Denti-Cal, California’s Medicaid dental program, faces ongoing challenges in getting care to its roughly 13 million beneficiaries. Only about half the children and a quarter of the adults covered by the program are getting dental services. As in other states, a shortage of participating dentists is a major problem and there are other troubles as well.
In a recent piece for California Healthline, reporter Ana Ibarra looked at efforts to reform the system. In this new Q&A for AHCJ, Ibarra reflects upon the future of Denti-Cal and discusses the rest of her complex and rich beat as a web reporter for California Healthline. She also shares some advice on the value of journalism fellowships in developing skills and making connections that can help reporters excel. Read more.
Photo: Susan Heavey/AHCJAHCJ members in April attended a packed panel on covering mental trauma at Health Journalism 2016 in Cleveland. The speakers were Dr. Glenda Wrenn, from Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Ewald Horwath, of Case Western University; Kristine Buffington, a social worker based in Toledo, Ohio; and Kathleen Hackett, a sexual assault nurse examiner.
A single tear is okay, but don’t cry.
Kathleen Hackett, a sexual assault nurse examiner, recently told AHCJ members that breaking down while listening to stories from victims can retraumatize them or even force them to emotionally shut down so as not to cause any one else pain.
“We have to be careful in our response,” said Hackett, who has more than 30 years of nursing experience and has worked with children in the hospital after their ordeal, adding that she never cries in front of her patients. Continue reading
A California watchdog commission’s recently released report offers a scathing assessment of Denti-Cal – the state’s historically troubled Medicaid dental program.
“Among government programs labeled by participants and beneficiaries as broken, dysfunctional or an outright mess, few have achieved the notoriety of Denti-Cal,” noted the Little Hoover Commission. Continue reading
Tooth decay rates among children in Calgary, Canada have spiked in recent years.
The authors of two newly published studies say they suspect a decision by Calgary officials to discontinue the city’s water fluoridation program in 2011 could be to blame. Continue reading
Are workshops really worth your time?
You have to apply, make travel arrangements, and then sort through a massive amount of often technical information packed into just a few hours or days, all while under pressure to produce. Journalists can leave with mountains of research papers, stacks of cards, heaps of data – but wondering if anything really can come from all of it.
For Texas-based freelance writer Laura Beil, the answer is a resounding yes. Continue reading