Covering the Health and Medical Care of Immigrants: Program

Thursday, Oct. 11

(Optional early-bird data sessions. Limited seating.)

1-3 p.m.

Using Census and other data in immigrant health stories

This hands-on session will showcase data sources on the demographics of immigrants, both nationally and in your community, and walk you through how to access the numbers you need. It will touch on a variety of information available from the Census Bureau, Department of Homeland Security and other sources. You will learn how to build a portrait of foreign-born Americans that includes the basics such as race, ethnicity and birth country, as well as find information on specialized topics such as immigrants in health-care occupations, immigrants without health insurance and unauthorized immigration.

• Instructor: D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center
Room: Providence, 2nd Level

3:15-5:15 p.m.

Mapping immigrant data for health stories

The rich collection of Census data include key geographic information ideal for mapping. In this session, you’ll combine Google tools with data to create online maps and charts  you can tailor.  You’ll learn how, with a combination of a spreadsheet, Google Fusion Tables and do some basic data work, to create a map you can use with your online project. To make the most of this session, make sure you have a Google account, then bring your laptop and have basic spreadsheet skills.

• Instructor: John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News
Room: Providence, 2nd Level

5:15-6:30 p.m.

Welcome reception

Stick around for a little while after the hands-on data training for a quick drink and a chance to meet AHCJ’s board members, staff and fellow workshop attendees.

Room: Ventanas Al Rio room, Lower Level

Friday, Oct. 12

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Breakfast buffet
Room: J.H. Quinn

8:45-10 a.m.

The good and bad: How an immigrant’s health can change

This panel has been Storyfied.

While immigrants often bring with them some health-related disadvantages, such as poverty and a lack of health insurance, plenty of data suggests that Hispanics, at least, have an advantage when it comes to lifespan — a phenomenon known as the Hispanic paradox. While experts have debated its existence, the Hispanic paradox got the backing of the federal government two years ago with the publication of the Hispanic life tables. But what happens when those immigrants — or their children — begin to adopt the sedentary habits and fast-food lifestyle Americans are famous for? And are those extra years of life necessarily healthy ones?

• Elizabeth Arias, Ph.D., demographer, National Center for Health Statistics
• David Espino, M.D.. professor of family and community medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
• Helen Hazuda,  Ph.D., professor of epidemiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
• Moderator: Don Finley, San Antonio Express-News
Room: Ventanas Al Rio room, Lower Level

10:15-11:30 a.m.

How does health reform impact immigrants?

This panel has been Storyfied.

The wide-ranging Affordable Care Act has many provisions that touch on issues important to immigrants, both documented and undocumented. Many immigrants and their families rely on safety-net hospitals, along with community clinics, Medicaid and other programs if they don’t have insurance through work. How will the federal health care law play out? Will safety net hospitals get adequate funding to care for the people who remain uninsured? How will community health centers fare? What happens if states like Texas don’t expand Medicaid eligibility? Where will undocumented immigrants turn to for care? Reporters will come away with an understanding of the issues involved as the law moves into final implementation in 2014.

• Juan H. Flores, M.U.P., executive director, La Fe Policy Center
• Rodolfo Urby, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., medical director, Southwest Texas Network
• Moderator: Julie Appleby, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News
Room: Ventanas Al Rio room, Lower Level

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.


• Michael E. Cline, Ph.D., associate director, Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, Rice University

Room: J.H. Quinn

1:10-2:20 p.m.

The mental health needs of immigrants

This panel has been Storyfied.

Latino immigrants arriving in the United States have lower rates of mental illness than the rest of the population, but those rates rise after they have lived in America for a while. What causes this increase? Are services available to immigrants with mental illness? Is the regular health care safety net available to them? Do immigrants find services for mental illness more difficult to obtain than those for physical health problems? The panel will explore whether the stigma of mental illness is higher in the immigrant population, and how substance abuse problems are treated.

• Cervando Martinez Jr., M.D., professor of psychiatry and family medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
• Octavio N. Martinez Jr., M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., F.A.P.A., executive director, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
• Moderator: Andy Miller, editor, Georgia Health News
Room: Ventanas Al Rio room, Lower Level

2:30-3:40 pm.

Health and safety concerns for immigrants on the job

This panel has been Storyfied.

Immigrants face untold dangers on the job. They are more likely than native-born Americans to work in hazardous occupations, such as agriculture and construction, and may perform riskier tasks. Especially if they're undocumented, their employers may be cutting corners on safety. A reporter who has written about immigrants who suffered horrendous workplace injuries, a lawyer for an agency dedicated to protecting workers, and an organizer who's seen firsthand what happens in the construction industry will talk about the rights of immigrants in the workplace, the hazards they face on the job, and how you can track down good stories on this under-recognized public safety issue.

• Jason Cato, workforce development coordinator, Workers Defense Project
• Jora Trang, managing attorney, Worksafe
• Karen Lee Ziner, staff writer, The Providence (R.I.) Journal
• Moderator: Felice Freyer, medical writer, The Providence (R.I.) Journal
Room: Ventanas Al Rio room, Lower Level

3:50-5 p.m.

Special challenges in covering immigrant health

This panel has been Storyfied.

Learn from an expert panel how to do a better job of writing about immigrants and health care. The panel will discuss that often-hidden population and provide tips on stories worth covering. They also will discuss minefields to avoid, including language that can inflame rather than inform.

• Claudia Kolker, contributing editor, The Houston Chronicle, author
• E. Roberta "Bobbi" Ryder, president and chief executive officer, National Center for Farmworker Health
• Moderator: Mary Ann Roser, medical writer, Austin American-Statesman
Room: Ventanas Al Rio room, Lower Level