Reporter Amy Neff Roth (@OD_Roth), of the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch found an interesting story with the help of hospitalinspections.org.
Roth, who attended Health Journalism 2015 as an AHCJ-New York Health Journalism Fellow, investigated the circumstances around a triple homicide and found that not all emergency room patients in need of mental health evaluations were getting them.
Police brought [Paul] Bumbolo into the ER for an evaluation on Jan. 6 after he reportedly attacked his uncle and beat the family dog. Police said he killed his adoptive mother, uncle and sister several hours after being released.
Enter your best work of the year to be recognized by the premier contest for health journalism. Since 2004, the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism have recognized the best health reporting in print, broadcast and online media.
First-place winners earn $500 and a framed certificate. They also receive complimentary lodging for two nights and registration for the annual conference, April 7-10, 2016, in Cleveland. Winners are recognized at the annual awards luncheon and first-place winners are encouraged to appear on panels to discuss their winning work.
Entries can include a wide range of health coverage including public health, consumer health, medical research, the business of health care and health ethics. Click here to read the rules, the FAQ and to enter.
Whether consumers are choosing a car, a household appliance or even a nursing home, there are ratings and reviews available to make the best choice. But patients are often blind when choosing a surgeon.
Surgeon Scorecard, a database released by ProPublica this week helps shed some light on that area with an analysis of death and complication rates for nearly 17,000 U.S. surgeons for eight common surgical procedures. This is the first time this information has been available to the public. Continue reading
Since stool transplants have turned out to be useful in fighting deadly hospital-borne C. difficile infections, new claims about the healing powers of poop are everywhere.
The slogan on panelist Jonathan Eisen’s black t-shirt, spelled out in pink glitter, captures the current entrepreneurial mood: “Ask Me About Fecal Transplants.”
A wide array of products and innovations are already promising to help us improve our inner flora. Yet reporters and consumers need to be wary.
“Microbiome hype” is rampant, warned Eisen, Ph.D., a professor from the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and College of Biological Sciences. Continue reading
On Sunday, the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey on the interaction between scientists, the media and the public. The survey revealed how scientists engage with the public, and how different demographics view scientific issues.
Pew released the report in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the findings were presented at the AAAS 2015 Annual Meeting on Sunday. The report included feedback from 3,784 AAAS scientists, and it is the second in a series of surveys canvassing both scientists and the American public on the interface of scientific data and public understanding.
“How Scientists Engage the Public,” reveals that most scientists – 87 percent – feel they should participate in the public policy process and in relevant debates about science and technology. Not surprisingly, almost all of them said they engaged on some level with journalists or members of the public.
AHCJ members likely weren’t too surprised on Feb. 3, when the New York Office of the Attorney General ordered four major companies to stop selling certain herbal supplements, because in 2013, USA Today reporter Alison Young won an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for investigating the lucrative and shadowy world of dietary supplements.
Research in New York showed many products did not contain any of the advertised ingredients, and in the series “Supplement Shell Game,” Young showed that some drugs – and their makers – can be downright dangerous. Even worse, industry players often clash with regulators, and many have criminal backgrounds.
From the Winter 2015 issue of HealthBeat.
Ebola coverage has fallen to a trickle, but the disease is still killing many people in West Africa. And today the concern is that the virus will become a permanent presence, burning on for years in rural areas. It also could flare up again in the United States and Europe, spreading cases across the globe.
Through it all, AHCJ’s healthjournalism.org, coordinated by managing editor Pia Christensen, has delivered tons of useful advice.
Some of these by AHCJ graduate research assistant Kris Hickman are useful nuggets, such as the difference between “infectious” and “contagious” or how quarantine differed from isolation.
Other posts explained that Ebola is much harder to spread than the measles.
And Joseph Burns, AHCJ’s core topic leader on health insurance, wrote an insightful piece showing how Thomas Eric Duncan’s uninsured status may have contributed to his death in Dallas from Ebola.
One of the most inspiring parts of my job comes every spring: That’s when I get to see the winning entries in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.
Often they are pieces I’ve seen over the previous year – many of which I’ve blogged or tweeted about or we’ve had the reporters write about their work for us. But there are always a few surprises that I had missed when they were published or aired.
Andrew Holtz, a health news veteran and longtime contest judge, has had the same experience. “Like most AHCJ members, I follow health news closely. Still, several of the entries surprised me. Not only were they delightful pieces of journalism, they revealed stories I hadn’t known,” Holtz said in an email. Continue reading
Imagine the outcry if patients with cancer or any other chronic condition lacked standard, appropriate care. Such ill treatment would not be tolerated.
Yet the U.S. health care system routinely fails to provide basic care to Americans with mental illness, says Patrick J. Kennedy, a former congressman from Rhode Island and co-founder of One Mind, an organization seeking new treatments for neurologic and psychiatric diseases of the brain.
For a series of articles in USA Today, Liz Szabo quoted Kennedy on mental health care in America: “The failure to provide treatment and supportive services to people with mental illness – both in the community and in hospitals – has overburdened emergency rooms, crowded state and local jails and left untreated patients to fend for themselves on city streets.”
The burden of inadequate mental health care falls on individuals and families, but also on emergency rooms, hospitals, jails and other institutions, making this topic well worth the rich and deep coverage Szabo and other journalists have committed to it. Such coverage is important, as reporters have found in Colorado, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, and it can be rewarding because it forces journalists to confront and explain some most challenging health care issues in our society. Continue reading
Today is the 26th Annual World AIDS Day. This year, the theme for World AIDS Day is “Close The Gap,” with United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon setting a bold goal of ending AIDS by 2030.
According the World Health Organization, about 35 million people have HIV/AIDS worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with approximately 70 percent of new infections worldwide occurring there. In the U.S., approximately 1.2 million people live with HIV − and an estimated one out of seven of those are not aware they are infected. Continue reading