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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

License Overdrive: Why licensing doesn’t necessarily lead to better quality

Strict professional licensing rules don't necessarily translate into higher-quality work, as a recent report from the White House made clear. Might there be a smarter way? One option: directly regulate the companies that employ the people who are being subject to licensure.

License Overdrive: Professional licenses spread without rhyme or reason

I’d been going to the same woman to cut my hair for five years, and she was always the picture of calm. Until the day she looked at the front door as it was opening and said to me, “I have to run.” Then, her face the picture of panic, she ran.

Check’s in the Mail: Why it’s smart for organizations to clarify donors’ goals at the outset

Leaders of health organizations rightfully get excited when a big donation appears on the horizon. But long before the shovels hit dirt, it’s critical to have a frank discussion with donors to understand their needs and expectations. Think of Garth Brooks as a warning case.

Check’s in the Mail: Why suing over a failed donation could hurt

Many health care nonprofits rely on the good will of donors to carry out their missions. But when donors start to waver or renege on their committments, it's easy for organizations to prematurely reach for legal remedies, as contributing editor William Heisel explains.

Check’s in the Mail: Why you shouldn’t count your donation until it’s banked

Saint John’s Health Center in Los Angeles garnered media attention recently with the news that it was suing a donor after her estate refused to fulfill a multi-million dollar donation pledge. William Heisel explores what happens when dream donations turn into legal nightmares.

Haiti’s tuberculosis epidemic after earthquake offers key health lessons

A new study on tuberculosis in wake of the devastating 2010 Haitian earthquake offers a number of health policy lessons that hold true far beyond the tiny island nation. The country's robust approach to HIV testing is one of them.

Greek financial crisis could give way to health crisis

While the media focuses on the negotiations surrounding Greece's deepening debt crisis, another angle of the story has received less attention: A country on the financial brink is on the verge of a health crisis, too, with medicine shortages a real possibility.

Task force's recommendations on mammograms are lost in the noise

Despite new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 urging women to reevaluate how often they receive mammograms, there's still an incredible amount of confusion over how often women should undergo such screening tests.

A Public Death: Are digital records behind a paywall better than none at all?

At first, Virginia's announcement that it was digitizing millions of vital records seemed like a win. But a closer look reveals that the effort has placed the records behind a paywall that effectively hinders access. That's a shame, given the public health benefits that come with freer access.

Better Butter: What to watch for with the new FDA declaration on trans fats

On Tuesday, the FDA announced that it will require the food industry to eliminate the use of artificial trans fats by 2018. Does that mean trans fats will soon disappear completely? Not quite. Here are five things to watch for as the FDA’s new ruling rolls out.



Our upcoming webinar will explain what’s driving huge increases in drug prices, how these costs impact patients, and suggest ways in which journalists can cover this evolving story. Sign up HERE.

We are launching a new all-expenses-paid Fellowship in December 2015 to introduce 10 California journalists to the wealth of health data sources that can inform and elevate their reporting. The Fellowship includes a $1,000 reporting stipend and six months of mentoring.


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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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