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Health Matters Webinar Series

Upcoming

December 19, 2019

Pity the poor senior who now has to sort through the wilderness of Medicare options. Traditional Medicare was already a maze, and the rise of Medicare Advantage plans adds yet another layer of complexity to seniors’ decision making. The difficult choices they make can have profound implications for their health and finances. It’s an area that begs for more quality journalism that can inform and educate American seniors on a critical health care decision. What’s at stake for seniors in your community as private companies increasingly administer Medicare? This webinar will help get you started covering an essential story about a program that covers 60 million Americans across the country.

Previous Webinars

November 26, 2019

With the impeachment inquiry dominating headlines for the foreseeable future, it may seem like an unlikely moment for a major legislative push to lower drug prices in Congress. But calls for relief garner broad public support, and both the House and Senate have spent months advancing their respective plans. Do they have a shot? Meanwhile, dozens of states have passed laws that aim to make drug prices more transparent. Can such state-level moves compensate for federal inaction if the Pelosi and Grassley-Wyden plans stall out in the House? This webinar will give an overview of the proposals and weigh in on the future of the battle to curb soaring drug prices.  

October 10, 2019

A green wave is sweeping the nation, with Illinois soon to become the 11th state to fully legalize marijuana. More than three times as many states now allow medical marijuana. Yet big questions remain about the potential health benefits and risks of cannabis products, with little research available to guide doctors and policymakers. While nearly all Democratic presidential candidates have embraced legalization, the drug remains a controlled substance under federal law, creating a looming conflict between the patchwork of state laws and the federal government. While a few outlets have pioneered standout coverage of these complex issues, huge reporting gaps remain. That means there are countless stories to be told at the national, state and local level about the health benefits and risks as well as the policy challenges posed by the booming cannabis industry. This webinar will offer crucial context, insights and storylines to get you started.

September 11, 2019

The Trump administration has just finalized a new immigration rule that could make it far harder for U.S. immigrants to obtain green cards or work visas if a complex government test deems them likely to use public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps or housing assistance. The effects of this “public charge” rule could reach far beyond the nearly 400,000 people seeking green cards within the U.S. every year. Rampant fear and confusion about the forthcoming rule, announced last year, have led a growing number of immigrant families in the United States to forgo public benefits and health care. This webinar will help reporters understand how the public charge rule is shaping the health of immigrant families, and provide key data points, resources and story ideas.

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.

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Announcements

Medicare Advantage plans are surging in popularity. What’s at stake for seniors in your community as private companies increasingly administer Medicare? This webinar will help cover an essential story on a program that covers 60 million Americans across the country. Sign-up here!

In this season of giving, you can support journalism that saves lives by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Center for Health Journalism. For 15 years, the Center has made it possible for reporters to call attention to untold stories, highlight solutions and bring communities together around common aims. In today’s difficult news environment, the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism provides critical support so that reporters can produce ambitious, game-changing projects on health and well-being. You can text to donate. No amount is too small; just send a text to 41-444 and type the message CHJ for further instructions.

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