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AHCJ webcasts 

Medicare: What would it take to add a dental benefit?
AHCJ WebcastNovember 2016
This webcast featured Beth Truett, president and chief executive officer of Oral Health America, a national advocacy organization that is focused upon improving the oral health of older Americans. She talked about a growing push to add a dental benefit to Medicare and the findings of new research by her group on the oral health of multigenerational "grandfamilies."

The long view on lead: Covering the crisis from Flint and beyond
November 2016
Public health historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, authors of “Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children,” offer their take on the nation’s long fight against lead poisoning and its devastating health impact. The discussion includes how the environment impacts the health struggles of various communities as well as how those health struggles have been tackled over time, particularly when it comes to children, race and equality. The webcast provides context and ideas for those covering environmental health, public health or specific readership areas.

Covering consumers: Tackling costs, pricing and access

August 2016
Nearly every health care reporter comes across this challenge daily: how to account for costs? Whether writing about the uninsured, drug prices, insurance plans or the business of heath care, journalists are constantly wading through complex web of pricing and related issues. Consumer Union’s Lynn Quincy discussed how to navigate the challenge of health care costs, from finding transparent information on costs and quality to understanding the wide price variations for seemingly similar care.

Health literacy: How language, context affects disparities

May 2016
Social media, video and a host of other technological changes have a daily impact on health journalism coverage – but what about their messaging to patients, caregivers and others?

We will take a look at how the language and information facing today’s population is impacting people’s health across the country with Rima Rudd, a founder in the field of health literacy studies and a leading researcher exploring this aspect of health communication.

During the webcast, we explore how health literacy impacts people’s ability to make health care decisions, the impact of technology, and the role of culture in assessing how people view health and treatments. We examine specific language and context, and we’ll discuss how journalists covering health can play a role.

Covering the special health challenges of LGBTQ youth

December 2015
LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk for mental health, substance abuse and other health issues, yet are less likely to get health care.

Despite growing attention to these health challenges, health care providers, insurers, families and even youth themselves are grappling with how to address such disparities.

Susan Heavey, AHCJ's topic leader on the social determinants of health and health disparities, discussed ongoing and unique challenges facing LGBT youth with Lawrence D’Angelo, M.D., M.P.H., division chief of adolescent and young adult medicine at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C and director of the hospital's Youth Pride Clinic.

Rhiannon Meyers takes you behind diabetes coverage

Rhiannon MeyersJuly 2013
Meyers, a reporter at the The (Corpus Christi, Texas) Caller-Times is examining the scourge of diabetes in the region.

At the midway point of the yearlong series, she discusses what the series discovered so far. Meyers, recipient of an AHCJ Reporting Fellowship on Health Care Performance, also shares what's to come, including a piece that takes readers inside the operating room for a behind-the-scenes look at weight loss surgery and its effect on Type 2 diabetes.

Presentations from 'Multicultural health in the Bay Area: The untold story'

Multicultural health in the Bay Area: The untold story was a 2007 AHCJ workshop in San Francisco.

Uncovered stories in multicultural communities:

Covering the multicultural community with limited resources:

Video & audio

Proximity to clogged highways could increase risk of Alzheimer's, dementia
Reuters examined new data on the impact of living near pollution can affect one’s risk of degenerative diseases. The piece looks at a University of Southern California study on how such particles can affect inflammation and related plaque that may increase Alzheimer's and dementia.

Aspen Forum on Children and Families
The Aspen Institute’s January 2017 forum examined the well-being of children and their families, including boosting education and economic stability. Speakers included representatives from the American Enterprise Institute; First Focus; U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican; U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat; the Bezos Family Foundation, the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among others. 

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy: How 'America's Doctor' sees opioids, gun violence and more

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy joined Politico's "Pulse Check" podcast to discuss the role of the surgeon general (starts at the 2:20 mark), why he's focused on getting Americans walking (10:10 mark), how he sees the nation's opioid problem (15:00), how he picks his priorities (24:00) and whether he thinks the surgeon general can truly be independent on issues like gun violence (30:30).

The Open Mind: Poisoning America

Public health historian David Rosner on origins of the lead epidemic in Flint and beyond.

Health Care Consolidation: What You Need to Know

The Alliance for Health Reform hosted a discussion about health care consolidation on Dec. 15, 2015. A top Federal Trade Commission official, along with key experts, met with reporters to discuss the recent surge in health care consolidation; the driving forces behind this trend; and the implications for policymakers and enforcers. 

In 2014, there were a total of 1,299 mergers and acquisitions in the health care sector – a record number, up from 1,035 the year before. That includes a recent spike in pharmaceutical transactions, including inversions, which base U.S. drug companies overseas. 

Speakers provide the latest information about the roles of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission; efforts by policymakers; the scope and extent of consolidation among doctors, hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical companies; and implications for consumers and other stakeholders. 

  • Deborah Feinstein, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition 

  • Andrea Murino, partner and co-chair of Goodwin Procter’s antitrust practice 

  • George Slover, senior policy counsel at Consumers Union  

  • Alan Weil of Health Affairs and Marilyn Serafini of the Alliance for Health Reform moderated. 

A transcript of the discussion is available.

Alliance for Health Reform: Quarterly media briefings, which you can subscribe to on YouTube, tackle a variety of health policy topics. The Dec. 11, 2015 panel, for example, looked at the health needs of former federal and state prisoners.

Understanding the economic impact of obesity

May 2015
A  Look at the Lifetime Economic Costs of Obesity: The Brookings Institution’s Center for Social Dynamics and Policy and the University of California-Davis’ World Food Center host a forum in Washington on the impact of U.S. obesity rates, including new research on the costs of the condition.

Harvard professor Robert Sampson on social infrastructure

The resilience of cities depends on the social infracture as well as the physical. Robert Sampson talks about ways to measure the social ecology of urban enironments to help strengthen neighborhoods.

Social capital and health: A cautionary tale from Roseto, Pa.

Roseto, Pa., was settled by Italian immigrants who were found to have astonishingly low rates of heart disease in the 1950s. Ichiro Kawachi, chair of Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, explains why Roseto is a cautionary tale in regards to social capital and a recession.

Harvard Public Health Magazine Extra: Social Capital & Health from Harvard School of Public Health on Vimeo.

Social Progress Index 2014

This video explains a new index comparing nations on ‘social progress’ and not just economic productivity: 

“A broader and more inclusive model of development requires new metrics with which policymakers and citizens can evaluate national performance. We must move beyond simply measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, and make social and environmental measurement integral to national performance measurement. Tracking social and environmental performance rigorously will inform and drive improvement in policy choices and investments by all stakeholders. Measuring social progress will also help to better translate economic gains into better social and environmental performance, which will unleash even greater economic success.”

Michael Marmot: Putting fairness at the heart of policy-making

Michael MarmotMichael Marmot famously showed that the link between socioeconomic status and health, the SES-health gradient, persists even among people in the middle and upper ranges of social advantage. He is a passionate speaker – and fearless critic of policies that, in his view, perpetuate social inequality and undermine public health. Here, for example, is what he says about the high rate of child poverty in the U.S.:

"The U.S. looks a lot like Latvia. You have elected not to use taxes and transfers to reduce child poverty. You as a society have made a decision that child poverty is what you want. I can only assume that's the case. Otherwise you would do what European countries are doing and use taxes and transfers to reduce child poverty."

Marmot delivered the keynote address at the Second Annual Symposium on the Social Determinants of Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in April 2013.