Category Archives: Social determinants

#AHCJ18 panel explores new ways to cover the health effects of climate change

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Photo: john curley via Flickr

At the Health Journalism 2018 panel session, “Is climate change a threat to public health?” the answer was a resounding yes – but in ways that reporters and editors might not yet realize.

Extreme weather events are making headlines all over the world with increasing frequency and journalists should be aware of the cascade of health issues that happen beyond the immediate calamities of these events, panelists said. Scientific research on these effects is just getting started. Continue reading

Housing as a prescription on the journey to well-being

Stephanie O'Neill

About Stephanie O'Neill

Stephanie O’Neill (@ReporterSteph) is an independent journalist who reports for Kaiser Health News and California Healthline. Her multi-platform journalism career includes reporting for public radio, public television, newspapers and magazines.

Photo: Circle the CityA Circle the City Medical Respite Center patient interacts with a therapy dog. The center is a 50-bed facility serving ill and injured adults experiencing homelessness.

PHOENIX – Lack of housing is a significant health issue in the United States that is shortening the life expectancy of the nation’s growing homeless population.

“If you don’t have a house you’re at much greater risk of dying sooner,” said Stacey Millet, director of Health Impact Project during the Housing, Homelessness and Health session on April 13 at Health Journalism 2018. Continue reading

Concussion care evolving as providers seek ‘sweet spot’

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.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJNeurologist Dr. Glynnis Zieman, of the Barrow Neurological Institute, answers a question from a Health Journalism 2018 attendee about brain injuries. Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. Amaal Starling (left) and NPR science correspondent Jon Hamilton (right) also were featured on the panel moderated by NPR’s Scott Hensley.

Doctors and researchers are adapting treatments for brain injuries to recognize individuals’ needs, but still are searching for the right balance of care for a diverse set of patients who have suffered blows to the head, panelists told attendees at one panel during Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix.

Treating people with possible concussions means providers must assess and manage a wide range of patients, from young athletes and military personnel to domestic violence victims and the elderly, the experts said during the Friday session, “Concussion and brain health: New angles on diagnosis and treatment,” which was moderated by National Public Radio editor Scott Hensley. Continue reading

Reporter follows dental hygienists’ battle to treat vulnerable patients

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.

Ana B. Ibarra

Sacramento-based California Healthline reporter Ana B. Ibarra has been following a battle being waged by independent practice dental hygienists who contend that actions by the state of California are forcing them to give up their most vulnerable patients, poor and frail people covered by Denti-Cal, the state’s Medicaid dental program.

In one story late last year, Ibarra captured the scene at a Rancho Cucamonga residential care facility where a visiting dental hygienist Gita Aminloo was caring for one of those patients, Devon Rising, who is blind and disabled. Continue reading

‘Walking through history to truth’ – health and the American Indian

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. Follow her on Facebook.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ

Donald Warne, M.D., M.P.H., comes from generations of traditional healers on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

He became a primary care physician – and grew frustrated that so much of what he was treating could have been prevented.

Racial disparities, social determinants and perverse decisions – paying to build a ramp at an amputee’s home, for instance, but not paying for the good health that would have prevented diabetes in the first place – are not unique to Indian country, he said at the opening session of Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix. Continue reading