Amanda Spake has been a writer, investigative reporter, and editor for over 20 years. For the last nine years, she has focused her work on the large number of public health issues that confront the nation: bioterrorism, obesity, nutrition and exercise, antibiotic resistance, heart disease, drug and food safety, and disaster recovery. She has been a contributing writer to Health Magazine, Self, Family Circle, Redbook, and Vogue, and worked at Mother Jones, Ms. Magazine, the Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report before becoming a Katrina Media Fellow in 2006.
In the days after the hurricane, Spake was among the team of reporters at U.S. News & World Report who covered Hurricane Katrina and its impact on health care along the Gulf Coast. Her reporting put her in touch with a number of hospital administrators, doctors, nurses and others in Mississippi and Louisiana about the unfolding disaster, and what the storm would mean for the health and health care of people in the region. She was sent to Houston to report on the health care situation at the Reliant Park shelters, where incoming survivors from the Superdome in New Orleans were treated.
"In talking with both survivors and doctors in Houston, I realized how difficult health care recovery would be for the Gulf states, given the large number of evacuees left without homes, jobs, and health insurance." In one disaster, more than 200,000 Americans would be forced down the economic ladder into poverty, and the poor health and limited access to care that accompanies it. "I wanted to tell more of their stories," she says.