Center investigation into nursing homes wins National Press Club award

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A Center investigation of nursing home quality has won the Joseph D. Ryle Award for Excellence in Writing on the Problems of Geriatrics from the 2015 National Press Club journalism contest.

Understaffed and Underserved: A Look Inside America’s Nursing Homes” by freelance reporter Jeff Kelly Lowenstein detailed irregularities in the staff levels reported by nursing homes nationwide to a federal website used by consumers. The series also reported on HUD financing of low-rated nursing homes, and revealed that nursing homes serving minorities were offering less care than those housing whites.

“Using sophisticated techniques of data collection and reporting, the Lowenstein series shows how the information on a government site for consumers overstates the hours nurses are available to care for patients,” said the contest judges. “And it documents cases of the same nursing homes getting financial help from the federal government for refinancing and rebuilding.”

The press club contest also honored politics reporter Michael Beckel with an honorable mention for his “revealing work on political fundraising.”

Beckel tracked down hidden money and its influence in last year’s Kentucky Senate race, and in Montana uncovered state senators raising more than $900,000 through secretive nonprofit, and nonprofit political machines like America Votes and Americans for Prosperity.

“It wonderful to have this recognition for the imagination and story-telling flair Center reporters put into their investigative work,” said Center chief executive officer Peter Bale.

Winners will be honored in July at an awards dinner at the National Press Club.  

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