Best Reporter (Newspaper Division) St. Louis 2011 - Blythe Bernhard and Jeremy Kohler
In less than a year, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporters Blythe Bernhard and Jeremy Kohler have exposed an ophthalmologist who made a fortune by injecting his patients' eyes with inferior medications at half the required dose; a physician who, despite previous sanctions, kept prescribing Oxycontin to a drug dealer until it led to a teenager's suicide; a doctor who continued seeing patients after operating on the wrong eye of a five-year-old, then altered the patient's chart to cover up the mistake; and a doctor who was permitted to see patients despite a self-diagnosis as a frotteur (a person with intense urges to touch and rub the sex organs of nonconsenting victims). These co-bylined stories were all a part of the P-D's award-winning investigative series, "Who Protects the Patients?" which revealed that when it comes to regulating physicians, the state of Missouri ranks among the worst in the nation. The series sparked such a controversy that the state legislature was forced to pass a bill this year giving the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts more power to suspend incompetent doctors and provide patients with more information about their doctors' backgrounds. Great work.