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Studies have linked loneliness and social isolation to an array of potentially devastating health challenges, including Alzheimer’s and other neurologically degenerative conditions, diabetes, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.

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A columnist calls for a more "humane" health care spending plan, a seventh-grader tries to start a lunch revolution, and food prices are going up for lots of unexpected reasons as we close out the week in the Daily Briefing.

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Why is Disney invading hospital maternity wards? Plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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Here's a recap of the latest developments on the health reform front, along with some helpful resources and story ideas for your community.

March 21, 2010, 10 p.m. PST

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Sorry, Jody Ranck. I’m giving up on for right now and will stick to my Google and Yahoo readers.

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UPDATE: 9:54 p.m., Jan. 19

The phrase "stunning upset" doesn't even begin to capture the national political shockwaves as Republican Scott Brown Martha Coakley for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat. The "what happens to health reform now?" political analysis below remains relevant. In the meantime, here's a quick roundup of the latest coverage and analysis:

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Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., is a health policy expert and the former Lt. Governor of New York State. She is founder and chairwoman of RID - Reduce Infection Deaths - a national campaign to support greater infection control in hospitals and other healthcare institutions. In addition to serving as Lt.

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