Sheri Fink


Dr. Sheri Fink is a former reporter at ProPublica, where her story “The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” co-published by ProPublica and the New York Times Magazine, received a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and a National Magazine Award for reporting. The story was the basis for her New York Times bestselling book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013), about choices made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for nonfiction, the Ridenhour Book Prize, and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, among others.

Dr. Fink is currently a correspondent at the New York Times, where her and her colleagues’ stories on the West Africa Ebola crisis were recognized with the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for health reporting, and the Overseas Press Club Hal Boyle Award. A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, Dr. Fink received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her first book, War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival (PublicAffairs), is about medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

NYU Hospital’s Backup System Undone by Key Part in Flooded Basement

Hospitalofficial explains how move to rooftop generators failed to prevent failure ofbackup power during Hurricane Sandy

In Hurricane’s Wake, Decisions Not to Evacuate Hospitals Raise Questions

Lessons learned in previous disasters help avert immediate catastrophe, yet, as a reporter looks on, health officials struggle to deal with glitches and unforeseen dangers.

Class-Action Suit Filed After Katrina Hospital Deaths Settled for $25 Million

The agreement ends the action against Tenet Healthcare brought by families of people who said Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans was ill-prepared for a hurricane.

U.S. Nuclear-Disaster Preparedness Hobbled by Uncertain Chain of Command

Emergency plans call for local officials to take charge first in a radiological disaster. How and when the federal government would step in isn't so clear.

U.S. Health Care System Unprepared for Major Nuclear Emergency

Few hospitals drill for radiological emergencies, and agencies aren't prepared to handle mass evacuations. Many states don't even have a basic plan for communicating with the public after a catastrophic radiological release.

Lawsuit Against New Orleans Hospital Settles Shortly After Trial Begins

Settlement of a class-action lawsuit just days after jury selection began averts a trial that could have brought to light new details of a case that has transfixed New Orleans.

Trial to Open in Lawsuit Connected to Hospital Deaths After Katrina

A class-action lawsuit involving a hospital where an unusually high number of patients died after Hurricane Katrina is expected to raise issues of responsibility for disaster preparedness.

Life and Death Choices as South Africans Ration Dialysis Care

In the United States, patients with kidney failure have access to life-saving dialysis treatments paid for by Medicare. But in less-affluent countries like South Africa, medical professionals rely on rationing. At Tygerberg Academic Hospital near Cape Town, a jury of doctors is making life-and-death choices based not only on a patient's medical condition but social factors such as living conditions and the patient's support network.

Haiti Loses Its U.S. Lifeboat

Haitians Under U.S. Treatment Are Often Separated From Families

The U.S. government has brought needed medical services to thousands of Haitian earthquake survivors. But a bureaucratic tangle has left some people struggling to find out what happened to family members who were taken away for treatment.

The New Katrina Flood: Hospital Liability

Rationing Medical Care: Health Officials Struggle With Setting Standards

Some states have begun to grapple with a serious public health issue: Which patients should be given access to lifesaving treatments if more people need it than the system can handle? The issue of effectively deciding who should live and who should die is anathema to physicians whose main job is to save lives.

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