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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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The death certificate helps tells a fuller story of Bill Paxton’s final days. Reporters should make a habit of seeking them out, since they can be revealing repositories of information.
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The tendency to blame the patient in the wake of deaths or complications often serves to obscure mistakes made by health care providers.
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What would a more thorough effort to figure out what went wrong in health care-related deaths look like? Does medicine need the equivalent of aviation's black box?
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Paxton’s death should prompt reporters to seek out expert opinions and remind readers of the very real risks that come with medical interventions.
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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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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.

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