Heather Boerner is an award-winning journalist who specializes in storytelling on healthcare issues. She's most interested in how people choose between equally important needs.
San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, De Queen, Arkansas. All over the country, RNs are working to provide exemplary care, no matter the age, income, race, or national origin of their patients. But if RNs and other healthcare providers are not sensitive to their patients’ immigration status and understand all the ramifications of living life in fear of government discovery or without access to serv- ices that legal residents take for granted, they, like San Juan, can miss things. Or assume things they shouldn’t—even something so basic as what it means to be “healthy.” Doing so can have very real consequences for not only individual undocumented patients, but society as a whole.
This story was produced as part of the Dennis A. Hunt Health Journalism Fund, a grant from the California Endowment and University of Southern California.
Angelina Jolie recently announced that she's had preventative mastectomies on both breasts. This story from 2009 describes how women like Jolie--and other people with genetic predispositions toward a variety of conditions--are meant to be protected from insurance and employer discrimination. But does it work? How a law designed to prevent genetic discrimination may not protect the patients who need it most.
Why are hospitals across the country so quick to shut down their skilled nursing facilities when patients need them now more than ever?
Winner of an Association for Health Care Journalists Award of Excellence in 2012.
Oral health is a key factor in overall health, yet our system is set up so that more Americans suffer from lack of dental care than even medical care. The results? Excruciating pain, long-term bad health, loss of job opportunities and even death.
Entire classes of nursing graduates are unable to find work simply because the hospital industry believes investing in new grads is bad for its bottom line. What troubles lie ahead, then, for the future of nursing?
How much of the so-called generation gap in nursing is based on truth, and how much on a fiction perpetuated by management to split up nurses? The answer is complicated, but one thing is clear: Nurses of all ages have more in common than not.