Category Archives: Social determinants

Deciphering contracts: Webcast to cover journalists’ rights, negotiations, insurance and more

Jeanne Erdmann

About Jeanne Erdmann

Jeanne Erdmann is an award-winning health and science writer based in Wentzville, Mo. A member of AHCJ's board of directors, she is the chair of the organization's Freelance Committee. Her work has appeared in Discover, Women’s Health, Aeon, Slate, The Washington Post, Nature, Nature Medicine and other publications. You can follow her at @jeanne_erdmann.

Few moments are more gratifying to a freelancer than a new contract landing in our inbox.

Contracts solidify the hard work and the leap-of-faith that began with a pitch. They begin what could be a long, profitable relationship with a publication, perhaps a dream publication that’s finally taken a pitch. They’re a physical sign that – for another month at least – we can pay off bills, college loans, cover the rent. Continue reading

Democratic presidential candidates unveil broadband access, telehealth plans for rural America

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: Talk News Radio Service via Flickr

Last week kicked off the 11-day Iowa State Fair, drawing most of the top Democratic presidential candidates. A regular stop on the early state voting circuit, the Iowa State Fair offers the opportunity for face time with early-state voters – while also eating food on sticks and posing for selfies in front of a giant cow made out of butter.

In between, candidates have been releasing their plans for rural America. Many of these plans include details how they would expand broadband access and telehealth services. Continue reading

Vitamin K deficiency linked to risk of mobility loss in older adults

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team 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: Víctor Hugo Hernández D. via Flickr

Here’s another reason to eat your broccoli: It’s a great source of Vitamin K that may help decrease the risk of mobility loss and independence.

A recent study from Tufts University found that low circulating levels of this vitamin are tied to an increased risk of mobility limitation and disability in older adults. Older adults with low circulating vitamin K levels were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop mobility limitations and nearly twice as likely to develop mobility disability compared with those showing sufficient levels, regardless of gender. Continue reading

Identity-first vs. person-first language is an important distinction

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: U.S. Army IMCOM via Flickr

Freelance journalist Cassandra Willyard recently asked me on Twitter about resources on the use of appropriate, respectful language when it comes to how we identify the people who are living with various conditions or disabilities.

It was in response to an excellent question by biomedical research writer Kim Krieger about the acceptability of referring to someone with a condition as a descriptor, such as “epileptic child” or “diabetic adults.” Those constructions are called “identity-first” language, as opposed to “person-first” language where the person literally comes first: “children with epilepsy” and “adults with diabetes.” Continue reading

Report: Progress on telehealth adoption by states, but still wide variation

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.

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA), a leading trade group for telehealth providers and advocates, this week released its first report since 2017 that tracks state policies on telehealth.

Telehealth adoption is growing, and more states are embracing policies that improve coverage and reimbursement for telehealth services, according to the report. Lack of reimbursement mechanisms has been one of the biggest barriers to telehealth adoption. Continue reading

Meals on Wheels testing app to keep tabs on homebound elderly

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team 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.

For many homebound elderly, the driver who delivers their weekly meals may be their only human contact all week.  These volunteers often act as defacto eyes and ears; noticing changes in a client’s physical or mental health, social needs or home environment, before anyone else.

An innovative pilot program which uses a mobile app to alert care coordinators about these changes is expanding across the U.S. in the coming months. This joint effort by Meals on Wheels America,  the West Health Institute and the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research will grow to include up to 30 Meals on Wheels sites across the country, helping ensure the wellness of an estimated 40,000 seniors. Continue reading