Health and Health Care

This page provides links to assist in reporting on health and health care. Please click here to access older blog items that may be of interest to those reporting on health and health care.

Please let the Institute know about links that do not work, or about sources we should add. If a resource here helped you in covering a story, please let us know by emailing al.cross@uky.edu.

Rosalynn Carter Fellowships help journalists report about mental health; applications due April 16

Carter Center Mental Health Program is providing six Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for journalists to report on a selected mental-health or mental-illness topic for one year. The center overseen by former president Jimmy Carter says its intention is to increase accuracy in reporting about these issues and decrease the prevalence of incorrect and stereotypical information.

Applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in print or electronic journalism. If selected, they will be required to attend orientation and presentation meetings at the beginning and end of the fellowship year. They will also be awarded a $10,000 stipend, but will not be required to leave their current job.

Those wishing to participate must submit a completed application by April 16, 2012. Awards will be announced July 13, 2012. For more information and the application packet, click here.

Tobacco: A subject rural journalists should cover

The U.S. has few tobacco farmers left, and they number fewer than 10,000 even in Kentucky, which has long had more growers than any other state. But rates of smoking and other tobacco use remain high i9n many rural areas, and the impact is seen in disease and death rates in those areas.

To help rural journalists in Kentucky cover tobacco issues in their communities, the Institute conducted three "Sorting Through the Smoke" seminars in Western, Central and Eastern Kentucky in mid-2009. Speakers discussed the impact of tobacco use on youth and the state budget, public-health approaches to tobacco use, the health effects of second- and third-hand smoke, and the effects of smoke-free laws and regulations on local health, economics, personal freedom and property rights. (Read More)

TOPIC: Time to ask local dentists about children's oral health

One in five U.S. children each year go without dental care, and states vary widely in their use of Medicaid and other programs for pediatric oral health, according to an analysis by the Pew Center on the States (PDF). "A 50-state report card shows that just six states earned an A and that 36 states received a C or lower," the center reports. Much of the problem is in rural areas.

Which dentists in your locality are in Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and disabled? Do some take it only for children? What reasons do they give for accepting or not accepting it? Do they fear that their more well-to-do customers don't like sitting in a waiting room with poor people and their children? If they say that's not a factor, why do some dentists schedule Medicaid patients for certain days of the week? What do they think is the state of pediatric oral health in your community, and what do they think could be done to improve it? What other questions should you ask?


Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org/
"The Lung Cancer Alliance is the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to advocating for people living with lung cancer or those at risk for the disease. Our initiatives aim to educate public policy leaders of the need for greater resources for lung cancer research while changing the face of lung cancer and reducing the stigma associated with the disease. We offer unique patient education and support programs focused on helping people directly affected by lung cancer."

National Rural Health Association, www.ruralhealthweb.org/
"The association’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of rural Americans and to provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education, research and leadership. The NRHA membership is made up of a diverse collection of individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health."

Public Health Reports, www.asph.org/document.cfm?page=713
"We [The Association of Schools of Public Health] publish this peer-reviewed journal bi-monthly--six issues offering articles in three main areas: public health practice, research, and viewpoints/commentaries. In the past five years we have tackled such topics as tobacco control, teenage violence, occupational disease and injury, immunization, drug policy, lead screening, health disparities, and many other key issues. The Journal's authors are on the front line of public health, and we present their work in a readable and accessible format."

Association of Health Care Journalists, www.healthjournalism.org/
"The Association of Health Care Journalists, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. "


Department of Health and Human Services, www.hhs.gov/
"The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves."

Healthcare Informatics Online, www.healthcare-informatics.com/
This site is a good source for healthcare-related story ideas.

Hospital Compare by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/
Compare how hospitals treat different medical conditions.

Office of Rural Health Policy, www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth/ 301-443-0835

Technology for long-term care, www.techforltc.org
"Technology for Long-Term Care is a free government funded resource containing information on hundreds of technology products to improve quality of life and care for people in long-term care settings such as nursing homes, assisted living, boarding care, and adult day care programs."


My Personal Health Record, www.myphr.com
A guide to understanding your records.


Hospital Compare, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov
Patients view safety ratings of hospitals near them. Hospitals are rated on surgical complications, infections, mishaps and potentially avoidable deaths.

Sorting Through The Smoke, http://sortingthroughthesmoke.com/
Sorting through the Smoke "provides state and county-level data, local expert contact information, regional news coverage and resources to help tell the story behind tobacco in Kentucky."

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, www.ahrq.gov
This offers a variety of sites including information on funding and health research.

National Institutes of Health, http://www.nih.gov/about/ethics_COI.htm
NIH offers material on conflicts of interest in research.

AMEDEO "The Medical Literature Guide," www.amedeo.com
This site lets you research medical topics and each week it will email you bibliographic lists of new scientific literature on those topics and links to abstracts of the articles themselves.

Medical search site, www.healthline.com
"Search the web's best health sites."

Population Reference Bureau, www.prb.org
Search population and health data on 95 demographic variables for 220-plus countries in the world. Provides stories on a variety of trends.

Atlas of Children's Health and the Environment, World Health Organization
The World Health Organization's atlas covers threats such as contaminated drinking water, indoor smoke, and the presence of dioxins and furans. A country-by-country breakout of the estimated effects around the world is provided.

United Health Foundation's Health Rankings, United Health Foundation
Find out where states rank nationally in health, and what some states are doing to be ranked healthier than others.


Kentucky Voices for Health, http://www.kyvoicesforhealth.org/
A coalition of concerned Kentuckians building a healthy Kentucky together.

The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues helps non-metropolitan media define the public agenda in their communities, through strong reporting and commentary on local issues and on broader issues that have local impact. Its initial focus area is Central Appalachia, but as an arm of the University of Kentucky it has a statewide mission, and it has national scope. It has academic collaborators at Appalachian State University, East Tennessee State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgia College and State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Marshall University, Middle Tennessee State University, Ohio University, Southeast Missouri State University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Washington and Lee University, West Virginia University and the Knight Community Journalism Fellows Program at the University of Alabama. It is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the University of Kentucky, with additional financial support from the Ford Foundation. To get notices of Rural Blog postings and other Institute news, click here.

Institute for Rural Journalism & Community Issues
School of Journalism and Telecommunications, College of Communications & Information Studies
122 Grehan Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0042
Phone 859-257-3744 - Fax 859-323-3168

Al Cross, director al.cross@uky.edu