AUTHORS

Mattie covers all things health for Governing. A native of Arkansas, she graduated with her M.S. from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism with a focus on public health reporting. Her work has been published in National Geographic, New York Magazine and The Atlantic.

June 19, 2017

After Passing Several Innovative Health Policies, Nevada Reaches Its Limit: Medicaid for All

While Congress is gridlocked on health care, the state's GOP governor and Democratic legislature have been busy finding common ground -- til now.
June 19, 2017

Ginger Spencer: The Woman Paid to Talk Trash [Episode 7]

As public works director for Phoenix, Ginger Spencer is trying to make her city the most sustainable in the world.
June 12, 2017

Can States Do Anything to Keep Health Insurers From Leaving?

Ohio and Missouri now have dozens of counties without an insurer. Other states are trying to prevent a similar situation, but their actions can only go so far.
June 5, 2017

The Marketing Strategy for Unhealthy Products: Racially Profile

Tobacco and soda companies disproportionately target minority citizens and lawmakers with advertising and lobbying. One city is fed up.
June 1, 2017

When the School Nurse Is on a Screen Instead of in an Office

Some schools are using telemedicine to provide health care to students in underserved districts. But few think it’s a cure for their ailments.
May 25, 2017

How Trump's Health Budget Would Impact States

Medicaid, children's health insurance and chronic disease programs would be first to feel the weight of the president's proposals.
May 17, 2017

On Rx Drug Monitoring, States Take Doctors' Recommendations

Every state but one has a tracking system to combat the opioid epidemic. They have long been criticized as difficult to use, but upgrades are on their way.
May 15, 2017

6 States Hoping to Revamp Medicaid in the Trump Era

The Obama administration rejected many conservative politicians' attempts to alter the health-care program for the poor. With Trump in the White House, they may finally get their way.
May 12, 2017

Houston Steers Cities Into Reducing 'Red Lights and Sirens'

Most 911 calls don't actually require a trip to the hospital. Instead, telemedicine can do the trick, and Houston's system is catching on among the country's paramedics.
May 8, 2017

Can Raising the Minimum Wage Cut Medicaid Costs?

Pennsylvania's governor is using that logic to persuade lawmakers to adopt the nation's highest minimum wage. Not everyone is convinced.
May 2, 2017

From 'Sidewalk Lady' to America's First Latina Lieutenant Governor [Episode 5]

Evelyn Sanguinetti's career in politics all started with a bad fall.
May 1, 2017

Alaska's Plan for Lowering Obamacare Premiums Spreads to the Mainland

The idea will likely attract more attention if the Trump administration agrees to fund it.
May 1, 2017

A Look Back on Obamacare With the People Who Implemented It

Politicians and health-care leaders were asked what they learned while carrying out one of the industry's biggest overhauls.
May 1, 2017

Why Texas Is the Most Dangerous U.S. State to Have a Baby

Maternal mortality rates have been increasing throughout the nation. But if Texas was a country, it would have the highest in the developed world.
April 20, 2017

Feds Help Localities Discover Where HIV and Housing Intersect

People who have HIV and lack stable housing are less likely to get the care they need. Some places are trying to solve both problems at once.
April 17, 2017

The Woman Who Pushed Boston to Be a Leader in Paid Family Leave [Episode 4]

As the city's council president, Michelle Wu has shattered several glass ceilings.
April 14, 2017

In Defunding Planned Parenthood, States Don't Always Follow Party Lines

President Trump and congressional Republicans want to strip federal funding from clinics that provide abortions. But not every GOP governor will help.
April 14, 2017

As Local Food Movement Grows, Who's Policing the Produce?

Many cities and states have made commitments to support and promote farm-to-table food. But few have fraud protections in place to make sure people are eating truly "local."
April 3, 2017

The First -- and Still Only -- African-American Elected to a County Office in Minnesota [Episode 3]

Since taking office more than a decade ago, Toni Carter has made her mark on Ramsey County.
March 29, 2017

Failed Health Bill Fuels New Momentum for Expanding Medicaid

In the days since Republicans killed their health-care plan, support for one of Obamacare's central policies has grown in states where the GOP has stunted it for years.
March 22, 2017

The Future of Health Care Is Outside the Doctor's Office

States are increasingly investing in community health workers to improve their residents' health.
March 20, 2017

Coming Soon to America: Places for Addicts to Safely Shoot Up

As the opioid epidemic rages on, public officials are being forced to consider controversial ways to curb it. In Seattle, that means opening the nation's first supervised injection facility.
March 20, 2017

'Public Health Saved Your Life Today. You Just Didn’t Know It.' [Episode 2]

That's the mantra of Dr. Leana Wen, the health commissioner of Baltimore and our guest for the latest episode of "The 23%: Conversations With Women in Government."
March 17, 2017

Syphilis Rate Among Newborns Reaches Highest Level in Years

The disease was nearly eradicated around 2000 but has been on the rise since 2012. Health officials partially blame the opioid epidemic.
March 9, 2017

GOP Governors Are Unimpressed With GOP Health-Care Plan

From blunt criticism to cautious optimism, not a single governor has given the House bill a full-throated endorsement.
March 6, 2017

The GOP Wants to Give States More Medicaid Power. This Is What They May Do With It.

Seven health-care policies you could see more of if the Affordable Care Act is replaced.
March 3, 2017

Why Feds Withhold Money From the Most Vulnerable Hospitals

The places that treat the poorest and sickest often fail to meet safety standards. Some say the penalties need to be adjusted.
March 1, 2017

The 23%: Conversations With Women in Government [Episode 1]

For our first episode, we talked to someone who mixes politics with reality TV. And, no, it isn't Donald Trump. Listen now.
February 21, 2017

How Some Places Are Easing the Often-Fatal Transition From a Psych Ward

People with mental illness are far more likely to commit suicide in the months after a hospital stay.
February 21, 2017

Has Expanding Medicaid Made People Healthier?

The research is exhaustive and yet simultaneously scarce. In some cases, it's even contradictory.
February 10, 2017

A Bipartisan Model for Lowering Obamacare Premiums?

Some policy experts think Minnesota has one, but it could be a tough sell for lawmakers in other states.
February 8, 2017

Universal Pre-K Is Hard to Find and Harder to Fund

The states and cities expanding early education have wrestled with the question of what qualifies as "universal."
February 6, 2017

Amid Obamacare and Planned Parenthood Uncertainty, Some States Scramble to Protect Women's Health

Democratic lawmakers are trying to make sure women have affordable access to birth control and abortion -- regardless of what Congress and the Trump administration does.
January 25, 2017

Should Religious Leaders Help Close Mental Health Care's Gap?

Particularly in rural areas, governments are increasingly turning to them to ease the shortage of providers, blurring the line between religion and medicine.
January 23, 2017

State Budgets Aren't Accounting for Obamacare Repeal

In planning their finances for the year, governors are counting on health care to remain the same. But if it doesn't, states could suddenly be on the hook for billions of dollars.
January 13, 2017

Where GOP Governors Stand on 'Repeal and Replace'

The Obamacare debate puts them in a tough spot and for many, up against their Republican counterparts in Congress.
January 13, 2017

More Than a Haircut: Barbershops Are Hubs for Social Change

Governments and nonprofits are increasingly looking to neighborhood barbers and hairdressers to help with problems at home and narrow gaps in education and health care.
January 11, 2017

The Walking Cure: How Oklahoma City Lost 1 Million Pounds

Pedestrian-friendly cities are healthier cities, which is why many are making it easier for residents to ditch their cars.
January 9, 2017

For the Poorest and Sickest, Librarians Often Play Doctor

Libraries are frequently forced to deal with people's health problems. That's why some are adding medical professionals to their staff.
December 20, 2016

Obama's Protection Does Little to Ease Women's Health Fears

Like much of the president's policies, his most recent rule on funding for abortion providers may not matter once Donald Trump takes the White House.
December 15, 2016

Without Michelle Obama, What Will Happen to 'Let's Move'?

The first lady's signature initiative helped more than 500 municipalities address obesity. Now that she's leaving the White House, the future of the program is uncertain.
December 6, 2016

Vermont Takes a Health Risk That Many States Abandoned

When states tried the all-payer model decades ago, it largely didn't live up to its cost-cutting goals. But Vermont is taking a slightly different approach.
December 1, 2016

Amid Opioid Crisis, Needle Exchanges Are Losing Their Stigma

The idea that needle exchanges encourage illegal drug use is fading just as rapidly as the programs are expanding.
November 30, 2016

To Reduce Infant Mortality, U.S. Cities Adopt the Finland Way

Unlike America, which has one of the highest infant mortality rates of developed countries, Finland has one of the world's lowest.
November 22, 2016

Electronic Health Reforms Left Babies Behind

With most newborn screenings still done on paper, there’s a born-again push to improve and speed up the process for detecting health problems.
November 18, 2016

Why So Few Kids Are Getting the HPV Vaccine

"Most places don’t like to think about teens having sex." But that's not the only reason.
November 15, 2016

In States Now Under GOP Control, What's Next for Health Care?

Republicans gained power in several states last week, clearing the way for some to more easily restrict abortion and roll back other reforms.
November 9, 2016

Marijuana Legalized for Fun in 4 More States and Medicine in 4 Others

Only one state's voters rejected easing access to the drug.
November 9, 2016

Single-Payer Health Care Takes a Big Hit at the Ballot

Despite Bernie Sanders' campaigning, Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected plans to make their state the first in America to create a universal health-care system.
November 9, 2016

Drug Companies Score a Big Election Victory

The industry spent millions of dollars to keep voters in California from passing a first-in-nation law that was meant to cut the soaring cost of prescription drugs.
November 9, 2016

Voters Just Say No to Higher Cigarette Taxes in All But 1 State

Californians were the only to agree to raise the price of tobacco. Will it impact smoking rates?
November 9, 2016

Condoms-in-Porn Rule Dies at the Ballot Box

It's a win for the porn industry and the state of California, which stood to lose millions of dollars if the measure passed.
November 8, 2016

Colorado Strengthens Physician-Assisted Suicide Movement

The right to die has been slow to gain momentum, especially among voters. In Colorado, they defied the odds.
November 1, 2016

Obamacare Premium Hikes to Hit Rural Americans the Hardest

Within states, rural areas often face higher premiums than their urban counterparts. Yet two of the most rural states saw some of the lowest premium increases this year.
October 25, 2016

Why's It So Hard to Connect Health to Social Factors?

One of the goals of President Obama's signature health reform is to focus more on population health, but the programs are off to a slow start.
October 12, 2016

Tennessee’s Free College Program Is Popular, But Will It Succeed?

As states consider following Tennessee’s footsteps, they’ll be closely watching its experience.
October 11, 2016

On Medicaid, States Won't Take Feds' No for an Answer

Even though the federal government has repeatedly rejected certain health-care requests, many Republican-led states keep asking for them.
September 28, 2016

Rural America Finally Gets Mental Health Help

People in remote areas have long lacked access to mental health services. The movement to fix that is showing signs of life.
September 27, 2016

A New Kind of Paramedic for Less Urgent 911 Calls

Community paramedicine, which can drastically reduce unnecessary ER visits, could be the future of emergency care.
September 14, 2016

Does Starting School After Labor Day Help or Hurt Students?

Extending summer break may be good for the economy, but there are unintended consequences.
September 13, 2016

States With the Highest (and Lowest) Uninsured Rates

The rates range from 2.8 percent to 17.1 percent.
September 6, 2016

Why Health-Care Monopolies Shouldn't Worry Most Consumers

More than 30 percent of the country, up from 4 percent last year, could have just one carrier to choose from this fall.
August 29, 2016

Fighting Zika, Keeping 4 Million People Healthy and Telling Public Health's 'Story'

A Q&A with Umair Shah, director of one of the nation's biggest public health departments.
August 29, 2016

Pregnant in Prison? Some States Deliver Doulas

In a small but growing number of states, expectant inmates are getting help dealing with the trauma of giving birth and then having to say goodbye.
August 23, 2016

Meningitis Outbreaks Among Gay Men Baffle Health Officials

Officials don't know why the disease is disproportionately impacting gay men in big cities. They're getting the CDC involved to find out.
August 17, 2016

Puerto Rico's Rescue Plan Represents a Troublesome Trend, Economists Say

It's the latest government to rewrite the rules for getting out of fiscal distress.
August 16, 2016

Is Abstinence-Only Sex Ed on the Rise?

More states are rejecting federal funding for evidence-based sex education. That could mean a return of abstinence-only instruction in many schools.
August 15, 2016

Boulder County, Colo.: Blueprint for Merging Health and Housing Under One Roof

Boulder County, Colo., pioneered the movement. What can others learn from their experience?
August 9, 2016

Some States Spend Big to Attract Medical Tourists

Lawmakers are pouring millions of dollars into making their states a destination for patients around the world. Will their investments pay off?
August 2, 2016

Your Peer Specialist Will See You Now

States are increasingly pairing mental health and substance abuse patients with peer specialists -- people who have experienced some of the same problems themselves.
July 29, 2016

New Zika Cases in Florida Show U.S. Cities' Struggle Without Federal Funding

After Congress left cities to fend for themselves, four new cases -- possibly the first to be contracted by mosquitoes in the U.S. -- suggest how difficult it is for them to combat the virus on their own.
July 26, 2016

With Hospitals in Critical Condition, Can Rural America Survive?

The worrisome state of rural health care has led many to wonder.
July 19, 2016

Obamacare-Created Insurers Take the Feds to Court

In an effort to survive, several of the remaining health co-ops are fighting the landmark law. Unlike most legal challenges to it, they may actually have a case.
July 13, 2016

Baltimore Takes a Broader View of Public Health

Baltimore is at the forefront of a movement to expand public health's arena to include social ills such as gun violence and drug addiction.
July 12, 2016

Surprise! Freestanding ERs Aren't Always What They Seem

Freestanding ERs have been around for years. But only recently have they become profit-focused, deceptive places of care.
July 5, 2016

21 States Aren't Taking Proven Steps to Prevent Overdoses

New studies show that the main weapon against opioid overdoses is showing promise, but states could be doing more to save lives.
June 30, 2016

How Jails Are Violating the Law

Most corrections facilities detain mentally ill people instead of providing them with timely care.
June 27, 2016

5 States Where the Supreme Court's Abortion Ruling Could Spur More Lawsuits

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down abortion restrictions in Texas on Monday, making it likely that other states will see challenges to their own reproductive laws.
June 23, 2016

Congress Refuses, So California Will Study Gun Violence

In the wake of another mass shooting and amid congressional inaction on gun control, the state has announced plans to open the nation's first public research center dedicated to firearm violence.
June 21, 2016

California's Dream of Expanding Health Care to All Immigrants

If California soon becomes the first state to let undocumented immigrants use the health insurance marketplace, will others follow?
June 10, 2016

Medicaid Expansion Can Have Impacts Beyond State Borders

One state's rejection of Medicaid expansion can hurt health-care systems in another state, according to a new study.
June 7, 2016

Air Ambulances, an Unregulated Lifeline, Cost $80,000 for Some Patients

Federal law bans states from regulating air ambulance companies, leaving patients with exorbitant out-of-pocket medical bills.
June 3, 2016

Forget the Sunscreen? It's Free Now in Some Cities.

From coast to coast, governments are teaming up with nonprofits to fight one of the most common yet most preventable kinds of cancer.
May 26, 2016

Study Could Boost Fizzled Efforts to Tax Soda

Despite many failed attempts, only one city in America taxes sugary drinks. The results of a new study might change that.
May 23, 2016

Black, Gay and HIV Positive: A Long-Neglected Group

Alarming infection rates bring more attention to treatment in communities of color.
May 17, 2016

In Abortion Wars, the Opposition May Have New Tactics

Anti-abortion advocates have allegedly found stealthier ways to shut down clinics.
May 10, 2016

How California Keeps Health Premiums Down Like No Other State

Shrinking competition has many states worried about rising insurance prices. California has the tools to handle it better than most.
May 3, 2016

UnitedHealthcare's Exit Leaves Monopolies in Many Places

Less competition typically means higher prices for consumers. But that isn’t necessarily true in the case of health insurance exchanges.
May 2, 2016

New Medicaid Rules Could Ease Rural Health Care's Problems

A sweeping Medicaid change has the potential for states to address the dangerous shortage of doctors outside urban and suburban areas.
April 26, 2016

Congressional Inaction Hinders Public Health Fight Against Zika

With more cases cropping up by the day, local governments have to act quickly -- and without help from the federal government.
April 25, 2016

Making a Drug More Available to Save Addicts' Lives

There's a growing movement to make the drug that can reverse overdoses widely available at pharmacies, police departments and schools.
April 20, 2016

Gov. Larry Hogan Opens Up About His Battle With Cancer

The governor talks about what it's like to juggle chemotherapy with the business of running a state.
April 19, 2016

Long-Term Care Facilities Lack Oversight, Advocates Say

Assisted living facilities have become more popular in recent years, but abundant closures and lax state regulations have led to more calls for new regulations.
April 12, 2016

New Obamacare Program May Make Medical Homes More Common

The model of care is proven to improve health outcomes and save billions of dollars, but it hasn't been widely embraced. A new initiative could change that.
April 5, 2016

Change in Tribal Health Care Relieves States' Financial Burden

The federal government is changing the way it reimburses states for Native Americans' health care. The implications could be big -- and not just for Native Americans.
April 1, 2016

Governments Struggle to Root Out Fake Minority Contractors

States and cities want to support women- and minority-owned businesses. But they often don’t know who they’re really paying.
March 31, 2016

Obama Finalizes New Mental Health Rules for Medicaid

The new rules could create an influx of patients with mental health and substance abuse issues in states that are already struggling to meet the current demand.
March 15, 2016

Undeterred by Failure, GOP States Still Fighting Obamacare

States are spending millions fighting the law that courts uphold almost every time.
March 15, 2016

Why Thousands of Doctors Still Don't Use Electronic Records

With federal incentives to go electronic expiring this year, many wonder what can be done to reach physicians who still rely on paper.
March 14, 2016

Puerto Rico’s Health-Care Crisis Threatens the Mainland

Puerto Rican immigrants -- many of them sick and in need of care -- are flocking to the states in unprecedented numbers. New York has volunteered to help the island, but it may not be able to.
March 10, 2016

Federal GMO Labeling Bill Would Trump State Laws

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act is just a Senate vote away from the president's desk.
March 8, 2016

Have States Found a Middle Ground on Reproductive Rights?

There's a growing movement -- even in some conservative states with strict abortion regulations -- to make birth control more accessible.
March 1, 2016

Alzheimer's Care Struggles to Meet Demands

States are starting to consider the problems with Alzheimer's care more seriously. But they have a long way to go.
February 25, 2016

Battling the Blues in Rural Alaska

Like most rural areas, Alaska suffers from high rates of mental illness and a deficiency of mental health providers. The state may have a solution.
February 24, 2016

Amid TB Outbreak, Alabama Pays Resisters to Get Tested

When people refused -- sometimes violently -- to help health officials contain an outbreak of tuberculosis in rural Alabama, the state resorted to paying people to get tested. Did it work?
February 22, 2016

Obama Rejects Governors' Pleas to Limit Painkillers

In their meeting with the president Monday, a bipartisan group of governors sought his help in their fight against prescription drug abuse.
February 16, 2016

The Imminent Death of Smoking in Public Housing

The federal government wants to ban smoking in public housing nationwide. It could save millions of dollars, but that doesn't allay some cities' concerns.
February 16, 2016

Telemedicine Advances Faster Than States Can Keep Up

The explosion of online health-care apps and providers has forced states to face tough questions -- many of which they have yet to find an answer to.
February 12, 2016

The Latest Tax Battle in States Is Over Tampons

Bills to make feminine hygiene products tax-exempt have been introduced in several states this year. So far, the legislation has already failed in one.
February 4, 2016

Simple Steps Should Stop Zika From Spreading in the U.S.

As fears of the virus rise in America, public health departments are ramping up their efforts to educate the public and eradicate the mosquitoes that spread it.
February 2, 2016

In Sex Education, U.S. Schools Are Failing

Most schools aren't meeting the CDC's recommendations for teaching students about sex, and the curriculum is far worse in some states.
January 22, 2016

Bernie Sanders Wants the Single-Payer Health Plan His Own State Rejected

The presidential candidate wants America to create a single-payer health system -- something no U.S. state has done before.
January 19, 2016

5 States Shaking Up Medicaid in 2016

They're either debating or have already made big changes to their health-care programs for the poor.
January 14, 2016

A More Personalized Approach to Reducing Infant Mortality in Columbus, Ohio

Facing one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, Columbus, Ohio, is taking the time to understand its unique causes.
January 11, 2016

Addicted and Pregnant: How States Deal With Drug Problems When You're Expecting

Roughly 1 in 20 pregnant women use illicit drugs. States are cracking down on the problem with starkly different approaches.
January 5, 2016

Unlike Zoos, Public Health Departments Don't Need National Accreditation

But at least one state is leading the charge to change that.
December 24, 2015

Not-So-Happy Holidays in the Emergency Room

There are a number of reasons emergency rooms get chaotic around the holidays -- some of which may be surprising.
December 15, 2015

Haircuts and Health Care: How Governments Try to Get the Uninsured Covered

States and cities spent this enrollment season finding creative ways to reach the millions who still have no health insurance.
December 7, 2015

Why Abortion Clinics Are Also Closing in Blue States

Planned Parenthood gets most of the attention in the abortion debate. But independent clinics and their employees actually provide the majority of abortions in America -- and are more at-risk.
December 2, 2015

The Nation's First Firehouse Where People Can Get Flu Shots

Reflecting a broader trend of merging health care with other services, a city in California recently opened a clinic next to a firehouse.
December 1, 2015

Anti-Obamacare South Warms to Medicaid Expansion

Most Southern states have refused for years to make more people eligible for government health care. But a few governors may change that.
November 19, 2015

In 35 States, Young People Are Dying From Drug Overdoses at Double the Rate

The rate has increased in every state in the last decade, yet few are doing much to prevent it.
November 17, 2015

Will Ferguson Redefine Public Health?

To address the underlying issues that led to the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., local leaders are expanding the traditional role of public health departments.
November 17, 2015

To Many's Surprise, Obamacare Barely Budged ER Wait Times

Critics and supporters predicted that the federal health law would have a huge impact on the time it takes to see a doctor. Turns out they were both wrong.
November 12, 2015

In Rare Move, New York State Comes to Puerto Rico's Aid

Facing a health-care crisis on top of financial troubles, Puerto Rico is getting help from the mainland. But why would New York come to Puerto Rico's rescue?
November 4, 2015

In School Funding Fight, Mississippi Voters Choose to Do Nothing

Mississippi voters, facing two competing (and confusing) ballot questions on school quality, chose to make no changes to the state constitution.
November 3, 2015

Why Health Co-Ops Are Closing in So Many States

Co-ops were created to keep the cost of insurance down on Obamacare marketplaces. Now half of them are going out of business.
October 23, 2015

Parents Fill Public Health Gaps in Maricopa County, Ariz., Schools

In a county with more than 50 districts, schools are putting parents in charge of tackling problems that may have otherwise been ignored. It may be a model for other municipalities.
October 20, 2015

Let's Talk About Sex ... and Senior Citizens

As STD rates rise among the elderly, health-care providers and public health departments continue to shy away from discussing their sexual health. Is it time for a sexual revolution?
October 9, 2015

NYC Gets Personal (and Particular) About Birth Control

It's the first municipality to center an awareness campaign around intrauterine devices, the most effective form of birth control that few women choose. Will others follow?
October 6, 2015

Medicaid Has Great Responsibility Without Great Power

Since its inception 50 years ago, Medicaid has become one of the nation's biggest government programs. But most states don't treat it as such.
September 28, 2015

Coding Countdown Causes Medical Mayhem

After a two-year delay, U.S. hospitals have to start using a new coding system in October -- a move that could hurt rural and smaller hospitals particularly hard.
September 22, 2015

Obesity Rates Stop Increasing But Still Worrisome

More than 20 percent of people in every state are obese, with the rate exceeding 35 percent in three states.
September 18, 2015

Government Finds a New Business to Regulate: Personal Trainers

Several places, including the nation's fittest city, want to regulate personal trainers. Is the new push about safety or boosting public revenue?
September 16, 2015

The 5 States With the Biggest Drop in Uninsured Rates

They all have at least one thing in common.