Katie O'Connor

Katie O'Connor

Katie, a Manassas native, has covered health care, commercial real estate, law, agriculture and tourism for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond BizSense and the Northern Virginia Daily. Last year, she was named an Association of Health Care Journalists Regional Health Journalism Fellow, a program to aid journalists in making national health stories local and using data in their reporting. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she was executive editor of The Flat Hat, the college paper, and editor-in-chief of The Gallery, the college’s literary magazine.

Two rural Virginia towns were saturated with opioid pills over four years, dataset shows

By: - July 17, 2019

A federal judge ordered the release of a massive Drug Enforcement Administration dataset detailing just how big of a role drug companies and pharmacies have played in the country’s opioid epidemic. The data, according to the Washington Post, tracks the path of each pain pill sold in the country. Though Virginia wasn’t in the top […]

Gun control special session: Here’s what to expect

By: and - July 7, 2019

Virginia lawmakers return Tuesday, July 9, for a special session to consider gun control laws. Here's what to expect from Democrats and Republicans.

Virginia’s population growth is slowing

By: - July 3, 2019

Virginia’s population might grow over the next decade, but it could be slower than it’s been in the past, according to population projections by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. The center found that population growth has decelerated to 8 percent, from 13 percent last decade. The rate is expected to […]

Virginia Medicaid zeroes in on plans to address maternal mortality

By: - July 1, 2019

Virginia’s Medicaid agency on Monday outlined its strategy to meet Gov. Ralph Northam’s announced goal to end the racial disparity in maternal mortality by 2025. In Virginia, black women are three times more likely than their white counterparts to suffer a pregnancy-associated death. That is due to a variety of causes. From 2009 to 2013, […]

Nonprofit hospitals in Virginia garnish more wages than for-profit counterparts, study says

By: and - June 26, 2019

Nonprofit Virginia hospitals are more likely to garnish patients’ wages if they do not pay their medical bills than their for-profit counterparts, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Though 36 percent of Virginia hospitals garnished wages in 2017, five hospitals, including four nonprofit and one for-profit, accounted […]

Virginia Mercury

Report: Virginia’s immigrants making strong contribution to state economy

By: - June 26, 2019

A new report from the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis says immigrants are key contributors to the state’s overall economy, despite challenges that include health insurance access, discrimination, language barriers, “brain waste” and housing costs. The left-leaning Richmond institute says that, as many parts of Virginia struggle to find enough workers, many immigrants are “relatively […]

In maternal mortality, causes vary significantly by race

By: - June 24, 2019

Not only are black women three times more likely than white women to suffer a pregnancy-associated death, the cause and manner of their deaths also varies widely. During a presentation to the Joint Commission on Health Care on Monday, Melanie Rouse, maternal mortality projects coordinator with the Virginia Department of Health, expounded on the various […]

Thousands in Virginia would lose health and food assistance under proposed change to federal poverty line

By: - June 19, 2019

President Donald Trump’s administration is currently considering changing how the federal poverty line is calculated, which could mean thousands in Virginia might lose access to medical and food assistance programs. The poverty level, currently $12,490 for a single adult, is adjusted every year to account for inflation, but the new proposal would use a lower […]

The number one form of fatal gun violence in Virginia isn’t homicide. It’s suicide.

By: - June 16, 2019

As state lawmakers prepare to reassemble in Richmond for a special session on gun control after the Virginia Beach shooting, this statistic will likely be repeated often: In Virginia, more than 1,000 people die due to gun violence every year. That equates to almost three people every day. Guns take more lives than car crashes. […]

Though it leads southeastern states, Virginia comes in at 29th in national health ranking

By: - June 12, 2019

A new national state health ranking places Virginia 29th in the country, though that was good enough to finish ahead of every other state in the southeast. Using 47 measures, including those related to quality and access to health care as well as income-based disparities, the newly-released Commonwealth Fund’s 2019 Scorecard on State Health System […]

Virginia investigates a possible measles case as it continues to battle hepatitis A and STDs

By: - June 6, 2019

Virginia’s success in evading the measles this year might be at an end. Health departments in Northern Virginia are currently investigating a possible case of the highly contagious disease involving a child who traveled internationally, though the case is not related to the ongoing outbreaks in other parts of the country. Preliminary testing occurred Wednesday, […]

Virginia is second in country in creating a committee of Medicaid members

By: - June 5, 2019

On Wednesday, Virginia Medicaid members came to the program’s downtown Richmond headquarters to share their experiences with the state agency that manages their care. Many represented their kids, who have physical and developmental disabilities. Some represented brothers or mothers-in-law with health problems, and still others represented themselves. This year, the Department of Medical Assistance Services […]