Liz Borkowski

A study in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report last week reported that the birth rate for US teens aged 15-19 declined by 41% nationwide from 2006 to 2014. But the persistence of disparities — by geography as well as by race and ethnicity — is still of concern.

Reading over the list of 2016 Pulitzer Prize winners makes clear just how essential journalism’s watchdog role is to public health. In 2015, news organizations devoted considerable resources to researching, reporting, and commenting on slave labor in international seafood supply chains; funding cuts resulting in dangerous conditions in Florida mental hospitals; and failures in justice systems across the country.

Recent pieces address a reckless executive finally going to jail, the complex relationship between money and life expectancy, the looming threat of avian flu, and more.

As summer approaches, mosquito bites will become common, and the Zika virus could start spreading in parts of the continental US. Although public health officials are working hard to address this threat, the response from many lawmakers has been disappointing and, in some cases, erected barriers to successful research.

New York State’s new budget deal includes a paid-leave program that will offer the most paid leave in the nation once it’s fully implemented in 2021: 12 weeks of leave at up to two-thirds of pay.

Recent stories address prescribing by doctors paid by drug companies; excessive lead levels in nearly 2,000 US water systems; how to understand candidates’ claims about health insurance reforms; and more.

Although the US still has a long way to go in preventing unintended pregnancies, an article published earlier this month in the New England Journal of Medicine had some good news: The proportion of US pregnancies that were unintended dropped from 51% in 2008 to 45% in 2011.

Over the past few weeks, new published research has provided more evidence linking Zika virus to poor health outcomes

A study finds the odds of preterm birth were lower among Colorado women living in counties served by Title X clinics, which began offering free access to IUDs and contraceptive implants in 2009.

Recent stories address medical care disparities in Baltimore, the Supreme Court after Justice Scalia’s death, the “rented white coats” defending toxic chemicals, and more.