Freelancers weigh in on what it takes to successfully write a book at #AHCJ17

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJFreelance journalists take notes during a panel that focused on writing books.

“Can you afford to write a book?”

This question keeps many journalists awake at night. It also served as the title for a compelling panel discussion at Health Journalism 2017.

The harsh and rewarding realities of taking on a book project – from the original moment of inspiration to the promotion of the final product – were explored by experts, including publishing industry veteran Amanda J. Moon. Continue reading

Public health experts discuss ‘infectious nature’ of violence at #AHCJ17

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Deborah CroweDr. Georges Benjamin gestures during a roundtable with Rachel Davis and Gary Slutkin, moderated by Andrea McDaniels.

What happens if we stop treating violence as a problem of crime and morality – and start treating it as a public health problem? A contagious public health problem?

That was the provocative starting point of the Health Journalism 2017 kickoff roundtable: Violence as a public health emergency.

Gary Slutkin,  chief executive officer of Cure Violence, set the scene for us. We know the victim of a shooting has a health problem – the gunshot injury. But what about the shooter?  Does he or she have a health problem too? Perhaps an untreated health problem arising from exposure to violence? Continue reading

#AHCJ17 panels to address importance of social determinants

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Health care reporters coming to Health Journalism 2017 in search of story ideas on covering health gaps and the social constructs behind them have a host of panels to choose from while in Orlando.

On the issue of costs, Saturday morning’s session on “Bending the Cost Curve: The Social Determinants of Health” will look at how tackling social determinants of health can help lower costs and improve health, particularly when it comes to health care systems such as hospitals and other networks. Continue reading

Changes to prostate screening recommendations nuanced

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.

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

One ethnic neighborhood fights disparities in effort to reduce childhood tooth decay

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Laura Klivans/KQEDDentist Richard Choi volunteers his time screening students at San Francisco’s public schools for overall oral health. He grew up in the Chinatown and North Beach communities and likes revisiting schools he once attended.

Oral health has improved for the children of San Francisco in recent years. The decay rate among kindergarteners has fallen nearly 10 percent since 2008, city health officials report.

The news is great, but there is a hitch. Not all children are sharing equally in reduced decay.

As is true across the United States, San Francisco’s children of color continue to bear a disproportionate burden of disease.  Continue reading