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About AHCJ: General News

Comparative Effectiveness Research Fellows named for 2016 Date: 08/12/16

COLUMBIA, MO. – Ten journalists have been chosen for the second 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 Sept. 11 for a series of presentations, roundtables, how-to database sessions and interactions with researchers.

The 2016 fellowship class includes:

  • Tara Bannow, health care reporter, The (Bend) Bulletin (@TaraBannow)

  • Guy Boulton, reporter,  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (@BoultonGuy)

  • Cynthia Craft, independent journalist, Diamond Springs, Calif. (@cynthiahcraft)

  • Alaric DeArment, reporter, BioPharm Insight (@AlaricJDeArment)

  • Elisabeth Bonis, medical reporter, WKRC-Cincinnati (@lbonis1)

  • Michael Fitzhugh, staff writer, Thomson Reuters BioWorld (@mfitz)

  • Mary Chris Jaklevic, independent journalist, Oak Park, Ill. (@mcjaklevic)

  • Meghana Keshavan, biotechnology correspondent, Stat (@megkesh)

  • Alexander Smith, health/science reporter, KCUR-Kansas City (@AlexSmithKCUR)

  • Wendy Wolfson, independent journalist, Irvine, Calif. (@wendywolfson)

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

  • Open science and data transparency

  • The future of clinical trials

The fellows were selected from dozens of qualified applicants.

“It was wonderful to see so many journalists seeking this advanced training on understanding medical studies, evaluating evidence and looking for ways to tap into patient involvement, 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 communicating research evidence to the people who need it is essential but often overlooked,” Selby said. “It’s especially important for comparative effectiveness research because this research is meant primarily to serve patients and their clinicians. Journalists are critical partners in this effort and I am so pleased by the enthusiasm of a new class of fellows 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.