You might have noticed there’s a little tag on the front of our newspaper commemorating 25 years in business. Our company started in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down, signalling an end to the Cold War and the dawning of the age of global capital and ethnic conflict. Cultural barriers, concrete and abstract, were falling all around us. I was only 14, and more focused on another revolution: the emergence of rap music into the mainstream with Doctor Dré, Ed Lover, and Fab 5 Freddy on “Yo! MTV Raps.”
The idea that a pair of 20-somethings could start their own newspaper would have raised some eyebrows, but it was happening all over the country. People were looking for an alternative to the suburban boxes and urban wastelands that the pervasive fear of global war had helped to crystallize at home. When the Cold War ended, the country started to thaw again, and it needed new kinds of stories.
Fast forward to the present and C-VILLE Weekly is a mainstream media company situated in a revitalized Downtown Charlottesville humming with people working on the latest applications of the digital revolution. In the between time, the health care sector experienced a parallel transformation characterized by fast growth, increased specialization, and unprecedented technological discovery.
Twenty-five years is about the average age of an Olympic athlete. It takes that long to learn the technique, develop the physique, master the tactics, and compete as an adult, with the full knowledge that loss, failure, and injury litter the road to becoming a champion. It normally takes a bit longer to become a doctor. In this week’s cover story, we’ve highlighted some newsworthy health threats and how local physicians, researchers, and patients have confronted them. The elephant in the room (or maybe it’s a donkey) is how the Affordable Care Act will land in Virginia, whether it can deliver on the promise that access to quality medical care won’t fall into the income gap. The medical profession has never been better outfitted with tools to combat illness and disease, and the government has never been more committed to solving the industry’s failing equations. Let’s see if we can heal our political wounds long enough to pull off a miraculous recovery.