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Health Matters Webinar Series

Previous Webinars

July 23, 2019

It’s a quiet crisis that has flown under the radar: Job-based health plans have become unaffordable for a growing share of the 156 million Americans who rely on them. Soaring deductibles and huge out-of-pocket costs have prompted hard decisions: Half of American families with job-based plans say they ration trips to the doctor, bypass the ER, and leave prescriptions unfilled. The median spending on premiums and out-of-pocket costs was more than $5,000 a year in states such as Nebraska and New Hampshire in 2017, while Hawaiians spent $1,500. That means there is a bevy of local stories to be told about the struggles of Americans with job-based plans. This webinar will give you the context and key data points to tell urgent and relatable local stories for your audience and communities. 

June 06, 2019

In communities across the country, children are quietly being poisoned by lead, asbestos and other toxins, while local governments and school districts delay fixes and fail to hold violators to account. The unaddressed hazards that result are ripe for local watchdog reporting, as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman demonstrated through their groundbreaking series “Toxic City,” a 2019 Pulitzer finalist. In this webinar, Laker and Ruderman will share their bold and unconventional strategies for environmental testing. Attendees will leave with fresh ideas for reporting and a renewed sense of urgency to tackle hidden threats in their communities.

April 23, 2019

Our health care system promotes extending life at all costs — sometimes sacrificing patients' own desires on how to spend their final moments. The emerging field of palliative care seeks to shift how we think about the end of life and how we communicate with doctors and family members. Dr. Sunita Puri, a leading practitioner in this field, has found a way to harness the intimate power of storytelling to spur a deeper discussion about how patients and doctors can work together to restore meaning and dignity to the end of life. In this webinar, she’ll share insights and suggestions for those seeking to deepen their coverage of palliative care and the end of life.

March 28, 2019

No health care policy idea has made a bigger splash or generated more buzz lately than “Medicare for All.” As 2020 presidential campaigns ramp up, several Democratic candidates have voiced support for a single-payer health care system, while critics argue such policies “would bankrupt us for a very long time.” What’s the difference between Medicare-for-all and Medicare-for-some? And how can we best inform the public about what such programs could mean for the U.S. health care system? This webinar will cut through the confusion and share crucial perspectives from the emerging debate.

January 22, 2019

Rural regions across the country are facing a growing wave of hospital closures, shutterings that can pose huge burdens for those in need of urgent care. Hospital closures come as rural America confronts a series of health crises that go beyond the opioid crisis: higher rates of teen births, disabled workers, cardiovascular disease, as well as deaths from cancer and chronic lung disease. This webinar will provide a fresh overview of the trend and explain the forces driving closures and what they mean for health. Reporters will gain crucial context and insights that will deepen their coverage of imperiled health centers and the communities that rely on them.

November 08, 2018

Health care tops voter concerns in the run-up to the midterm elections, beating out the economy and jobs. And voters are right to be concerned. The midterms will have enormous implications for the future of U.S. health care policy. In this webinar, we'll bring together two leading experts – a Republican and a Democrat — to decode the election outcome so that you can inform your audiences of what’s next. Participants will gain insights on where the health care fight goes from here and which storylines merit attention in the months to come.

October 09, 2018

A growing body of research over the past decade has begun to tease out the ways the experience of geography and discrimination affect physiology and health. Neighborhood conditions, access to healthy food, the experience of race and class — such forces can influence everything from average lifespan to chronic disease rates to birth outcomes. At the same time, an emerging field of science is showing how these drivers of health are manifested down to the level of our DNA. The webinar will cover key insights from the research, explain its implications for public policy, and explore how this new understanding might change how we report on health.

September 06, 2018

All reporting beats have learning curves, but covering health care can be an especially tough assignment. In this webinar, we’ll share lessons and tips from two of the country’s leading health care policy reporters. They’ll give fellow reporters a behind-the-scenes look at how they track news developments, ferret out original stories and stay on top of their beat every day. Whether you work at a small weekly or a major daily, this webinar will offer ideas, strategies and tips you can put to use right away.

July 17, 2018

It could be a big year for Medicaid expansion. Virginia is expanding its program to include single adults; a judge recently ordered Maine’s governor do so; and ballot initiatives in four other states could lead to further expansions. But the biggest wave of change is being led by Republican governors, as Medicaid work requirements find a newly receptive audience under President Donald Trump. Currently seven states are seeking federal waivers to add work rules, following the leads of Kentucky, Indiana, New Hampshire and Arkansas. In this webinar, we’ll explore the policy shift and outline questions reporters should be asking. 

June 18, 2018

In a rare move, the U.S. Department of Justice has sided with a legal effort by 20 Republican-led states to upend the Affordable Care Act’s core provisions — one of only two instances in recent memory when the federal government has failed to defend a current law. The Texas-led lawsuit argues that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the law’s promise of coverage to people with preexisting conditions must be overturned. The Justice Department says it can’t find any “reasonable arguments” to support the ACA’s provisions. Could this case spell the end of Obamacare? This timely briefing will help participants understand what this latest legal challenge means for the future of health reform in their communities.

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Announcements

Got a great idea for a reporting project on the health of underserved communities in California or on the performance of the state's health and social safety nets?  We're offering reporting grants of $2,000 to $10,000, plus six months of mentoring, to up to eight individual journalists, newsrooms or cross-newsroom collaboratives.  Deadline to apply:  September 20.

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