Urban Health Journalism Workshop 2018: Program

Click the titles of sessions having red arrows to read their descriptions.

Thursday, Oct. 18


Registration opens


2-2:15 p.m.


Empire C, 2nd floor

2:15-3:30 p.m.

Why is urban health different? What reporters need to know

Most of the United States’ population – 81 percent – lives in urban areas. And urban health has its own distinct differences. Hear from a panel of experts who will provide a framework for journalists to use in writing about health in big cities and small ones. Hear from New York’s acting health commissioner and researchers who can help make your stories relevant to different populations.
  • Oxiris Barbot, M.D., acting health commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

  • Martine Hackett, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Health Professions, Hofstra University

  • David Vlahov, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., associate dean for research, Yale School of Nursing; editor, Journal of Urban Health

  • Moderator: Trudy Lieberman, contributing editor, Columbia Journalism Review

Empire C, 2nd floor





3:30-3:45 p.m.



3:45-5 p.m.

Using health data for local stories

Urban areas tend to have more people with chronic health problems, gaps in health insurance coverage and worse health outcomes than other regions. The health issues urban residents face – from lead poisoning to high rates of asthma and diabetes – merit our attention and coverage. There is a growing body of data on these issues and the health of urban communities, as well as their residents. We'll walk you through those data sources and help you devise strategies for using data in your reporting.
  • Rebecca Gluskin, Ph.D., chief statistician, Measure of America

  • Marc Gourevitch, M.D., M.P.H., chair, Department of Population Health, New York University; principal investigator, City Health Dashboard

  • Katherine Hempstead, Ph.D., M.A., senior program officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • Moderator: Charles Ornstein, senior editor, ProPublica

Empire C, 2nd floor




5-6:30 p.m. Reception

Empire A, 2nd floor

Friday, Oct. 19

7 a.m.

Registration opens


7:15 - 8:15 a.m.

Breakfast available

Empire B&C, 2nd floor

8:30 - 10 a.m.

Urban violence and public health

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump decried “inner-city crime reaching record levels” – even though violent crime had been declining in most U.S. cities for two decades. But there have been gut-wrenching waves of bloodshed in Chicago and certain other cities recently, and some worry a national increase is already underway. Violence is a public health issue and cities have tended to see the most of it. This session will look at recent trends in urban violence, pick over current prevention strategies, and explore questions about what may be coming next.
  • Elizabeth Glazer, J.D., director, New York Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice

  • David Kennedy, director, National Network for Safe Communities

  • Marcus McAllister, national training/implementation specialist, Cure Violence

  • Moderator: Mike Stobbe, Dr.P.H., medical writer, The Associated Press

Empire A, 2nd floor





10 - 10:15 a.m.



10:15 - 11:45 a.m.

How age-friendly is your city?

As the population ages, cities are striving to meet the needs of their older residents. There’s a lot that goes in to making a community more age-friendly – perhaps most importantly is the desire and commitment to promote healthy, active aging and improve quality of life for everyone, according to the World Health Organization. This panel will look at what makes the Big Apple a model for other cities, how diverse communities throughout the U.S. can adopt age-friendly initiatives and explore story ideas for journalists that go beyond the typical frameworks.
  • Danielle Arigoni, director of liveable communities, American Association of Retired Persons

  • Richard Eisenberg, managing editor, PBS

  • Lindsay Goldman, L.M.S.W., director of healthy aging, Center for Health Policy and Programs, The New York Academy of Medicine

  • Moderator: Liz Seegert, AHCJ core topic leader/aging; independent journalist

Empire A, 2nd floor





10:15 - 11:45 a.m.

Maternal health disparities

The U.S. is the most dangerous affluent country in which to give birth, as rates of maternal mortality and life-threatening complications have been on the rise for years. The rates are much higher for black women, including in cities such as New York, Washington, Chicago and Houston. This panel will examine why black-white disparities in maternal health are wider than other health disparities and why urban settings may create special risks and challenges, focusing on structural and systemic issues at the community and hospital/provider levels. We will discuss how to find data and patient stories, how to interpret new research, and how to incorporate a reproductive justice framework when reporting on maternal health.
  • Elizabeth Howell, M.D., professor, Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • Lynn Roberts, Ph.D., assistant professor, Community Health and Social Sciences, The City University of New York

  • Annie Waldman, reporter, ProPublica

  • Moderator: Nina Martin, reporter, ProPublica

Bryant Park, 2nd floor  





11:45 a.m. - noon



Noon - 1:30 p.m.


Urban initiatives for mental health reform

One in five adult New Yorkers experience a mental health disorder in any given year, according to a conservative estimate from ThriveNYC, New York City's comprehensive mental health system. That same percentage of adults with mental health challenges can be found in cities across the country -- in their homes and in places that include homeless shelters, hospitals and prisons. Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City and the founder of ThriveNYC, will talk about efforts in New York and other U.S. cities to improve behavioral health systems. 

  • Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City and creator of ThriveNYC, a comp­re­hensive mental health plan

Empire B&C, 2nd floor

1:45 - 3 p.m.

Engaging minority populations: Overcoming historic mistrust to narrow health disparities

The changing health care landscape has brought a rising demand for providers to deliver care that offers both better outcomes and patient satisfaction. But a troubling past and ongoing feelings of neglect have left many minority communities with a lingering mistrust toward the medical community. Such issues have presented unique challenges for many hospitals that have sought to improve the overall health of these populations. This session will look at the issue of outreach from the perspective of health care professionals who have wrestled with these challenges and developed their own outreach strategies that are very much focused on bringing care to the individual on their terms.
  • Manmeet Kaur, CEO and founder, City Health Works
  • Joseph Ravenell, M.D., associate professor, Department of Population Health, New York University

  • Moderator: Steven Johnson, staff reporter, Modern Healthcare

Empire A, 2nd floor




1:45 - 3 p.m.

Childhood health challenges in urban settings

The air that city kids breathe, the places they play, the schools they attend, and the communities where they live all can shape their health. In many urban communities across the U.S., children are more likely to have severe, uncontrolled asthma and less likely to have safe, clean places to play outside. Apartment living can make it harder for city kids to avoid exposure to lead and second-hand cigarette smoke. Food deserts in many high-poverty urban neighborhoods can lead to both malnutrition and obesity. Toxic stress, which recent research suggests can have lasting health impacts across generations, is also more prevalent in many high-poverty urban communities and can lead to a wide range of physical and mental health problems for kids. We’ll look at health issues triggered by city life, and you’ll get story ideas and reporting tips for covering these issues.
  • Angela Diaz, M.D., director and professor, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center

  • Sumita Khatri, M.D., pulmonary specialist, Cleveland Clinic

  • Diana Romero, Ph.D., associate professor and department chair, Community Health and Social Sciences, The City University of New York

  • Moderator: Lisa Rapaport, independent journalist

Bryant Park, 2nd floor





3 - 3:15 p.m.



3:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Safe spaces: Will American cities accept harm reduction in the opioid crisis?

Should addicted people have a place where they can take illicit drugs under the watchful eyes of medical professionals? The purpose is to prevent overdoses, and dozens of cities around the world have opened such “supervised injection facilities” or “safe consumption spaces.” But the notion is extremely controversial in the U.S. Several cities have proposed opening such a center, but none has succeeded so far. This panel will feature the Vancouver physician who helped found North America’s first safe consumption site, along with activists and officials who have grappled with the issue in American cities. 
  • Clifton Garmon, senior policy analyst, VOCAL-NY

  • Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, Philadelphia city councilwoman

  • Bruce R. Schackman, Ph.D., Saul P. Steinberg distinguished professor of health care policy and research; director, Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV, Weill Cornell Medicine

  • Mark Tyndall, M.D., Sc.D., executive medical director, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control

  • Moderator: Felice Freyer, health care reporter, The Boston Globe

Empire A, 2nd floor






3:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Housing and health in urban environments

We all know that where you live has a big impact on your health — life expectancy varies drastically by ZIP code, even between places that are separated by only a few miles. We spend two-thirds of our lives where we live, so no place has a bigger impact on health than the homes we live in. Homes, and the neighborhoods they sit in, can be a source of safety, shelter and support. They can also harbor invisible environmental dangers such as lead paint and asthma-inducing mold and mildew, particularly for children in older, low-income areas. Even vacant homes, vacant lots and other neighborhood blight can have an effect. So what’s to be done? Come hear about simple housing policy changes and partnerships and their big effects.
  • Christine Appah, senior staff attorney, Environmental Justice Program, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

  • Brian Rahmer, Ph.D., M.S., vice president, Health and Housing, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

  • Lorna Thorpe, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor, Department of Population Health, New York University

  • Moderator: Brie Zeltner, reporter, The Plain Dealer

Bryant Park, 2nd floor