first_img The Navajo Nation covers 27,413 square miles. Serving that entire area, the territory has just 10 grocery stores. This means that, in order to get fresh, affordable produce, some Navajo Nation residents must drive at least 155 miles round-trip, according to one recent study. This makes the Navajo Nation, like many other American Indian reservations, a food desert—a region in the United States where residents can’t easily buy fresh, healthy, affordable food. (Francie Diep, 7/17) The Washington Post: How Autistic Adults Banded Together To Start A Movement This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Since 2010, the US and 11 other countries bordering the Pacific Ocean have been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal that involves nearly half of world GDP. The agreement is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, encouraging trade among member countries, lowering tariffs, and opening up new pathways for the movement of goods among the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Chile, and other countries. But leaked drafts from the highly secretive negotiations have attracted criticism from the public heath community. (Julia Belluz, 7/18) Vox: Experts Say Obama’s Asian Trade Deal Could Drive Up The Cost Of Medicine It was Coney Island in the early 1900’s. Beyond the Four-Legged Woman, the sword swallowers, and “Lionel the Lion-Faced Man,” was an entirely different exhibit: rows of tiny, premature human babies living in glass incubators. Barkers, including a young Cary Grant, called out to passersby, enticing visitors to come see the preemies. The brainchild of this exhibit was Dr. Martin Couney, an enigmatic figure in the history of medicine. Couney created and ran incubator-baby exhibits on the island from 1903 to the early 1940s, and though he died in relative obscurity, he was one of the great champions of this lifesaving technology and is credited with saving the lives of thousands of the country’s premature babies. (William Brangham, 7/21) [Alanna] Whitney is part of a growing movement of autistic adults who are finding a sense of community, identity and purpose in a diagnosis that most people greet with dread. These “neurodiversity” activists contend that autism — and other brain afflictions such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — ought to be treated not as a scourge to be eradicated but rather as a difference to be understood and accepted. (Sandhya Somashekhar, 7/20) Jackie Todd is 27 years old, with sly eyes, a laugh that seems to come from deep in her belly, and thick, dirty-blond hair that she dyes a fiery copper hue. She also has a small computer inside of her chest. It’s constantly collecting information; it’s a diary of dates, times, and events. In a sense, Jackie’s whole life is archived in a code that she can’t interpret. She jokes that she’s part cyborg, but it’s not entirely a gag: a $50,000 machine is keeping her alive. (Jessica Leigh Hester, 7/17) PBS NewsHour: How A Coney Island Sideshow Advanced Medicine For Premature Babies center_img Longer Looks: Rising Maternal Mortality; Autistic Adults’ Pride; Drug Costs And The Trade Deal Each week KHN’s Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web. Pacific Standard: Why Obesity And Heart Disease Hit Harder In Indian Country Despite her many professional accomplishments, Nancy Snyderman, MD—head and neck surgeon, network medical correspondent for nearly 25 years—might best be remembered for the take-out soup incident of 2014. Snyderman was caught violating her self-imposed 21-day quarantine after returning from reporting on the Ebola epidemic in Liberia for NBC News in October. She was spied waiting in a car while a companion ducked into a New Jersey restaurant to pick up a to-go order of soup. Snyderman apologized and resumed reporting in December, but she departed NBC in March. (Rita Rubin, 7/22) The Economist: Exceptionally Deadly The Atlantic: Living With Invisible Illness For most of human history, pregnancy has come with a significant risk of death. Up until the early 1930s in America, nearly one woman died of related complications for every 100 live births. Thanks to advances in obstetric medicine and widened access to better care, the maternal-mortality rate declined by almost 99% over subsequent decades—one of the great public-health achievements of the 20th century. By 1987, fewer than eight women died for every 100,000 live births. Over the past quarter of a century, however, America’s maternal-mortality rate has been creeping back up. (7/18) Journal of the American Medical Association: Navigating The Minefields Of Medicine And Journalism last_img read more