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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

William Heisel, former investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, writes about investigative health reporting. He is currently the director of global engagement at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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Massachusetts started sending email warning alerts to drug prescribers in 2013. But while some measures of drug abuse dropped in the following years, it’s hard to give credit to the alerts.
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Banks tend to be very good at alerting you to potential credit card fraud. Can drug tracking programs do as good a job at flagging risky prescription scenarios?
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After their daughter ended up with Tay-Sachs disease due to a lack of genetic screening, two fathers started pushing for change. They ended up creating the world’s largest funding organization for Tay-Sachs research.
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Doctors are famously busy. Would having their staff run checks of patients’ prescription histories instead make drug-tracking databases more effective?
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How do we begin to solve the prescription drug crisis ravaging communities across the country? A recent report points the way to promising solutions, including some that should've been implemented years ago.
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Parents love to make jokes about teenagers and their fitfully growing brains. But emerging researching supplies the science needed to understand the changes. In one key way, their brains are shrinking.
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Brain researchers have found a surprising commonality in how genes are expressed in the brain: There are just 32 different patterns. The finding opens up new horizons for treatments.
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When it comes to addressing disorders of the brain, the medical toolkit is weak. But new mapping projects underway could gradually change our ability to treat many common brain disorders.
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The U.S. has moved decisively toward fluoridation in water, which shows that it’s possible to move out of an area of doubt and confusion and into an era where good science is accepted and basic public health measures are taken.
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Clinton referred to some Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” and quickly alienated a large swathe of voters. Are journalists making a similar mistake with those who have doubts about the safety or efficacy of vaccines?

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The engagement editor's mission: to advance the work of our California media partners, furthering public knowledge, storytelling, engagement and connection around community health and health policy issues in diverse communities. The ideal candidate will have both journalism and community engagement experience. Go to this link to apply.

We're looking for journalists who think big and want to gain new insights into the effects on vulnerable children  and their families of poverty, trauma and toxic stress. The all-expenses-paid 2017 National Fellowship, which provides five days of intensive workshops, field trips and discussions, along with $2,000-$12,000 grants for reporting and community engagement and six months of mentoring. Click here for details. Deadline: March 24.

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