In a recent story for the Los Angeles Daily News, reporter Susan Abram informed readers that once again, a city sports arena was being transformed into a massive health clinic, and once again, hundreds of dentists, optometrists, nurses and other volunteers were preparing to offer free care to people in need.
This was not the first time Abram had covered a Los Angeles “megaclinic.” But she managed to skillfully couple her reporting on past events with insights into the nation’s evolving health care system to bring a new angle to this year’s story:
“…the services offered will be different compared to six years ago, when a similar event was first held at the Los Angeles Forum,” Abram wrote. “Back then, images of these megaclinics held nationwide and primarily in rural settings became symbolic of the fractured health care system before reform and the lengths many Americans would go for much needed medical and dental care. … Now, as the provisions under the Affordable Care Act take hold and more people are insured for primary care, some services at the upcoming large-scale clinic have changed while others have been expanded.”
In this Q & A, Abram reflects on the things she has learned covering urban “megaclinics” over the years. And she shares some wisdom with fellow reporters on returning to an old story with new eyes.