Robert Joiner | St. Louis Public Radio

Robert Joiner

Health Reporter

Robert Joiner has carved a niche in providing informed reporting about a range of medical issues.  He won a Dennis A. Hunt Journalism Award for the Beacon’s "Worlds Apart" series on health-care disparities. His journalism experience includes working at the St. Louis American and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he was a beat reporter, wire editor, editorial writer, columnist, and member of the Washington bureau.

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St. Louis Beacon graphic | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: There is still room for improvement, but financial penalties have turned out to be a powerful tool for persuading area hospitals to boost quality and safety.

Under the health reform law, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun subjecting hospitals to losses of up to 1 percent of their inpatient payments for Medicare services for having higher than acceptable 30-day readmission rates for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Josh Schindler is an attorney who has been advocating for parents who have fought to pull their children out of the unaccredited Riverview Gardens and Normandy school districts. 

But the plight of homeless students has added another layer to the school transfer debate, he said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In an unusual display of political bipartisanship, some members of the Missouri delegation in Congress have joined forces to urge the federal government to continue funding a health program that was begun as a placeholder for expanding Medicaid.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: For some parents in the Riverview Gardens District, the transfer law is turning out to be an illusion, promising access to better education for their children but offering no space or free transportation to accredited schools on their radar. Yet, for others like parents Orney and Corie Walker, the law is a godsend.

Aligyah Adams and John Mullen
Robert Joiner | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Shante Buggs is a product of the Normandy District, and she intends to keep her two children enrolled there in spite of its loss of accreditation. But she concedes that the issue has caused a little friction in the family.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Education Commissioner Chris L. Nicastro raised questions Friday about the financial survival of the Normandy School District in the wake of the decision by more than a quarter of its students to transfer to schools in accredited districts.

Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon Data is as of Tuesday, 7/30/13

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Mehlville School District is so far the first choice of more than 600 students seeking to transfer from the unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The person who answered the phones for the Riverview Gardens School District was quite busy Wednesday morning. Phone calls are so plentiful that she cannot answer them all. Most of the calls apparently came from residents wanting confirmation that students could apply to Kirkwood School District this fall.

Herman Smith, Bryant Kirby and Robert Redmond hold a sack of produce for distribution to coop members.
Robert Joiner | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:Yvette Batey was among those who showed up Saturday to shop at a new food co-op organized by Central Baptist Church in midtown St. Louis.  She left with a generous supply of  fruits and vegetables, including plutos and peaches, corn and cauliflower, and sounded delighted that her bill for two weeks’ worth of produce came to only $23.50.

“I live about 10 blocks from here and I had to take a bus,” says Batey, “but it is very convenient to have access to so many fruits and vegetables so close to my home.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon The topic of race was everywhere and nowhere in the room recently when Francis Howell School District officials hosted a town hall meeting about plans to accommodate students wishing to transfer from the failing Normandy School District.

Wikipedia

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A major effort to slow the arms race among superpowers occurred in 1963 when the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain signed a Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The key players were Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, and British Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home. France and China were urged to back the accord, but both refused.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Michael McMillan has spent a good part of his career in politics and government, but he is no stranger to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. His goal -- to make community service his life mission -- was fulfilled this week when the local league’s board of director selected him as the group’s next chief executive, replacing James Buford, who is retiring after running the agency for 28 years.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Jason Purnell was a fourth grader, his mother gave him a book on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. From that moment on, Purnell quips that he had hoped to become the second black Supreme Court justice, “but Clarence Thomas beat me to it.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sandra Garrett knew something had gone wrong inside her body a decade ago when her left hand became limp, falling from her chin and sliding down her chest. She later found a lump on her left breast and “had no idea how long it had been there.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: An ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure, but finding money for prevention can be elusive when it comes to health care. Case in point is what is happening with the federal health reform law. Unprecedented spending to prevent illness and improve public health is one key promise of the Affordable Care Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It isn’t often that a developing nation outstrips the United States in vaccination rates for a potentially deadly but preventable medical condition. But that’s happening in the case of vaccinations against certain types of HPV or human papillomavirus infections, which can cause cervical cancer. The data show that while the United States is making major progress against this disease, it still has a long way to go to match vaccination rates in many other countries.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: David Glaser wasn’t in St. Louis three decades ago during the height of public opposition to the region’s first interdistrict school desegregation program. He’s learning about some of the old outcry as emotions rise in St. Charles County where the Francis Howell District is preparing to take students wishing to transfer there from Normandy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When an obese patient walks into a doctor's office, the physician isn't likely to talk about weight unless it's the reason for the visit. That attitude might change now that the American Medical Association has classified obesity as a disease. Among other things, this means doctors are more likely to engage patients in a discussions about their weight, while insurers will be more likely to cover weight-loss treatment.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: There was a time, more than two centuries ago, when the term “British invasion” would have instilled fear or outrage rather than hope. You know the story.

Fifty years ago, however, that term was more welcoming to American ears -- younger ears, anyway. It signaled the coming of a fresh song, its lyrics upbeat and memorable, by a rock group called the Beatles. They would set a new solid-gold standard for popular music, beginning with the release of their first studio album, "Please Please Me” in 1963.

Some health providers, administrators and volunteers got a glimpse Thursday at how they and others could help the working poor reap the benefits of medical care through an insurance exchange system that will open for business in the fall.

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