Two projects by ProPublica and its partners are finalists for the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation’s journalism awards. “Stillbirths: When Babies Die Before Taking Their First Breath” is a finalist for the General Circulation Journalism Award. And an investigation by ProPublica, The Texas Tribune and The Washington Post that revealed how the chaotic medical response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, delayed care for victims is a finalist for the Digital Media Award.
The stillbirths series, by Duaa Eldeib, examines the lack of comprehensive attention and action that has contributed to a stillbirth crisis in the U.S. Eldeib shattered the silence around the more than 20,000 stillbirths that occur every year and uncovered a cascade of failures that have contributed to the U.S. lagging other developed nations in reducing its stillbirth rate. Eldeib found that a lack of research, data collection and analysis, medical providers who dismissed or ignored the concerns of pregnant people and too few fetal autopsies were significant barriers to better understanding and preventing stillbirths. Research shows that as many as 1 in 4 stillbirths may be preventable.
ProPublica’s investigation also revealed how racial disparities have compounded the crisis. In addition, the reporting showed how a series of government decisions early on in the pandemic led to confusion and low vaccine uptake among pregnant people and allowed misinformation to flourish.
With compassion and sensitivity, Eldeib shared the stories of people who have been failed by a health care system that often does not listen to them. Families, medical providers and lawmakers responded to the series, and legislation that was moribund is getting a new push.
“Uvalde records reveal chaotic medical response as victims lost blood,” by The Washington Post, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, for the first time showed that communication lapses and muddled lines of authority among medical responders further hampered treatment to victims after police finally confronted the shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The chaotic scene exemplified the flawed response — captured in video footage, investigative documents, interviews and radio traffic — that experts said undermined the chances of survival for some victims.
See a list of all NIHCM Awards finalists.