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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

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.

No signature required to give nursing home residents antipsychotics

In California and many other states, skilled nursing facilities do not have to secure a signed consent from a resident or family member to administer antipsychotic drugs. Does that result in unnecessary use of potentially dangerous drugs?

Should signed consents be required to give nursing home residents antipsychotics?

In California, nursing home stakeholders are wrestling over what kind of guidelines to put in place for the prescription of antipsychotic drugs. A key question: What level of consent is appropriate and who should give it?

California could change how nursing home residents receive antipsychotics

Industry groups have argued for a drug form that does not require a patient or family member signature. That possibility has raised deep concerns among some patient advocates, who point out the drugs' potential dangers.

Bed Count: Hospital closures have little effect on patient deaths

ER visits are growing and the number of emergency departments is shrinking. Does that mean more people will be denied urgent care and suffer or die as a result? The effects might be smaller than you think, and a good reminder to question our assumptions as reporters.

Slap: Story on mental health challenges goes beyond blame game

Jenna Russell's recent three-part series for The Boston Globe presents a remarkably intimate, revealing portrait of a man and his family as they struggle to cope with his mental illness. Her reporting holds a number of lessons for journalists taking on projects that deal with mental health.

Slap: Last-ditch attempt by hospital to stop story feels like intimidation

As The Boston Globe readied a new three-part series for publication, a regional hospital chain tried suing a newspaper and a patient after it was prevented from disclosing a mentally ill patient's records. The suit was part of a series of serious miscalculations on the hospital's part.



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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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