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About AHCJ: General News

First class of Comparative Effectiveness Research Fellows named Date: 09/18/15

AHCJ Fellowship on Comparative Effectiveness ResearchCOLUMBIA, MO. – Twelve journalists have been chosen for the inaugural class of the AHCJ Fellowship on Comparative Effectiveness Research. The fellowship program was created with support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to help reporters and editors produce more accurate in-depth stories on medical research and how medical decisions are made.

The fellows will gather in Washington, D.C., the week of Oct. 11 for a series of presentations, roundtables, hands-on database sessions and interactions with researchers.

The 2015 fellowship class includes:

  • Elizabeth Agnvall, health features editor, AARP Media

  • JoNel Aleccia, health reporter, The Seattle Times

  • Joe Carlson, staff reporter, (Minneapolis) Star Tribune

  • Cheryl Clark, contributing writer, MedPage Today; inewsource/KPBS

  • Julie Corliss, editor and freelance writer, Harvard Heart Letter

  • Kenny Goldberg, health reporter, KPBS-San Diego

  • Elana Gordon, health and science reporter, WHYY-Philadelphia

  • Tara Haelle, freelance contributor, Forbes

  • Tina Reed, health reporter, Washington Business Journal

  • Sabriya Rice, reporter, Modern Healthcare

  • Andrew Seaman, senior reporter, Reuters Health

  • Elizabeth Simpson, health reporter, The Virginian-Pilot

The training topics will include:

  • How to critique research studies that compare various treatments and approaches

  • How patients are helping to redesign research and health care

  • Clinical trial challenges

  • Resources for finding the best evidence

  • The future of clinical trials

The fellows were selected from dozens of qualified applicants.

“The number of journalists seeking this training – in its very first year – is a sign of the hunger for deeper training in understanding medical studies, evaluating the reliability of the resulting evidence and learning how health care decisions are then made by patients as well as providers,” said AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese.

Joe Selby, M.D., M.P.H., executive director of PCORI, said his organization is eager to support connections between in-the-trenches researchers and the journalists who need to make sense of medical studies and evidence for an interested public.

“As research funders, we know that we need much better ways to communicate research evidence to the people who need and will use this information,” Selby said. “Journalists are critical partners in this effort and I am so pleased by the enthusiasm of our inaugural class and the opportunity to collaborate with AHCJ.”

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. With about 1,500 members across the United States and around the globe, its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The association and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism provide training, resources and a professional home for journalists. Offices are based at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, an independent nonprofit, nongovernmental organization located in Washington, D.C., was authorized by Congress in 2010 to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers and policymakers make informed health decisions. Specifically, it funds comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER, as well as supports work that will improve the methods used to conduct such studies.


The 2015 fellows in Washington, D.C.