Author Archives: Emily Willingham

Emily Willingham

About Emily Willingham

Emily Willingham (@ejwillingham) is AHCJ's core topic leader on the social determinants of health. She is a science journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and Forbes, among others, and co-author of "The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Guide to Your Child's First Four Years."

Event provides perspectives on California’s health policy landscape

Photo: Elliot Margolies via Flickr

Health Affairs held an October event in Sacramento on California’s health policy landscape (also available as a podcast).

Here are some highlights from the panelists, all of whom are excellent potential sources for stories about health care policy in California and around the nation: Continue reading

What happens to you when you’re autistic and police shoot your therapist, who is black?

Photo: Heather Vogell/ProPublicaCarlton Palms’ isolated campus of group homes and classrooms sits on a lake and includes some modular units.

The answer to that question comes in an 8-episode Aftereffect podcast, which begins with the day that Arnaldo Rios Soto was playing with a silver truck outside of his group home in Florida, accompanied by his therapist, Charles Kinsey.

A passerby in a car thought the truck was a gun and called the police on Rios Soto, who was 26 years old at the time. Continue reading

Tracking deaths in custody in America’s jails

Photo: Paul Robinson via Flickr

Gary Harki of The Virginian-Pilot came to his team’s sweeping series on mental illness, death and U.S. jails by way of a single incident: a young man who died in jail from direct neglect and bureaucratic incompetence for the crime of stealing a zebra cake and a Mountain Dew from a local convenience store.

The young man, Jamycheal Mitchell, had both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and his death, Harki says, was “just appalling,” especially as Mitchell was supposed to have been transferred to a mental health care facility. That incident led Harki to wonder how often people like Mitchell met this fate in America’s jails. And from that, the “Jailed in Crisis” series was born. Continue reading

The fate of Medicare: Politico’s special report on the safety net for senior citizens

Politico’s “The Agenda” section has published a special report on Medicare, now and in the future, and how it might fare in the current political climate. Baby boomers are weighing the system to the breaking point, and this series looks at the current threats and at the ideas being proposed to rescue the social welfare program for seniors. Continue reading

Surprising conclusions in a study of racial, socioeconomic disparities in U.S. hospitals

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in outcomes among hospitalized patients?

Don’t blame the hospitals, say the authors of this JAMA Network Open study. They looked at factors that might underlie known divergences in health outcomes based on socioeconomic status and race or ethnicity, with a focus on heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia. Their findings suggest that hospitals perform similarly across socioeconomic and ethnic groups but that something “systemic” must explain the differences among these populations. Continue reading

Everyday discrimination negatively affects women’s health

Photo: Jasleen Kaur via Flickr

A study of a diverse population of 2,000 women living the United States has found that everyday experiences of discrimination contributes to risk of increased blood pressure in the course of 10 years.

Obviously, in a climate of #MeToo and sexual assault allegations and criminal findings against a host of people in public life, the effect of any discrimination against women should attract attention. As of yet, however, no outlets seem to have covered the study, which was published Sept. 21 in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine (paywalled). Certainly, there are angles to women’s experiences of discrimination, past and present, and health effects over time. Continue reading