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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

Tracking Ebola by the missed opportunities to stop its spread

If a rubber plantation in one of the world’s poorest countries can successfully stop the spread of Ebola, shouldn't one of best-funded hospitals in one the wealthiest cities in the world be able to as well? Here's what reporters should look for in covering the story.

Hospitals, reporters miss low-hanging fruit in response to Ebola cases

When problems arise at a hospital, there are often three responses: Blame the patient, blame the nurse, or blame some forces beyond their control. All three happened in the wake of recent Ebola cases in Dallas, but reporters should be wary of those kinds of claims.

New medical board rules will allow doctors’ misdeeds to go unnoticed

The professional history of California doctor James Privitera includes a series of questionable practices that contributed to the death of at least one patient. And yet the physician's reprimand by the state medical board can be wiped from online records as early as next month.

Under new law, medical board reveals some doctor discipline, hides rest

Should California doctors' public records be expunged from an online database after 10 years? Patient safety advocates didn't think so, and helped pass legislation to undo that expiration date. But the new rules are full of serious compromises.

DEA puts tougher restrictions on hydrocodone drugs

New rules go into effect today that will make it harder for doctors to prescribe some of the nation's most popular painkillers. Doctors can no longer sign off on automatic refills, nor can they call or fax in prescriptions for hydrocodone products, now classified as Schedule II drugs.

Everybody Hurts: Medical Board explains new pain guidelines

The Medical Board of California has new guidelines for treating pain with drugs. Two board officials explain how the guidelines will work, and comment on the challenges doctors face in trying to diagnose pain and prescribe relief in short, infrequent patient visits.

Everybody Hurts: California Medical Board recommends compassion, caution in pain management

The Medical Board of California is currently discussing new guidelines for prescription pain medicines. The recommendations urge physicians to better distinguish between types of pain, remain vigilant for abuse, and help addicts find treatment.

Bed Count: Can Walmart fill the gaps left by hospital closures?

As hospital closures and physician shortages continue to afflict rural and low-income areas, Walmart is announcing an expansion of in-store primary care clinics in states such as Texas and South Carolina. Will this be the new face of primary care in rural regions?

California Medical Association challenges drug-tracking system in court

The California Medical Association has fought efforts to make the drug-tracking system CURES a better physician oversight tool. Now a weak case against a California doctor has given the doctors' lobby a fresh chance to undermine the system.

Case against California doctor jeopardizes drug-tracking system

The California Medical Board's case against a physician accused of improperly prescribing drugs has backfired, opening a door for the state’s influential doctors’ lobby to eliminate one of the board’s only weapons against reckless prescribing.

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Reporting on Underserved Communities



How can journalists and foundations collaborate to deepen and improve reporting on underserved communities? Our USC Annenberg School of Journalism program in collaboration with The California Endowment, the Wyncote Foundation and Media Impact Funders, convened 75 leaders from both fields.

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