I've stepped out of the public radio world to try my hand at brand journalism. To me, that means telling stories about an organization the people it touches, in this case, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. I'm traveling the country, learning how Blue plans are trying to make healthcare work better. Because, let's face it, in some regards, our healthcare system is messed up. People don't always get the care they need, when they need it. But there are people and organizations trying to fix that. And I aim to find those stories. I'll post some audio stories as I gather them.
I'm getting excited to be a panelist Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 on WHYY's Behavioral Health Journalism Workshop: Covering the Opiate Epidemic. I'll be on a panel with some other great journalists: Ben Allen, Jason Cherkis, and Stephen Stirling. Should be a great discussion about the stories we've covered and why and what lies ahead. This is a tragedy in slow motion - the opioid epidemic, that is - and we can't stop putting our lenses, microphones, and pens on the job.
I just submitted my entry for KCRW's Independent Producer Project's 4th Annual Radio Race. You get a theme, and have 24 hours to turn a story - non fiction, 4 minutes or less - on that theme. The theme this year was "Out of range." And here's the story I sent in.
Happy to say I've won a regional 2016 Edward R. Murrow award for my series "At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop It' and a 2016 Metcalf award from Rhode Island for Community & Justice for my series "Children in Crisis: Child Welfare in the Ocean State."
Very humbled and honored!
You can find the series, for which I contributed a story called "Tiny Opioid Patients Need Help Easing Into Life," here: http://www.npr.org/series/471894379/treating-the-tiniest-opioid-patients.
We cover the difficult entry many babies have into the world, what it's like for moms who may have been in treatment - taking methadone - for their addiction, but still risk giving birth to a baby in withdrawal, and how the medical system is adapting to deal with the growing number of babies dependent on opioids.
Step by step. This may take a while.