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About AHCJ: General News

AHCJ receives $750,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Date: 10/22/07

Oct. 22, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Len Bruzzese, AHCJ executive director, 573-884-5606

The Association of Health Care Journalists and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism announced that it has received a $750,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support conferences and workshops, increase its training and outreach activities, and fund AHCJ's core educational and operational efforts. AHCJ is one of journalism's fastest growing membership organizations, signing up more than 1,000 active members in 19 nations in less than 10 years.

"Increased membership has meant increased demands for training events, educational materials and member services, such as Web resources," says Len Bruzzese, AHCJ's executive director. "This generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will allow us to grow our core services while maintaining the quality our members have come to expect."

Specifically, the grant will support:

  • AHCJ's large annual conferences - Health Journalism 2008, 2009 and 2010. These annual four-day conferences draw journalists from across the United States and, increasingly, from beyond.

  • Specialty workshops. The association is putting on an urban health journalism workshop and a rural health journalism workshop this fiscal year. Planning is under way for more topic areas.

  • Ethnic media fellowships for various AHCJ conferences and workshops. There has been an increasing interest by ethnic media outlets in providing readers, viewers and listeners with health news. These fellowships will assist ethnic newsrooms in sending more staff to training events.

  • Support the hiring of a special projects manager to assist the small staff in training efforts.

AHCJ and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation logosThe grant also includes $200,000 to establish an AHCJ endowment at the Missouri School of Journalism. Earnings will assist the school in paying for its share of supporting AHCJ, which is hosted at the school.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has supported AHCJ and its Center from its earliest days. RWJF supported AHCJ's first annual meeting, and provided funding for early strategic planning, comference planning, membership recruitment and core support. Other key projects have included a Web site redesign and an ongoing series of reporting guides. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a variety of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve meaningful change.

"The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has long been interested in improving the quality and frequency of coverage of health and health care issues, and is proud to have invested in AHCJ from the beginning," said Adam Coyne, RWJF director of public affairs. In nine short years, the Association of Health Care Journalists has achieved a level of organizational and financial stability that positions it to deliver on its mission and deliver essential information to the American public."

"We are confident that this grant will further the Association's goals of adding new members, increasing the quality and quantity of services it offers to its membership and others, raising awareness of AHCJ within the journalism world, and strengthening the Association's long-term financial viability," Coyne said.

AHCJ is an independent, nonprofit organization with an international membership of more than 1,000 health reporters and editors. Along with its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, it is dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues and improving the quality, accuracy and visibility of health reporting, writing and editing.