Shaena Montanari/AZCIR

Shaena Montanari/AZCIR

Shaena Montanari is an investigative reporter for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, focused on covering health disparities. Montanari recently completed a master’s degree in investigative journalism from ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism where she was a Roy W. Howard Fellow. Montanari has held reporting fellowships at National Geographic and The Arizona Republic, and produced freelance science and health journalism for publications such as Popular Science and Atlas Obscura.

Community response helped reverse COVID’s devastating toll on Indigenous communities in Arizona

By: and - January 6, 2023

When COVID-19 first hit the U.S. in early 2020, urban centers like New York City became a focus of national attention. But as the disease spread throughout the U.S. later that spring, the Navajo Nation emerged as a disease hotspot, with case rates rising higher than anywhere else in the country. Newly compiled data reveals […]

Pandemic accelerated Arizona’s years-long decline in childhood vaccination rates

By: - November 28, 2022

The impact of missed preventative medical care during the pandemic is beginning to emerge in the form of drastic declines in childhood vaccination rates among Arizona youth, now at lower levels than at any point in the past decade. The plummeting rates follow a years-long decline in immunizations among Arizona students overall—one that has put […]

Youth access to mental health care improved under Jake’s Law, but persistent barriers hamper its reach

By: and - September 1, 2022

In March 2020, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law a sweeping set of measures designed to help curb rising rates of suicide and expand access to mental health treatment for Arizona residents with and without insurance. Commonly known as Jake’s Law, the legislation was named after Jake Machovsky, a 15-year-old who died by suicide in […]

extreme heat

CDC report finds barriers to cooling center access for vulnerable residents during extreme heat

By: - June 17, 2022

Arizona residents seeking refuge from extreme heat may face barriers to accessing cooling centers designed to shield vulnerable populations from dangerous temperatures, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Heat exposure and heat-related illness are on the rise and the age group most at risk for hospitalization—those 65 and […]

COVID-19 is surging in Arizona schools, but parents are left in the dark

By: and - August 31, 2021

As COVID-19 infections surge in Arizona schools, sickening thousands of students and staff and forcing thousands more into quarantine, parents — and the public at large — have been left without a comprehensive picture of where Arizona students and educators are contracting the virus.  A patchwork of outbreak and quarantine notifications from school districts has […]