Charles Ornstein

Deputy Managing Editor

Photo of Charles Ornstein

Charles Ornstein is a deputy managing editor at ProPublica, overseeing the Local Reporting Network, which works with local news organizations to produce accountability journalism on issues of importance to their communities. From 2008 to 2017, he was a senior reporter covering health care and the pharmaceutical industry. He then worked as a senior editor.

Prior to joining ProPublica, he was a member of the metro investigative projects team at the Los Angeles Times. In 2004, he and Tracy Weber were lead authors on a series on Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, a troubled hospital in South Los Angeles. The articles won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service.

In 2009, he and Weber worked on a series of stories that detailed serious failures in oversight by the California Board of Registered Nursing and nursing boards around the country. The work was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

He previously worked at the Dallas Morning News, where he covered health care on the business desk and worked in the Washington bureau. Ornstein is a past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists and an adjunct journalism professor at Columbia University. Ornstein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Inept Nurses Free to Work in New Locales

Dozens of Criminal Registered Nurses Identified by California Regulators

Fingerprint checks of thousands of California nurses not previously subject to background checks have turned up dozens of convictions of crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. The checks are now required in part because of investigations by ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times.

Calif. Registered Nursing Board Follows Up on Our Nurses Stories

The California Board of Registered Nursing has taken actions against nurses featured in a series of stories by ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times. Among the actions were revocations and suspensions of licenses.

A 'Crazy' Way for an Industry to Operate

Temp Firms a Magnet for Unfit Nurses

California Adopts Stricter Rules for Drug Abusers in the Health Industry

Addressing concerns about health workers who abuse drugs, often stealing hem from patients, California will now require nurses, dentists and other health workers in state-run recovery programs to take at least 104 drug tests in their first year, and a single positive test will remove a worker, at least temporarily.

Loose Reins on Nurses in Drug Abuse Program

Troubled Nursing Board Defends Itself

Sanctioned California Nurses Database

Search the California Board of Registered Nursing database for disciplinary procedures between 2002 and September 2009.

Veronica Glaubach: Joy of Birth, Then Tragedy

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