Author Archives: Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Cinematic techniques can add pop to stories, says Pulitzer winner at #AHCJ17

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJTake the standard five W’s and H and think more cinematically, Jacqui Banaszynski suggested. “Think stories, think literature, think fiction, think fairy tales.”

All great stories begin with great reporting. But how do you make your copy snap, crackle and pop? Use some of the same techniques found great television and movies, suggests Jacqui Banaszynski, who holds the Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Kicking off the morning sessions on the first day of Health Journalism 2017, Banaszynski, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her series, “AIDS in the Heartland,” kept a packed room of journalists engrossed during a nearly two-hour give-and-take on the elements of great narrative writing that engages your readers from beginning to end. Continue reading

Feeding hungry seniors and much more, one knock on the door at a time

Photo: Deborah Crowe/AHCJMeals on Wheels America CEO Ellie Hollander talked about the benefits of the program beyond providing nutritious meals.

Ellie Hollander wants to see every older adult live out their lives independently, in their own homes. But, the president and chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels America acknowledges that it may be an impossible goal, given the overwhelming need and current political climate.

Hollander was the speaker at the AHCJ Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 22, at Health Journalism 2017, where she spoke about the overwhelming need to address senior hunger in the United States. Continue reading

Changes to prostate screening recommendations nuanced

Photo: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

New draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on prostate cancer screening for men age 55 to 69 create as much confusion as clarity.

The group now says that healthy men younger than 70 with no signs of prostate cancer should “no longer be discouraged” from checking their PSA levels. They essentially punted the decision to the individual, proposing that men determine with their doctors whether and when to undergo prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing. Is this a good thing for medicine? It depends on perspective, and perhaps the doctor’s specialty. Continue reading

Is the Trump administration ignoring the LGBT community?

Photo: William Murphy via Flickr

The Trump administration recently announced that it would no longer collect information on LGBT older adults in two key national surveys: The National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, and the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living.

The latter was revised in late March to omit questions on sexual orientation and gender identity. Both reports have been important in tracking services provided to this population, which already faces significant barriers in accessing quality health care, community services, and social support, according to the Center for American Progress.
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Search for fountain of youth drives testosterone replacement industry

Photo: Maxwell GS via Flickr

You know those ads on late-night radio or in the back of some magazines for testosterone replacement therapy? Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for older men that’s no real path to a male fountain of youth.

Like it or not, low testosterone is a normal part of aging and “fixing” it can be risky. Despite some news reports on the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, several recent studies show that the harms may outweigh benefits. Continue reading