Resource Center

Stories

 

 

 

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.

 

 

 



Search results for "medical center" ...

  • Stolen Honor

    Charles Giles was New Jersey’s most famous World Trade Center survivor. His dramatic story of being pulled alive from the ruins of the North Tower, and the terrible health problems he sustained from months of working on search and recovery efforts made him the face of efforts to secure health benefits for first responders, and helped him collect tens of thousands of dollars in donations to help him pay mounting medical bills and stave off foreclosure. There was only one problem. Almost everything everyone thought they knew about the man…was a lie.

    Tags: Health; 9/11

    By Walt Kane

    News 12 New Jersey (Edison, N.J. )

    2013

  • Pain Pillar Investigated by DEA

    Our attraction to the story of deaths at a clinic run by Dr. Lynn Webster was simple irony. We marveled at how a clinic run by someone who is considered -- at least among pain physicians -- the leading voice about safely prescribing opioids -- could have had so many deaths. Webster is the president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the author of the "Opioid Risk Tool," a checklist that is said to enable doctors to distinguish painkiller addicts from legitimate pain patients. Our initial off-the-record conversations indicated that the Drug Enforcement Agency was investigating a number hovering around 100 deaths. Webster acknowledged, and later denied, up to 20 deaths at the clinic over two decades. Of course, an investigation like this is fraught with complexity. There is the issue of monies that Webster receives from the pharmaceutical industry, and how that might influence his philosophy about prescribing, and the practices at his clinic. We also considered the detail that Webster often was not the person prescribing the medications to patients who eventually died. And there is the complicated nature of opioid prescribing. Despite an 11-year increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in accidental overdose deaths for this class of medications, there remains a hot debate about their utility for patients in chronic pain. We aimed to touch on at least some of these issues in our television piece; and dig a little deeper in a longer piece for CNN digital. Our focus on both platforms was on a case in which Webster was allegedly very involved -- that of Carol Ann Bosley. We also focused our efforts on unearthing more information about deaths at the clinic. The strength of our investigation lay with uncovering information that had previously been unreported -- in particular, allegations of improper involvement by Dr. Webster in the Utah medical examiner's determination about Bosley's cause of death. During a conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Bosley's husband also revealed a previously unreported item about Dr. Webster allegedly luring his wife back to treatment on opioids after she had kicked her habit. CNN also spoke on-camera with Bruce Webb, who lost a loved one after care at Lifetree, along with several others off-camera. Some sources of information about practices at Lifetree were gathered from people filing lawsuits against the clinic. We also mined information from people who had posted comments online about Lifetree Clinic (in one case we tracked down, after several weeks, a person who lost her mother after treatment there, who called the clinic "Deathtree.") CNN was able to use accounts from online posters to bolster the claims of our investigation. Repeated requests by CNN to the Utah Department of Professional Licensing for information about medical malpractice alleged against either Lifetree Clinic or Dr. Webster were denied. We received a handful of cases from that agency, with heavy redaction, none of which contained serious allegations. We pressed for weeks and, after many phone calls, through a source we were able to unearth a claim. It involved a woman who died of an overdose after receiving care at Lifetree, whose prescriptions soared while she was a patient. Of course with all of this information indicating alleged wrongdoing at Lifetree, under Dr. Webster's watch, we wanted his perspective. Through a spokesperson, Dr. Webster strenuously objected -- repeatedly -- to appearing on-camera to address allegations against him. Even when the request was framed in terms of clarifying his approach to opioid prescribing more generally, leaving out any patient claims, the doctor declined. Since our investigation, both on television and online, we spurred a renewed discussion on social media about painkiller use and abuse, and the role of doctors. Off-the-record, we hear that our reporting has spurred some movement in the DEA's continuing investigation of Dr. Webster.

    Tags: Lynn Webster; Drug Enforcement Agency; Opiod

    By Jennifer Bixler

    CNN

    2013

  • Deadly Neglect

    Major change is now possible for residents at California’s 7,500 assisted living homes thanks to a team of reporters from U-T San Diego and the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting at USC. It took a year’s worth of data-collection and analysis, examination of thousands of paper documents and shoe-leather journalism to produce “Deadly Neglect,” a series of stories that exposed death and abuse at assisted living facilities in San Diego County. The stories revealed that over the past seven years at least 27 deaths had occurred to assisted living residents in which negligence played a role. They found homes where residents were given wrong or no medication, and a state agency that didn’t keep track of the deaths it investigated. More than half a dozen state legislators,, outraged by the team’s findings, have announced the Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Reform Act of 2014, a group of 14 reform bills that will be introduced in this year’s legislative session.

    Tags: Assisted Living; Death; Abuse; Medicine

    By Deborah Schoch, Jeff McDonald, Matt Clark, Paul Sisson

    U-T San Diego and the CHCF Center for Health Reporting

    2013

  • OUT OF BREATH: The Untold Story of Big Money, Black Lung and Doctors for the Coal Companies. An ABC News Brian Ross Investigation with the Center for Public Integrity

    A yearlong investigation, Out of Breath exposed how eminent doctors at a renowned institution, working at the behest of the coal industry, have helped deny sick and dying miners the meager benefits and affordable medical care they need to survive.

    Tags: coal industry; benefits; affordable medical care; broadcast; injustice; black lung disease; Congress; Johns Hopkins Hospital; Sen. Jay Rockefeller

    By Brian Ross; Chis Hamby

    ABC News

    2013

  • Ken and Rosie

    After many months of negotiation, NBC News’ Senior Investigative correspondent Lisa Myers and Rock Center producer Diane Beasley gained exclusive, unprecedented access to the highly secretive world of biomedical research and one of the few labs in the country that still uses chimpanzees in invasive research, The Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Our report took viewers inside the lab to see how the chimps live and explored the raging ethical and scientific debate over using our closest relative for invasive biomedical research. We spotlighted the plight of 2 aging chimps with health problems, ”Ken and Rosie,” who have spent virtually all 30 years of their lives in research labs, and undergone many painful procedures and raised the question of whether they now deserve to be retired to a sanctuary. We obtained the chimps medical records and revealed that both have serious health problems, even though the lab claims they are healthy and perfect candidates for research. We asked tough questions of the Director of the Primate Center, Dr. John VandeBerg, who asserted that his lab provides a high quality of life for chimpanzees and is just as good as a sanctuary so they should live out their lives in labs.. He said “I think of chimpanzees in the same way that I think of a library. There are many books in the library that will never be used this year or next year. Many of them might never be used again. But we don't know which ones will be needed tomorrow, next year or the year after." Scientists here claim “invasive” research usually is just a needle prick or a blood draw. But, under questioning, a scientist admits that 5 chimps here have died in the last decade during research. Then, we went to the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana—known as CHIMP HAVEN—to contrast the life for retired lab chimpanzees there to that in the lab and show that some retired chimpanzees still haven’t recovered from their life of confinement and experimentation. The stories featured primatologist Jane Goodall and included compelling footage of chimps she helped release from a lab in Austria when they finally were free to go outside for the first time. She argues that these creatures are so intelligent that all invasive research is torture and that, given their age and medical problems, Ken and Rosie, in particular deserve to be retired.

    Tags: biomedical research; biomedical; labs; chimpanzees; research; health

    By Diane Beasley; Lisa Myers

    NBC News

    2012

  • University President Syndrome

    An investigation into alleged misspending by the president of a prestigious medical school in Dallas.

    Tags: UT Southwestern Medical Center; President; Misappropriation; Dallas

    By Reese Dunklin; Sue Goetinck Ambrose

    Dallas Morning News

    2012

  • 98 Minutes

    "98 Minutes" is a collaborative multimedia investigation by WBEZ and the Center for Public Integrity. The project examines the death of a temporary worker due to burns he suffered on the job at a Chicago-area factory. It also examines crucial workplace-safety enforcement issues affecting temporary workers, a growing part of the U.S. labor force. Our reporting found that these temp workers face distinct hazards and that the federal government isn’t keeping close track of their injuries. Highlights of the investigation include (a) data, acquired and analyzed by WBEZ, that expose the lack of federal record-keeping concerning temp-worker injuries and (b) a U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration internal memorandum, acquired by CPI, that recommends criminal prosecution for alleged safety violations found during inspections triggered by the death, (c) recorded comments from top national OSHA officials recorded in ambush-style settings after the agency had failed to grant repeated interview requests and (d) recorded comments from a recently retired top regional OSHA official who suggested a way for the agency to step up inspections of temp-worker job sites. The project, co-reported by WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell and CPI’s Jim Morris, includes five components: (1) a 12-minute broadcast story, (2) a 3,500-word text story, (3) a timeline with still photos and text enabling web visitors to follow the 98 minutes between the worker’s accident and his arrival at an appropriate medical facility, (4) data visualizations showing the growing number of U.S. temporary workers and the lack of federal records about their injuries and (5) a 25-minute conversation about temporary-worker hazards and safety enforcement. The conversation, broadcast live and recorded for web streaming, includes experts and listener callers.

    Tags: workplace safety; OSHA; injuries; temporary workers

    By Chip Mitchell; Jim Morris

    Center for Public Integrity

    2012

  • Diabetes Test Strip Resale: A Million-Dollar Grey Market

    Diabetes is an epidemic in the US. It’s also a billion dollar industry. One of the most important aspects of diabetes care is a one-time use plastic strip that patients use to monitor their blood sugar. An investigation by KUOW Public Radio found that this little plastic strip is at the center of a million dollar grey market.

    Tags: Murphy; diabetes; medical

    By Patricia Murphy

    KUOW

    2012

  • Los Angeles VA Has Made Millions on Rental Deals

    This story is about one of the most fought-over pieces of property in Los Angeles, the 400 acre Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus in West Los Angeles. It’s in an affluent neighborhood and has been a target of developers. But with many unused buildings, it’s also been coveted as a place to house some of L.A.’s 8,000 homeless veterans. That was the original use of the land, which was donated for an Old Soldiers’ Home in the late 19th century. The VA has not acted on plans announced in 2007 to begin rehabbing unused buildings there for housing for homeless vets. Meanwhile, it’s rented out land and buildings to commercial enterprises. There is no public accounting for this income. Through FOIA and other documents, we found that the VA is renting out the property using a law intended for sharing health care resources, though the renters are non-health related commercial enterprises. We were also able to estimate that the VA has taken in at least 28 million and possibly more than 40 million dollars over the past dozen years, far more than the cost of re-habbing a building to house homeless vets.

    Tags: Property; neighborhood; land uses; veterans

    By Reporter, Ina Jaffe; Editors: Quinn O’Toole; Stephen Drummond

    National Public Radio

    2012

  • No Small Thing

    The Poughkeepsie Journal series “No Small Thing” goes where no other newspaper or media outlet has – it challenges the mainstream medical dogma on Lyme disease. In rigorously documented articles, Projects Writer Mary Beth Pfeiffer concludes that the major actors in this public health scandal -- chiefly the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Disease Society of America – have minimized and mismanaged a burgeoning epidemic of tick-borne disease at great harm to thousands of infected people. These two powerful institutions have held – in policy and pronouncement -- that Lyme disease is easy to diagnose and easy to cure. It is neither.

    Tags: Media coverage; public health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC

    By Mary Beth Pfeiffer

    The Poughkeepsie Journal

    2012