"Pain and Profit"


Recipient of the STAR INVESTIGATIVE REPORT OF THE YEAR award in The Charles E. Green Awards (2018)

J. David McSwane and Andrew Chavez
The Dallas Morning News

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

Judge’s Comments:

The Denton Record-Chronicle, the Brownsville Herald and Victoria Advocate all submitted excellent stories for consideration for the Headliners award.

But the clear winner of this year’s Star Investigative Report is The Dallas Morning News’ investigative report, “Pain and Profit,” exposing abuses within the Texas Medicaid managed care system.

The series displayed crisp and concise writing on a topic that can often bog down in explanations of the complex system. The work by reporters J. David McSwane and Andrew Chavez in obtaining the records of the patient appeals of medical decisions made by the insurance companies was impressive investigative reporting. The reporting was supported and not overwhelmed by strong photographs and graphics.

Mike Gallagher
Investigative Reporter
Albuquerque Journal
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Judge’s Bio:

Mike Gallagher graduated from the University of New Mexico in December 1976 and was hired the same day at the Albuquerque Journal where he has worked part-time and as an intern since 1975.

Except for a three-year stint in television at channel 13, Gallagher has worked at the Journal in various capacities. Since 1986 he has been one of the paper’s investigative reporters covering a wide range of stories. 

In 1986 he did a series of stories on the state’s prison system and documented the rise of two of the main prison gangs. He also wrote some of the earliest stories on the rise of the Mexican drug cartels and has continued to write about the cartels with a series of stories earlier this year on the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels which have an active presence in Albuquerque and New Mexico.

He was also assigned to cover the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City; political corruption under both Governors Bill Richardson and Gary Johnson; corruption in state highway contracting; patient abuse at nursing homes; jail overcrowding; and a wide range of other stories. 

To read the prize-winning investigative report from The Dallas Morning NEws, click on the links below:


Headliners Foundation