Tag Archives: opioids

AHCJ fellows attend briefing at CDC about ongoing public health emergencies

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ’s social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJBrenda Fitzgerald, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke at a briefing on public health emergencies at the CDC on Dec. 4.

Fellows in two of AHCJ’s health journalism fellowship programs attended today’s press briefing about ongoing public health emergencies with Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

The journalists are attending a week-long training session at the CDC as part of the AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellowships and the Mid-Atlantic class of the AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Fellowship. Continue reading

New tip sheet looks at alcohol use and 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: Casey Clough via Flickr

It’s legal. It is readily accessible and requires no prescription to purchase. It’s socially acceptable. Yet, it can cause myriad health risks for older adults, from balance problems and falls to drug interactions to death.

“It” is alcohol — a growing concern among clinical and mental health professionals caring for our older population. Continue reading

Strong social media presence helps Md. reporter cover her community’s opioid crisis

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: nadja robot via Flickr

For Heather Wolford, a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News, covering the growing opioid crisis in the rural hills of Western Maryland was, quite literally, a calling.

Now two years into her health coverage of the epidemic, Wolford was driven by a journalist’s instinct to find out what was happening in her community, from those using the drugs, police officers and government officials, to family members on all sides of the crisis.

“When I repeatedly heard daily overdose calls over the office scanner, I asked my boss if I could dive into the crisis,” she said. Continue reading

When covering the opioid epidemic, don’t forget the dental angle

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.

Photo: ^Thais^ via Flickr

President Donald Trump’s decision to declare opioid addiction a national emergency could be at least a step toward addressing the complex crisis blamed for claiming more than 33,000 lives in 2015.

The emergency declaration potentially could be used to expedite state responses, dispatch U.S. Public Health Service personnel to hard-hit communities and step up requirements for prescriber education, according to Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, who was interviewed for a Washington Post story. Continue reading

Experts share tips for covering public health

Erin Mershon

About Erin Mershon

Erin Mershon covers the politics and policy of health care for Stat in Washington, D.C. She’s written extensively on those and other policymaking issues for national news outlets. Through an AHCJ Reporting Fellowship on Health Care Performance she is reporting on health insurance challenges in rural areas across the U.S.

Photo: Kimberly LeonardHealth journalists learned more about public health issues, including opioid treatment and long-term care, at a D.C. chapter meeting.

A panel of Altarum Institute experts dove into the politics and policy of broad topics in public health, including the untold stories of the opioid crisis, persistent but overlooked concerns over long-term care funding and the importance of access to dental services.

The opioid crisis continues to escalate and, despite widespread coverage of the challenges across the country, there are new and important angles to the story, suggested Tom Coderre, a senior adviser at the D.C.-based research and consulting organization, during a June meeting of the AHCJ’s Washington, D.C., chapter, hosted by the Aspen Institute. Continue reading