Mike King

The author of A Spirit of Charity: Restoring the Bond between America and Its Public Hospitals is a veteran award-winning journalist who has specialized in coverage of medicine and health care for more than forty years. From 1972 to 1987, Mike King served as a reporter, editor, Washington correspondent, and medical writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal, where he won awards from the National Mental Health Association, the American Heart Association, and other health groups. He was among the first Washington-based reporters to document the tobacco industry’s efforts to pitch products to teenagers, young adults, and minorities. In 1987 King joined the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s science and medicine staff covering health disparities and policy issues at the state and national level. In 1991, he and reporter Hal Straus were the first newspaper reporters in the country to examine death rates and access to care in every county in the South, documenting large differences in health care outcomes among poor blacks in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and the Mississippi River delta region, and among poor whites in the Appalachian mountain region of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The report won numerous state and national awards as the first to use computer-generated data and mapping techniques to illustrate health disparities. In 1990, King became science and medicine editor and helped direct Journal-Constitution reporter Mike Toner’s 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning series about antibiotic resistance in medicine and agriculture. Later that same year, he was named metro editor, supervising the largest staff of reporters and editors at the newspaper. In his final four years at the Journal-Constitution he was a member of the newspaper’s editorial board responsible for commentary on medicine and health policy issues. During this time he wrote a series of “Saving Grady” editorials – 46 over a period of eighteen months – that outlined the scope of the problem with Georgia’s largest public hospital and proposed solutions, prompting an examination of the roles state and local governments should play in addressing the issue of indigent care funding at Grady. King blogs on health care news and policy issues at http://commentonhealth.com/. A Spirit of Charity is his first book. He grew up in Jeffersonville, Indiana and graduated from Indiana University Southeast with a degree in political science. He and his wife, Shereen Walls King, live in Atlanta

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