ACL delivers first report on RAISE Act to Congress

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Asian Development Bank via Flickr

Family caregiving can be rewarding but also challenging. When caregivers do not have the support they need, their health, well-being and quality of life often suffer. So in 2018, Congress passed the RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support & Engage) Family Caregiving Act. The law directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a national family caregiving strategy and establish a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to provide recommendations on effective models of both family caregiving and support and improve coordination across federal government programs. Continue reading

How to report on COVID-19 vaccines for kids: an update and expert contacts

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico, The Washington Post and other outlets.

Photo by CDC via Unsplash

Last week Pfizer and BioNTech announced promising safety and effectiveness data for use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11, setting a potential path for ending the pandemic.

“It won’t be a silver bullet, but [vaccines for kids] will be a step in the right direction,” Katelyn Jetelina, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, wrote in her newsletter called “Your Local Epidemiologist.”

On Sept. 20, the companies said a trial of 2,268 children ages 5 to 11, showed a “robust” neutralizing antibody response, using a 2-dose regimen, administered 3 weeks apart. The dose of the vaccine was lower (10 micrograms) than what is given to those 12 and older (30 micrograms) because it produced fewer side effects and still resulted in a strong immune response. Continue reading

S. Dakota pilot project reduces number of inmates with mental health, behavioral issues

About Katti Gray

Katti Gray (@kattigray) is AHCJ's core topic leader for behavioral and mental health. A former Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow, Gray is providing resources to help AHCJ members expand their coverage of mental health amid ongoing efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness and to place mental health care on par with all health care.

Photo: Chris Landsberger, courtesy of The OklahomanThis photo from Jaclyn Cosgrove’s series for The Oklahoman shows a male inmate in the Oklahoma County Jail’s mental health unit.

Amid a nationwide push to pare the number of incarcerated people with mental and/or behavioral disorders, a South Dakota pilot project giving law enforcement officials 24/7 online access to mental health clinicians has diverted from lockdown and into community-based care about 75% of people confronted by police during a mental/behavioral crisis.

Launched in January 2020, Virtual Crisis Care is among the first endeavors of its kind in rural America. It mirrors a comparatively small but slowly growing number of mainly urban projects that, along with virtually connecting police and probation officers with social workers, psychologists and other mental health clinicians, have sometimes placed those professionals in a cop car. Continue reading

Study reveals why neighborhood location impacts aging

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo by MabelAmber via Pixabay

When it comes to health care, neighborhood location matters — not only now, but also as we age, according to a recent study published in JAMA. While it’s not surprising that living in various neighborhoods is linked to how well older adults function during their lifespan, more accurate estimates of these disparities may help change the outcomes.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and University of Maryland used a new social determinant of health, neighborhood disadvantage, to assess the ability of participants to perform essential activities of daily living required to maintain independence. This study focused on four key activities — bathing, dressing, walking and transferring. Life expectancy with and without disability are often used by policymakers to forecast the well-being of older people. Continue reading

The nuts and bolts of solutions-focused health care journalism

About Erica Tricarico

Managing Editor Erica Tricarico is a graduate of Howard University and the master’s program in journalism at CUNY. Tricarico comes to AHCJ from MJH Life Sciences in Cranbury, N.J., where she managed an editorial team producing content on animal care. Before that, she was a freelance health care reporter for Everyday Health.

People are increasingly avoiding the news, largely because they say it’s negatively impacting their mood, according to a 2019 Reuters digital news report. There may be a way to change that through solutions journalism, which doesn’t just report on problems; it aims to inform the public about how people and communities are responding to major social issues.

As Julia Hotz with the Solutions Journalism Network noted Tuesday in an AHCJ webcast, editors are on the lookout for pitches with a solutions focus. During the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, solutions-focused reporting has grown in popularity, said Hotz, a journalist who’s reported solutions stories for multiple publications including The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Continue reading