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Center for Health Journalism Member Blog

The Center for Health Journalism invites journalists, policy thinkers and medical professionals to share their perspectives with our diverse and interdisciplinary community. Our member blog captures a range of perspectives on health, health policy and health journalism. Interested in blogging? Reach out to editor@centerforhealthjournalism.org.

Picture of Peter Lipson

When I was a kid, my parents gave me an Isaac Asimov book.  I don't remember which one, but it was non-fiction, and his way of engaging the reader directly immediately drew me in.  Several years later I found the works of Stephen Jay Gould.  I dug up every book of his I could find and ended up getting the hardcover of each new collection as it was published.

Picture of Hank Crook

I have completed one of my projects for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship. Last Wednesday, I produced an hour-long segment on These Days about the short- and long-term effects of concussions. The segment featured a neurosurgeon and a psychiatrist from the UCSD School of Medicine, and a ton of phone calls from our listeners.

Picture of Jennifer Biddle

One of the happiest moments of 2009 for me personally was when I found out I received a fellowship from the California Endowment to produce a video series on teen suicide.

Picture of Suzanne Bohan

On Thursday, Bay Area News Group (Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, etc.) hosted a live online chat with Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General, and Rich Hamburg, deputy director of Trust for America's Health. Health reporter Sandy Kleffman and I (the science reporter for the chain) moderated it.  

Both men responded to questions posted by participants on how Congressional health reform legislation offers an unprecedented amount of funds for disease prevention, and funds for novel programs to improve health by improving neighborhoods. It's archived at: 

Picture of Peter Lipson

C'mon, Times, it's not like you're some kind of penny-ante operation. You've got at least modest resources, you know like the internet and telephones to call up experts. Right?

I don't know whether it's a lack of resources, laziness, or ignorance that allows pieces like this one into the paper, but it doesn't change the craptastic nature of the piece.

The byline says:

Picture of Suzanne Bohan

While reporting for a four-part series on the wide gap in life expectancies and disease rates between people in nearby neighborhoods – due to drastically different conditions and social status – I expected to find that health care reform legislation would do little to address this issue. The reform legislation, after all, is primarily about health care insurance. But I was surprised to find that, for the first time, Congressional legislation contains at least $3.4 billion to focus on improving health disparities.

Picture of Wendy Wolfson

Front Groups opposing healthcare reform have gone virtual. You know those games those people with seemingly lots of spare time on their hands play on Facebook? The Silicon Alley Insider reports that astroturf groups are paying gamers in fake currency if they take surveys. The surveys then automatically send a letter opposing healthcare to Congress.

Picture of Sandy Kleffman

Larry Adelman, executive producer of the "Unnatural Causes" documentary series, and Dr. Anthony Iton, senior vice president for healthy communities at the California Endowment, will be joining Bay Area News Group for a live online chat about health inequities.

The discussion will begin at noon today at www.ContraCostaTimes.com/life-expectancy. Please feel free to join us.

This is part of a four-part series on health inequities that we began publishing Sunday.

Picture of Suzanne Bohan

On Sunday, a four-part series a year in the making runs in the Bay Area News Group. As the science reporter for the chain, I teamed with health reporter Sandy Kleffman to report and write this series.

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