Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City and founder of ThriveNYC, discussed urban initiatives for mental health reform as the keynote speaker at the 2018 Urban Health Journalism Workshop in New York City on Oct. 19, 2018.
August 2018 Deaths from infectious diseases steadily declined in the U.S. between 1980 and 2014, but not everywhere. There were large differences between some states, where rates either didn't decline or rose for certain diseases. The disparities were especially apparent in regions hard hit by the opioid epidemic and in communities that are less economically prosperous. Two public health leaders who are working on the front-lines of the opioid crisis talk about how they are working to address the impact of social determinants on infectious disease death rates and will provide reporters with ideas on where to find stories in their community.
Responsible, accurate reporting on addiction August 2017 Reporting on addiction can be challenging because there are so many facets to the big picture and so many pitfalls resulting from stigma about addiction. Sometimes stories don't focus enough on withdrawal and recovery aspects of addiction. Sometimes an article inadvertently reinforces stereotypes or stigmatizing misconceptions, such as portraying addiction as a moral failing rather than a chronic disease.
Violence as a public health emergency April 2017 As we’ve become more effective in preventing or treating classic infectious diseases, homicide and suicide have continued to climb the causes-of-death ladder. If behavior modifications can greatly reduce the toll of heart disease, cancer and stroke, reason public health professionals, then addressing the behavioral and situational issues behind violent and suicidal actions also can result in saved lives. Our speakers at this Health Journalism 2017 roundtable study, explain and implement efforts to change the underlying conditions that foster and spread violence, whether it be guns on the street, bullying in schools, abuse in relationships or the taking of one’s own life. They believe there are public health interventions that can turn the tide. Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director, American Public Health Association Rachel A. Davis, M.S.W., managing director, Prevention Institute Gary Slutkin, M.D., chief executive officer, Cure Violence Moderator: Andrea K. McDaniels, health and medicine reporter, The Baltimore Sun
Healthy neighborhoods: Covering new approaches to well-being May 2017 Public health experts from Purpose Built Communities and Build Healthy Places Network offer journalists insights into growing efforts to tackle the social determinants of health with an eye on communities at-large. Amid increasing recognition that one’s neighborhood can impact health as much as – if not more than – other medical factors, this webcast will look at specific steps some cities and other areas are taking to address health with a more holistic lens by looking at space, redevelopment, affordable housing and more.
Where Medicaid stands: From the AHCA to state waivers May 2017 This webcast focused on how the AHCA would impact states and Medicaid beneficiaries, how a system of per capita caps would work, what we learned from the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, and how states might respond to new waiver flexibility from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. We examine these issues from both the federal and state perspective, and from the perspective of reporters covering this important issue.
Medicare: What would it take to add a dental benefit? November 2016 This webcast featured Beth Truett, president and chief executive officer of Oral Health America, a national advocacy organization that is focused upon improving the oral health of older Americans. She talked about a growing push to add a dental benefit to Medicare and the findings of new research by her group on the oral health of multigenerational "grandfamilies."
The long view on lead: Covering the crisis from Flint and beyond November 2016 Public health historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, authors of “Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children,” offer their take on the nation’s long fight against lead poisoning and its devastating health impact. The discussion includes how the environment impacts the health struggles of various communities as well as how those health struggles have been tackled over time, particularly when it comes to children, race and equality. The webcast provides context and ideas for those covering environmental health, public health or specific readership areas.
August 2016 Nearly every health care reporter comes across this challenge daily: how to account for costs? Whether writing about the uninsured, drug prices, insurance plans or the business of heath care, journalists are constantly wading through complex web of pricing and related issues. Consumer Union’s Lynn Quincy discussed how to navigate the challenge of health care costs, from finding transparent information on costs and quality to understanding the wide price variations for seemingly similar care.
May 2016 Social media, video and a host of other technological changes have a daily impact on health journalism coverage – but what about their messaging to patients, caregivers and others?
We will take a look at how the language and information facing today’s population is impacting people’s health across the country with Rima Rudd, a founder in the field of health literacy studies and a leading researcher exploring this aspect of health communication.
During the webcast, we explore how health literacy impacts people’s ability to make health care decisions, the impact of technology, and the role of culture in assessing how people view health and treatments. We examine specific language and context, and we’ll discuss how journalists covering health can play a role.
December 2015 LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk for mental health, substance abuse and other health issues, yet are less likely to get health care.
Despite growing attention to these health challenges, health care providers, insurers, families and even youth themselves are grappling with how to address such disparities.
Susan Heavey, AHCJ's topic leader on the social determinants of health and health disparities, discussed ongoing and unique challenges facing LGBT youth with Lawrence D’Angelo, M.D., M.P.H., division chief of adolescent and young adult medicine at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C and director of the hospital's Youth Pride Clinic.
Rhiannon Meyers takes you behind diabetes coverage
July 2013 Meyers, a reporter at the The (Corpus Christi, Texas) Caller-Times is examining the scourge of diabetes in the region.
Health in Rural America: Innovative Solutions to Address Disparities
America is facing a complex rural health crisis. Increasing urbanization leaves behind an older, sicker, and poorer population in rural America that may struggle with social determinants of health like access to medical care and healthy meals. These challenges contribute to rural-urban health inequities in rates of chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes. Despite the odds, leaders are leveraging the unique strengths of rural communities to develop and implement promising solutions.
This webinar explored disparities in rural health and initiatives designed to close those gaps. Speakers discussed:
An overview of racial and geographic inequities in rural America
Federal strategies to promote state innovation in rural health care delivery
How Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is working to increase medical residency positions across the state in response to an aging rural physician population
How a Texas health plan and local university are leveraging technology to address barriers to accessing care in rural communities
How the closure of hospital obstetric units in rural communities can lead to negative health outcomes like preterm births
Cara James, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
How one woman survived her mental illness isolated in jail with only the voices in her head for company
This clip is part of a much larger multimedia story about mental illness in U.S. prisons, by Gary Harki and team at The Virginian-Pilot. The video features one of the people affected by her experience of having a mental illness and being incarcerated. It accompanies text reporting on her personal experience as someone with schizophrenia who was jailed without care for her condition being provided. She was kept in jail without trial on misdemeanor charges for two years.
CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program examines the impact of adversity on children and their development, and the new science and other efforts to understand and address it . The piece looks at the effects of childhood trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide risk. The segment, by Oprah Winfrey, also weighs efforts to grapple with such adverse childhood experiences and ‘scores’ health care providers are now using to help address it through so-called trauma-informed care . CBS’s piece was inspired by A Time to Heal by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s John Schmid.
Doctors can also be impacted by the social determinants of health. Reuters takes a look at recent studies about how physician burnout can increase medical errors, suicide rates and other serious issues among doctors providing care.
With much of the nation’s attention on the ongoing opioid crisis focused on younger Americans, The Hill takes a look at how U.S. seniors are also impacted by drug misuse and addiction. The sponsored panel discussion, broken down in four parts, includes a discussion with U.S. lawmakers, a look at preventing misuse, and strategies to help stem the problem. Speakers range from federal health officials and the National Council on Aging’s senior director to substance abuse experts from Brandeis University and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
This PBS series explores various examples of socio-economic and racial inequities on people’s health.. Over four hours, it examines wealth and employment, immigration and ethnicity/race as well as the impact of geography, infant mortality and other factors. From Louisville, Ky., and Greenville, Mich., to the Marshal Islands and the home of the Pima and Tohono O’odham Indians in southern Arizona, the 2008 series still offers reporters an introduction to ongoing issues that still challenge the healthcare sector (and includes an update online). The series website also includes resources such as data tools, handouts and a list of experts on the issues featured.
The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee examined the impact of individuals’ decisions choices and behavior on health at an Oct. 19, 2017, hearing entitled “Examining How Health Choices Can Improve health Outcomes and Reduce Costs.” Speakers include Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Michael Roizen and Jennifer Mathis, head of policy and legal advocacy at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, among others.
Breaking the Cycle: Health, Poverty, and the Social Determinants of Health
Courtney Martin, the co-founder of Solutions Journalism Network, discusses the social determinants of health at the Aspen Ideas Festival. The June 2017 panel, entitled “Deep Dive: Breaking the Cycle: Health, Poverty, and the Social Determinants of Health,” looks at the impact of relationships as well as building systems around social determinants of health. Speakers include Aetna Foundation President and University of Connecticut School of Medicine cardiologist Garth Graham, who formerly led the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among others.
One Nation Overdosed MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff examined the nation’s opioid epidemic and its hold on Ohio in a three-part series on the ongoing drug crisis. The compelling series looks at the growing role of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid far stronger – and deadlier – than heroin. A coroner in one Ohio county estimated about 70 percent of deaths there are drug-driven, calling it “a mass casualty event.” The 2017 series also looks at the role of jails in treating addicts.
The Health-Care Cost of Homelessness
In the past year, Los Angeles has dedicated billions of dollars towards housing the homeless. The effort is, in part, aimed at addressing the city’s exorbitant health-care spending on this population. Housing is now widely understood to be the best health intervention for the homeless population, who experience far more hospitalizations than those with homes. However, a critical step in this new effort is actually connecting the city’s homeless population, many of whom are very wary of services, to the these new resources.
Aspen Forum on Children and Families The Aspen Institute’s January 2017 forum examined the well-being of children and their families, including boosting education and economic stability. Speakers included representatives from the American Enterprise Institute; First Focus; U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican; U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat; the Bezos Family Foundation, the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among others.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy: How 'America's Doctor' sees opioids, gun violence and more
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy joined Politico's "Pulse Check" podcast to discuss the role of the surgeon general (starts at the 2:20 mark), why he's focused on getting Americans walking (10:10 mark), how he sees the nation's opioid problem (15:00), how he picks his priorities (24:00) and whether he thinks the surgeon general can truly be independent on issues like gun violence (30:30).
The Alliance for Health Reform hosted a discussion about health care consolidation on Dec. 15, 2015. A top Federal Trade Commission official, along with key experts, met with reporters to discuss the recent surge in health care consolidation; the driving forces behind this trend; and the implications for policymakers and enforcers.
In 2014, there were a total of 1,299 mergers and acquisitions in the health care sector – a record number, up from 1,035 the year before. That includes a recent spike in pharmaceutical transactions, including inversions, which base U.S. drug companies overseas.
Speakers provide the latest information about the roles of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission; efforts by policymakers; the scope and extent of consolidation among doctors, hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical companies; and implications for consumers and other stakeholders.
Deborah Feinstein, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition
Andrea Murino, partner and co-chair of Goodwin Procter’s antitrust practice
George Slover, senior policy counsel at Consumers Union
Alan Weil of Health Affairs and Marilyn Serafini of the Alliance for Health Reform moderated.
Alliance for Health Reform: Quarterly media briefings, which you can subscribe to on YouTube, tackle a variety of health policy topics. The Dec. 11, 2015 panel, for example, looked at the health needs of former federal and state prisoners.
Understanding the economic impact of obesity
May 2015 A Look at the Lifetime Economic Costs of Obesity: The Brookings Institution’s Center for Social Dynamics and Policy and the University of California-Davis’ World Food Center host a forum in Washington on the impact of U.S. obesity rates, including new research on the costs of the condition.
Harvard professor Robert Sampson on social infrastructure
The resilience of cities depends on the social infracture as well as the physical. Robert Sampson talks about ways to measure the social ecology of urban enironments to help strengthen neighborhoods.
Social capital and health: A cautionary tale from Roseto, Pa.
Roseto, Pa., was settled by Italian immigrants who were found to have astonishingly low rates of heart disease in the 1950s. Ichiro Kawachi, chair of Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, explains why Roseto is a cautionary tale in regards to social capital and a recession.
This video explains a new index comparing nations on ‘social progress’ and not just economic productivity:
“A broader and more inclusive model of development requires new metrics with which policymakers and citizens can evaluate national performance. We must move beyond simply measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, and make social and environmental measurement integral to national performance measurement. Tracking social and environmental performance rigorously will inform and drive improvement in policy choices and investments by all stakeholders. Measuring social progress will also help to better translate economic gains into better social and environmental performance, which will unleash even greater economic success.”
Michael Marmot: Putting fairness at the heart of policy-making
Michael Marmot famously showed that the link between socioeconomic status and health, the SES-health gradient, persists even among people in the middle and upper ranges of social advantage. He is a passionate speaker – and fearless critic of policies that, in his view, perpetuate social inequality and undermine public health. Here, for example, is what he says about the high rate of child poverty in the U.S.:
"The U.S. looks a lot like Latvia. You have elected not to use taxes and transfers to reduce child poverty. You as a society have made a decision that child poverty is what you want. I can only assume that's the case. Otherwise you would do what European countries are doing and use taxes and transfers to reduce child poverty."
Public health experts from Purpose Built Communities and Build Healthy Places Network will offer journalists insights into growing efforts to tackle the social determinants of health with an eye on communities at-large.
Amid increasing recognition that one’s neighborhood can impact health as much as – if not more than – other medical factors, this webcast will look at specific steps some cities and other areas are taking to address health with a more holistic lens by looking at space, redevelopment, affordable housing and more.