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About AHCJ: General News

First class of AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Program fellows named Date: 06/16/11

AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Program

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the inaugural class of the Regional Health Journalism Fellowship, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors across the United States.

The program evolved from the former Midwest Health Journalism Fellowship, which trained dozens of journalists in Kansas and Missouri over the past four years. The new Regional Fellowship will draw from a larger region, which changes each year. This first set of fellows was selected from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The fellows are:

  • Tony Leys, Des Moines (Iowa) Register

  • Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune, Minneapolis; Dental therapists bridge gap

  • Christinia Crippes, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa

  • Erik Hogstrom, Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa

  • Tom Hauser, KSTP-St. Paul, Minn.

  • John Lundy, Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune

  • Mark Andersen, Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star

  • Lynn Taylor Rick, Rapid City (S.D.) Journal

  • Grant Gerlock, NET Radio, Lincoln, Neb.

  • Katie Ryan-Anderson, The Jamestown (N.D.) Sun

  • Michelle San Miguel, KFYR-Bismarck, N.D.

  • Elissa Dickey, Aberdeen (S.D.) American News

The aim of the program, created with the support of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, is to provide established journalists with the tools needed to improve the depth and amount of coverage focused on localizing critical health issues. Designed by journalists for journalists, the training is spread over a year's time.

The training includes:

  • A day-and-a-half fellowship kickoff session with a special focus on state health policy

  • An intense one-week health reporting boot camp at the Missouri School of Journalism featuring some of the top health journalists in the country

  • Three days of customized briefings at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta

  • An exclusive one-hour webinar held mid-term

  • Four days at Health Journalism 2012 in Atlanta, the annual conference of AHCJ featuring dozens of workshops, panel sessions, field trips and news briefings with key health experts and policy makers

  • The one-day 2012 Rural Health Journalism Workshop

  • A professional membership in the Association of Health Care Journalists, with access to all print and Web-based member resources.

  • Access to an experienced personal mentor from AHCJ's 1,300-plus membership.

  • A fellows-only electronic discussion list and Web page.

  • Continuing resource support after the fellowship.

"We intend to expose the chosen journalists to a lot of resources and experts, as well as a broader network of reporters and editors who can help them do their best work," said AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese.  "These fellows have chosen to raise the bar for themselves."

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. In just a dozen years, it has grown into the premier organization for training health journalists, boasting more than 1,100 members across the United States and in 27 other nations. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. AHCJ, which is based at the Missouri School of Journalism, conducts training through its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, established in 1999, is administered by Trustees selected by Leona Helmsley as a continuation of Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley's generous giving through their lifetimes. The Trust supports a diverse range of organizations with a major focus on health and medical research, in addition to programs in human services, education and conservation. The Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits.