Neighborhood Stories

Henry Edwards, a boxer who has chronic asthma, was uninsured until the birth of his son qualified him for public aid.Now the Affordable Care Act was law, but what would the coming changes mean to real people? Partnering with the Local Reporting Initiative, Illinois Health Matters created content about how healthcare reform is impacting underserved communities on the South and West sides of Chicago. These stories brought together reporting, photography, and video to present accessible, personal stories of people who had long gone without health insurance, or wished they could afford it for their employees.

The stories were told by the people themselves, detailing the healthcare-related struggles of uninsured families, small neighborhood businesses, groups working to providing health services to veterans, a community health clinic, and the work of a state legislator who was a longtime advocate for affordable healthcare.

The project featured reporting by Chicago-based independent writer Jeffrey Steele and health policy reporters Judith Graham and Kari Lydersen. Photography and videography was by Jay Dunn, a National Geographic award-winning photojournalist who focuses on the work of NGOs and social service groups. Dunn continues to host photo galleries that accompany the stories.

The Local Reporting Initiative is part of the Chicago Community Trust’s Community News Matters program, which seeks to increase the flow of truthful, accurate and insightful local news and information and help the region’s cutting edge innovators develop new models for providing news and information. The program is funded by in part by the Chicago Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.



Keep up with the latest from Smart Policy Works
Explore 25 years of change that mattered
Take a look at what we're up to now