Side Effects Reporter Chosen For National Fellowship
Side Effects Public Media reporter Farah Yousy has been chosen for an Association of Health Care Journalists fellowship, for a project exploring racial disparities in life expectancy.
Yousry was one of five journalists across the U.S. selected for the health care performance fellowships, which support reporting on local health care markets and the nation's health system.
She will examine life expectancy gaps in the Indianapolis area, where the Black community faces significant health care challenges. It is part of Side Effects' partnership with the Indianapolis Recorder, a weekly newspaper that has served that community for 125 years.
"When it comes to Black Hoosiers, our health disparities are often blamed on our bad habits — sedentary lifestyles, fried and fatty foods, etc.," Recorder Editor Oseye Boyd said. "We know these habits aren’t exclusive to Black Hoosiers and can’t be the sole reason for the disproportionality in our health.
"Environmental factors and limited quality-of-life options caused by structural racism play a fundamental role in health outcomes, resulting in a shorter life expectancy. Coverage of this important issue will not only focus on the problem but offer potential solutions."
Yousry said she was honored to be chosen for the fellowship with journalists from the National Journal, WBEZ public radio in Chicago, The Charlotte Observer and The Cancer Letter.
"I know I have a lot to learn as I cover the complex issues of health disparity and especially so during a global pandemic," she said. "The way this pandemic will change all of our lives makes shedding light on the deep-rooted disparities that have existed even before the pandemic all the more important. There is a real risk that because of the pandemic these disparities will be compounded and the gap will deepen.
"I am looking forward to connecting with people who are living with these disparities and are affected by it day in and day out. I hope that, in addition to speaking to the experts and community organizers, I would be able to amplify the voice of Black and Latinx families living in Indiana."
Before moving to the U.S., Yousry worked for local news organizations in Egypt during the Arab Spring and the contentious political period following the Egyptian revolution. She has worked with the BBC World Service for over five years, producing radio, television and digital features for an audience across Europe and the Middle East.