Tag Archives: veterans

Vietnam veterans fight for coverage of illnesses that might be Agent Orange-related

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: National Academy of SciencesC-123 planes were used to spray herbicides, including Agent Orange, during Operation Ranch Hand in Vietnam.

Photo: National Academy of SciencesC-123 planes were used to spray herbicides, including Agent Orange, during Operation Ranch Hand in Vietnam.

ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein and Terry Parris Jr., with The Virginian-Pilot’s Mike Hixenbaugh, have been covering the impact of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans and their efforts to get health coverage for conditions they believe are linked to their exposure to the herbicides. “Reliving Agent Orange” finds that many are still fighting to get coverage for themselves and their children. Continue reading

VA official addresses journalists in wake of critical article #AHCJ16

About Joanne Silberner

Joanne Silberner (@jsilberner) is a freelance reporter and artist-in-residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. For 18 years, she covered health issues for NPR. She is attending Health Journalism 2015 as an AHCJ-Academic Health Journalism Fellow.

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJDavid J. Shulkin spoke at Health Journalism 2016, pointing out some of the agencies successes.

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJDavid J. Shulkin spoke at Health Journalism 2016, pointing out some of the agencies successes.

David Shulkin, M.D., undersecretary of health for the Department of Veterans Affairs, faced two challenges at his Newsmaker Briefing on Friday morning.

He had to compete with a free breakfast buffet with fruit, eggs, bacon, ham, pastries, oatmeal, potatoes and more (thanks, Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation).

And there was this page-one, above-the-fold headline in USA Today:VA bosses falsified veterans’ wait times.” Continue reading

Planning for AHCJ’s annual conference with an eye on disparities

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.

Stokes Federal Courthouse - Superior Avenue Bridge - Shoreway Bridge - Cleveland Ohio via photopin (license)Cleveland, home to both the well-known Cleveland Clinic medical center and areas still reeling from the loss of manufacturing jobs, hosts AHCJ’s 2016 conference, which will offer many opportunities for journalists to explore the social determinants of health, from infrastructure to trauma.

Stokes Federal Courthouse – Superior Avenue Bridge – Shoreway Bridge – Cleveland Ohio via photopin (license)Cleveland, home to areas still reeling from the loss of manufacturing jobs, hosts AHCJ’s 2016 conference, which will offer many opportunities for journalists to explore the social determinants of health, from infrastructure to trauma.

Think of Cleveland, as a health reporter, and your first thought jump to the Cleveland Clinic, the group of well-known medical centers rated one of the nation’s most premier hospitals (and one of the hosts for AHCJ’s conference in the city April 7-10.)

Yet the four-day event in the heart of Cleveland will also examine many facets of health care (or lack thereof) for vulnerable populations. Continue reading

Panel looks to Medicaid as possible housing partner to boost health

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.

Is housing a prescription for better health for the poor? And, if so, who pays for it?

That was the question before a several experts this month at briefing on Capitol Hill. Hosted by the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan health policy group, the panel examined the role of Medicaid and housing, and how the joint federal-state program also could be used to provide more stable housing with the goal of boosting health. Continue reading

VA secretary addresses some of department’s challenges #ahcj15

About Joanne Kenen

Contributing editor to Politico Magazine and former health care editor-at-large, Politico, Commonwealth Fund journalist in residence and assistant lecturer at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Photo: Pia ChristensenRobert McDonald

Pia Christensen/AHCJRobert McDonald

More than 140 journalists at Health Journalism 2015 gathered early Friday to hear Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald – and to question him about VA policies, including the agency’s notorious opaqueness with reporters.

McDonald readily acknowledged that the VA has had what he called a “Kremlin-esque” mentality, and told the roomful of journalists that he was trying to change it. The VA is publishing patient access data (waiting times for appointments) on the website every two weeks, and he said he’s trying to promote a culture of openness. Continue reading