 misinformation and vaccine skepticism. In this webinar, we’ll delve into what one of our speakers has termed “the natural ecology of bullshit.” And we’ll discuss reporting examples, strategies and story ideas that incorporate these insights and effectively communicate to diverse audiences.

March 03, 2021

President Biden has called the impact of COVID-19 on women a national emergency. Nearly 3 million women in the U.S. have left the labor force in the past year. Those who are employed make up an outsized share of the high-risk essential workforce. Two out of three women are caregivers, and nearly two-thirds of mothers are in charge of supporting their children’s remote learning. Join us for a webinar on the crisis for women, the disproportionate burdens on women of color, and the short-and long-term consequences of the mass exodus of women from workforce. We’ll explore how the Biden stimulus plan may help women, where it falls short, and what is needed from government and the private sector to advance gender equity in the economic recovery. We’ll talk about the stories that haven’t been told, and what to look for as vaccinations pick up, schools reopen, hiring resumes and life inches back to normal.

February 03, 2021

On his first full day as president, Joe Biden unleashed 10 executive orders and a 200-page plan to reboot the federal COVID-19 response, detailing a strategy to turbo-charge testing and vaccines, bolster critical supply chains by invoking wartime powers, reopen schools and travel, fuel research, overhaul COVID-19 data collection, and revamp workplace guidelines. In this webinar, we’ll analyze Biden’s COVID-19 strategy in the first 100 days — and the huge obstacles the new federal effort must confront. We’ll also look at how Biden plans to address the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic, and what policies might offer urgent relief to vulnerable families and women. Attendees will gain the latest overview of the new administration’s response to COVID-19 and leave with fresh story ideas on how these developments might impact life on the ground for local audiences across the country.

January 14, 2021

Our nation’s mass vaccination campaign is complex and unprecedented, and Americans are hungry for any information to guide them out of the devastating  COVID-19 crisis. Given the pace and scale of vaccine deployment, it’s easy for journalists to feel overwhelmed. To aid in efficient and accurate coverage, we’ll turn to one of the best reporters on the COVID-19 beat: Lisa Krieger, the science and medicine reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, who in recent months has focused almost exclusively on vaccine coverage. She’ll provide an up-to-date overview of the vaccine pipeline, describe key players in the industry and offer projections of the 2021 timetable. She’ll summarize allocation and distribution strategies on the federal, state and county levels.  She’ll provide context, suggest compelling story ideas and summarize current controversies -- and recount how she stays on top of this fast-moving story, offering practical tips that will bolster your coverage. 

December 16, 2020

In one of the many cruelties of COVID-19, elderly Americans most at risk of dying from the disease are experiencing crushing loneliness and isolation. The stakes go beyond mental health: Loneliness is a predictor of functional decline and death. With COVID-19 surging to unprecedented levels during the holidays, when feelings of loneliness and depression often peak, older adults risk a dire winter cut off from family and friends. In this webinar, we’ll talk about how loneliness and isolation impact older Americans, how the pandemic has exacerbated the crisis beyond measure, and what programs stand to help the most. Journalists will benefit from fresh story ideas for covering an issue that is undermining the health and well-being of seniors in every community, including an exploration of the unique challenges for seniors of color, as the long wait for vaccines and family visits continues.

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Announcements

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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