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Contest Entries

The Cost of Murder

Entrants: Joe Carlson

Affiliation: Modern Healthcare

Trade Publications/Newsletters

Year: 2009

Place: First Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

In recent years a growing number of trauma surgeons and have begun to question the social value of saving the lives of gunshot victims who wind up back in the ER a year or two later with similar injuries. Yet hospital administrators in communities besieged by violence limit their concern to the problems within their four walls. Although hospitals' tax-exempt status carries a mandate to provide real benefit to their local communities, many are running programs like anti-obesity clinics while leaving the problems of urban violence to the police and courts.

Judge's comments: Among the hundreds of stories that have been written on ways to reduce health care costs while making Americans healthier, Joe Carlson's is probably the most original and certainly one of the most compelling. Original thinking and solid reporting.

Read "The Cost of Murder" and the sidebar, "Anti-violent beginnings."

See the archived story and questionnaire in which the reporter writes about how this story was written.