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Health Matters Webinar Series

Previous Webinars

April 15, 2020

As health systems across the country brace for a surge of COVID-19 patients, some hospitals have already been forced to make unprecedented decisions about who gets care and whether patients on the brink of death should be resuscitated. The heated debate is fueled by shortages of protective equipment and ventilators and the high risks faced by health care providers on the frontlines. In this webinar, we’ll discuss what questions journalists should ask providers and health systems to gauge their plans and preparedness and to understand the hard calls they are making on rationing care. Palliative care specialist and author Dr. Sunita Puri will join the Center for Health Journalism for a moderated discussion.

April 08, 2020

It’s already been called the story of our lifetime, and it’s moving with a speed and ferocity that makes it exceedingly hard for reporters to cover. Yet audiences everywhere are desperate for updates and accurate information on COVID-19 amid a growing backdrop of fear and uncertainty. How do you best focus your reporting energy in the midst of such a vast crisis? Lisa Krieger, science and medicine reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, has covered every angle of the spreading outbreak, from testing debacles to the most promising potential new treatments. In this webinar, Krieger will share how she stays on top of the story every day, and offer immediately actionable tips that will bolster your own coverage.

February 28, 2020

Every day brings a flurry of new coronavirus headlines and a growing number of cases around the globe. While China remains the epicenter of the outbreak, experts warn of a possible global pandemic that could wreak havoc on health systems and vulnerable populations. There have been only a dozen cases to date in the U.S. and experts say the current risk to Americans is low. But that could quickly change if measures to curb the virus fail. In this webinar, you will hear the latest updates from top experts and a leading journalist tracking the story, providing crucial context and insights for reporting responsibly on this fast-moving public health threat.

February 19, 2020

Health care is among the most crucial issues for voters heading into the 2020 election season. Soaring insurance deductibles and drug prices are crippling many families' budgets, premiums continue their steady upward march, and a legislative fix to the problem of surprise bills remains elusive. Meanwhile, a philosophical divide has riven the Democratic party: Fix the ACA and pursue incremental reforms or pursue a more dramatic overhaul of the health system? This webinar will bring together two top national health policy reporters and a veteran health policy expert to provide a timely overview of the leading candidates’ health care positions. 

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.

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.

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Announcements

The Center for Health Journalism is dedicated to supporting journalists covering two of the biggest stories of our time -- the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism and inequities in America. We provide reporters with intensive training instituteswebinars and tips about craft and content and are providing deep and sustained support for reporters and their newsrooms in this historic and difficult moment. You can donate through the USC web portal at this link: https://bit.ly/3c8d4xs  Pressed for time? You can also text to donate! No amount is too small; just send a text to 41-444 and type the message CHJ for further instructions.

 

In this webinar, we'll look at how journalists can tell urgent stories as states reopen and workers are potentially forced to choose between their health and their economic survival. Sign-up here!

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