Category Archives: Core Topics

Former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams talks career highlights, COVID lessons at HJ23

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams responds to question by AHCJ Executive Director Kelsey Ryan. (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

Former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams’ youth and career path, lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and advice for journalists were all on the table during his fireside chat on Friday, March 10, at Health Journalism 2023 in St. Louis.

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How the pandemic changed vaccine development

Photo by Chokniti Khongchum via pexels.

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred unprecedented public and private investment in vaccine research and proved that multiple vaccines could be developed, approved, and manufactured for billions of people within a year if there is funding and political will for it to be done.

But could it be done again and for what diseases? Where should research be directed to respond to the next pandemic? What are the lessons learned from the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines? What do we know now about our immune systems that we didn’t know before? 

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Alzheimer’s panel at HJ23 will explore unanswered questions

Photo courtesy of the National Institute on Aging

If any headline could sum up the state of research into Alzheimer’s disease it may be this: “Study reveals that much still not known about cognitive decline.”

Despite decades of research, there’s so much scientists have yet to learn about this degenerative disease. Risk factors, causes, amyloid plaque, tau tangles, Lecanemab, biomarkers and more are topics of dozens of research studies underway.

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What to know about older adults on insulin under Medicare 


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich via pexels.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which went into effect on Jan. 1, boasts several health-related provisions that benefit older adults. Among them: lowering the cost of insulin to a maximum of $35 per month.

That’s excellent news for the nearly 16 million people over 65 who have diabetes and use, or may need, insulin to maintain their glucose levels. Insulin prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, causing extensive financial hardship, missed doses, and in some cases, even death due to lack of affordability. The Inflation Reduction Act fixed that, at least for older adults. (Republicans quashed a proposal to extend the cap to everyone who uses insulin). Journalists can use this opportunity to educate their audience about the change in pricing and dispel any myths or misconceptions about the law.

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Minnesota journalist uncovers lawsuits Mayo Clinic filed against patients

Molly Work

In July, US News and World Report ranked the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., as the nation’s best hospital for the seventh consecutive year.

Looking more closely at how US News assessed hospitals, reporters at Rochester’s daily newspaper, the Post Bulletin, noticed that on the issue of health equity, the Mayo Clinic was ranked significantly lower than other hospitals. The editors at US News defined charity care as, “How well hospital spending on free and discounted care for uninsured patients aligns with the proportion of uninsured in the surrounding community.”

Since September, Molly Castle Work, an award-winning investigative journalist (@mollycastlework), for the Post Bulletin, has published at least six articles about the Mayo Clinic and charity care. Check out her Shared Wisdom to learn more about her strategy for pursuing this story.

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