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About AHCJ: General News

Annual conference lineup to include U.S. surgeon general Date: 03/17/16

Health Journalism 2016More than 600 attendees will gather for Health Journalism 2016, where they will hear from the U.S. surgeon general, the chief medical official for Veterans Affairs and NFL notables. The annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists is set for April 7-10 in Cleveland.

As always, conference attendees will hear from – and interact with – top-notch researchers, well-regarded educators, effective clinicians, prize-winning journalists and authors and many more experts on a vast array of health topics.

The conference will begin with a day of field trips to hosts Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University research, medical and training facilities – places to garner story ideas and exposure to significant hospitals and academic institutions. That first day will include an assortment of journalism workshops, with practical sessions on understanding health issues, reporting, writing and managing your career.

That evening will begin with a kickoff roundtable – “Covering the health angles of cities facing crises” – featuring a discussion among city health commissioners Natoya Walker Minor, M.P.A., of Cleveland , Melba R. Moore, M.S., C.P.H.A., of St. Louis , and Leana S. Wen, M.D. M.Sc., of Baltimore.

Afterward , attendees will gather for food, drinks and conversation at a “Welcome to Cleveland” reception in the Global Center for Health Innovation . The center is a Cuyahoga County-owned showcase for the latest in health care innovation, technology, education and commerce, and conference attendees will be invited to tour the themed floors of the center.

The next two days will be filled with panels and spotlight speakers, starting with an early news briefing on Friday with David J. Shulkin, M.D., undersecretary of health for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The briefing will give attendees a chance to file a story from the conference. Panels will include world-class experts covering the business of health, public health, policy, research, clinical care, global health concerns and more. That includes a Friday session on sports-related concussions, featuring NFL free agent Josh Cribbs and former NFL player Steve Sanders, who now runs the youth-related Training Camp for Life.

A highlight for AHCJ freelance members will include the annual PitchFest, a way for independent writers to meet with editors from some of the top magazines, newspapers and websites. This session has been created to give freelancers an opportunity to pitch story ideas directly to editors .

On Saturday, the luncheon speaker will be Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., the surgeon general of the United States. Another luncheon highlight will be the recognition of journalists who did the best work of 2015, winners of the annual Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Many of those winners will be appearing on panels to share how they did their winning work.

The day will end with a reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, a walk or short trolley ride from the conference site. (Attendees should remember that conference nametags are required for admission by museum staff.)

The conference’s final day will feature the return of the popular how-to Sunday sessions – taking home what you’ve learned during Health Journalism 2016. The sessions will cover hospital finances and quality, key research tools (and how to understand them), and using social media and other tools in connecting and reporting.

And scattered throughout will be opportunities to have hallway conversations with colleagues and experts, find new resources in the Exhibit Hall, become more familiar with the resources AHCJ offers its members, and even have a little fun in a photo booth with colorful props.

The conference will be in two locations: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center and across the street in the Global Center for Health Innovation and the connected Cleveland Convention Center.

Along with the conference hosts, endowing sponsors are the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Other national and local s ponsors include Patient- Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Global Center for Health Innovation, The Commonwealth Fund, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, John A. Hartford Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health, California Health Care Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Rhode Island Foundation, Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, The JAMA Network, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation (Cleveland), Better Health Partnership and Destination Cleveland.

AHCJ is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. With more than 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. Its offices are based at the Missouri School of Journalism.