The Best Stories of 2017

By The CCM Team

As 2017 drew to a close, our Storytellers compiled a list of the year's "Top 10" stories. Woven with the common threads of health and philanthropy, confronting topics that will continue to be of interest in 2018 and beyond, they are all examples of great reporting. See if you agree.

Recommended by David Chesnick:
New York Times magazine

Sturdevant banged on the door of a small house, its yard overgrown with weeds; he knew not to leave the package on the doorstep, where it could be stolen. After a while a young man emerged, shirtless, shrugging off sleep. He had just gotten out of jail. Sturdevant handed him the package, shook his hand and told him to “stay out of trouble.”


How 3,000 Very Good Golden Retrievers Could Help All Dogs Live Longer
The Washington Post 

Some of “these dogs will get cancer as they age . . . but in the meantime, they are doing everything that dogs do,” said principal investigator Rodney Page, a veterinary oncologist who directs Colorado State’s Flint Animal Cancer Center. As for tracking the minutiae of participants’ lives, “some of these things seem kind of silly, but you never know what you’re going to identify as a significant risk factor with an outcome that you could easily change.”

Recommended by Mike Eisgrau:
As Government Retrenches, Philanthropy Booms
The New York Times 

In Washington, D.C., where it’s already difficult to get things done, governing is likely to get exponentially harder in coming decades as the baby boomers retire and fiscal pressures mount sharply. More states and localities will also face budgetary crises as pension bills come due and as fiscal conservatives prioritize tax cuts over public investment.

Learning to Bridge a Generation Gap in Philanthropy
The New York Times

“The expression of a different philanthropic interest is a balancing act for the next generation. How do they honor their legacy and deal with what they see as the needs of today?”

Recommended by John Wark:

More bad news in Our Nation’s Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

A working, middle-aged adult doesn’t have a lot of extra time to take on 6 more hours a day of work. She–they’re usually daughters–therefore faces a dilemma. She either pays someone else to do the caregiving, or she does it herself. And, if she chooses the latter, she’ll have to limit her hours at her job, fail to advance at her job or simply quit her job. The result is the same: lost wages and, if the ACA is repealed, lost health insurance. Then, as she suffers the physical and mental health effects of caregiving, how will she get care?

The Silicon Valley Billionaires Remaking America’s Schools
The New York Times 

In the space of just a few years, technology giants have begun remaking the very nature of schooling on a vast scale, using some of the same techniques that have made their companies linchpins of the American economy. Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose and fundamental approaches to learning.

A Failed Vision – Mexico’s Housing Debacle (A 5-Part Series)
Los Angeles Times 

Homeowners toting buckets scrounge for water delivered by trucks. Gutters run with raw sewage from burst pipes. Streets sink, sidewalks crumble, and broken-down water treatment plants rust. In some developments, blackouts hit for days at a time. Inside many homes, roofs leak, walls crack and electrical systems short circuit, blowing out appliances and in some cases sparking fires that send families fleeing.

Recommended by Steve Smith:
The New Yorker 

At this stage of the American opioid epidemic, many addicts are collapsing in public—in gas stations, in restaurant bathrooms, in the aisles of big-box stores. Brian Costello, a former Army medic who is the director of the Berkeley County Emergency Medical Services, believes that more overdoses are occurring in this way because users figure that somebody will find them before they die.

Millennials Are Influencing The Future of Philanthropy

Despite the plethora of negative myths and stigmas surrounding the millennial generation, they are a group of consumers set on making a difference in the world around them. “Add good” has been their mantra as they utilize newfound ways to give back. 

This Is Not Your Typical Merger: Medicine Meets The Arts, Design And Business

This is not your typical ho-hum merger. It’s not every day (or every year or every decade) that a medical school with a long, distinguished history merges with a school well known for the arts and design. But then again, "typical" is not a word that you would use to describe Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, and Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D., president of Philadelphia University, who helped bring their educational institutions together...officially on July 1, 2017, at 12:01 a.m.

“Talking to Drs. Spinelli and Klasko is like talking to two people with fire hoses of ideas...and telescopes into the future.”




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