Journalism in the Public Interest


Chicago Tribune, ProPublica Help Drive Illinois Nursing Home Overhaul

In part because of ProPublica's reporting, Illinois' governor has a bill to end many of the flaws in the state's broken system of nursing homes. Among its measures are informed consent for patients given psychotropic drugs.

May 10: This post has been updated.

Last fall, we joined forces with The Chicago Tribune on stories that critically examined Illinois' broken system of nursing homes. Last week, the Illinois Legislature sent Gov. Pat Quinn a 159-page bill that promises to end many of the system's flaws.

Stories by Tribune reporters David Jackson and Gary Marx exposed violence linked to felons and mentally ill patients housed in nursing homes, and the bill takes aim squarely at that issue. Reporting by ProPublica's Christina Jewett and the Tribune's Sam Roe focused on accusations that one psychiatrist who worked in those homes had overmedicated patients and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from the makers of psychotropic drugs. The bill would ensure the informed consent of residents who are administered such medications.

Jewett has since moved on to cover health and welfare at the investigative nonprofit California Watch.

How about a little reporting on the flood in Tennessee that was ignored by the media?