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AHCJ News

Five journalists named 2015 Reporting Fellows on Health Care Performance    Posted: 10/30/14

AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded five journalists AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance for work to be completed in 2015. The program, in its fifth year, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care markets and the U.S. health system as a whole.

The fellowship program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is intended to give experienced print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to concentrate on the performance of health care systems – or significant parts of those systems – locally, regionally or nationally. The fellows are able to examine policies, practices and outcomes, as well as the roles of various stakeholders.


2014 class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows chosen    Posted: 08/04/14

AHCJ-NLM-FellowsEight journalists have been named to this year's class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters' access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.

Their visit to the NIH campus, scheduled for Sept. 7-11, will include hands-on workshops about how to use and get the most from several government research databases, such as PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov and ToxNet. Fellows also will meet with senior NLM and NIH researchers and officials for exclusive informational sessions.


$200,000 grant strengthens project-based reporting fellowship    Posted: 07/22/14

AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has been awarded a grant of $200,000 to continue a fellowship program that helps journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care markets and the U.S. health system as a whole.

The AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance were launched in 2010.

The program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based private foundation, allows experienced print, broadcast and online reporters to pursue significant reporting projects over a year’s time related to the U.S. health care system.


New AHCJ board seated for 2014-15    Posted: 07/21/14

Tony Leys and Charlotte Sutton

Charlotte Sutton, senior editor/health and politics for the Tampa Bay Times, and Tony Leys, a staff writer for the Des Moines Register, join four incumbents in being seated on the Association of Health Care Journalists' 2014-15 board of directors.

Incumbents starting a new two-year term include AHCJ Vice President Ivan Oransky, M.D., of MedPage Today in New York; AHCJ Secretary Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News in Washington, D.C., Scott Hensley of NPR in Washington, D.C., and Irene Wielawski, an independent journalist in Pound Ridge, N.Y.


AHCJ names 2014-15 Regional Health Journalism Fellows    Posted: 07/16/14

AHCJ Regional Health Journalism ProgramThe Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2014-15 class of the Regional Health Journalism Fellowship, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors across the United States.


President’s Corner: Health care too vast a coverage area without the generosity of your peers    Posted: 06/10/14

Karl Stark
Karl Stark

Rhiannon Meyers
Rhiannon Meyers

If you didn’t get to hear Rhiannon Meyers describe her diabetes project at Health Journalism 2014 in Denver, you missed her take on a real catty whompus state of affairs, as they say in Texas.

Diabetes is so rampant in Corpus Christi, Rhiannon said, that the Dartmouth Atlas ranked the city No. 1 in the nation for below-the-knee amputations. A national magazine even dubbed the town “Corpulent Christi” for its Texas-sized waist lines. Rhiannon, an investigative reporter covering health care part time at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, proposed a yearlong project for 2013 that was chosen for support by AHCJ’s Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance.

The fellowship – which includes travel and research support, mentoring and other resources – enabled Rhiannon to steep herself in issues surrounding diabetes, both locally and nationally. She learned what questions to ask and where to go for data. “AHCJ helped me bust out of the local silo,” she said. “I heard more from readers during that series than I have in my entire career.”


AHCJ invites members to run for a seat on the board of directors    Posted: 06/09/14


Image by FutUndBeidl via Flickr.

Each year, members in AHCJ’s professional category elect members for the association board of directors. (Associate and allied members cannot run for election or cast ballots.)

Board members take on committee duties and contribute to association activities, including fundraising, advocacy, helping plan sessions at training events, membership outreach and writing/editing contributions.

They may be asked to play a role in other association projects that arise. They also are asked to show their support through an annual donation to the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, although there is no minimum required.


Mile-High City draws crowd for Health Journalism 2014    Posted: 03/30/14

AHCJ’s first Mountain States conference – Health Journalism 2014 – brought journalists from across the United States and beyond to Denver in March. With nearly 700 attendees, the conference included field trips, workshops, a special end-of-life track, spotlight speakers and dozens of panels.

Two of the conference’s highlights were talks by two experts who continue to impact the world of health care. During the conference kickoff event, Louis Sullivan, M.D., a former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addressed the conference after a lively talk from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who discussed the state’s legalization of marijuana.


2013 winners named in top health journalism awards    Posted: 03/11/14

An investigation that found criminals running diet supplement companies, a series revealing the failure of hospitals to provide life-saving newborn screening tests and an examination of efforts to prevent childhood deaths in Africa and Asia were among the top winners of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

First-place awards also went to articles that looked at the potential dangers of acetaminophen, the reasons behind a high suicide rate in Montana and what happens to veterans who lose their health benefits when they are discharged for minor offenses.


New AHCJ resource offers guidance for covering social determinants and disparities in health    Posted: 12/05/13

The Association of Health Care Journalists has rolled out another Core Curriculum topic on its website. “Social determinants and disparities” is the sixth in a series of core topic subject areas making up the curriculum. It is one of at least a dozen key subject areas the organization believes today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.


Five journalists named 2014 Reporting Fellows on Health Care Performance    Posted: 11/26/13

AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health PerformanceThe Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded five journalists AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance. The program, in its fourth year, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care markets and the U.S. health system as a whole.

The fellowship program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is intended to give experienced print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to concentrate on the performance of health care systems – or significant parts of those systems – locally, regionally or nationally. The fellows are able to examine policies, practices and outcomes, as well as the roles of various stakeholders.


AHCJ seeks release of health insurance exchange data    Posted: 10/11/13

Right to knowAHCJ has called on the federal government to release data about enrollment in the federal health insurance exchange as soon as the numbers are tabulated.

In a letter sent on Oct. 10, 2013, to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, and Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, AHCJ president Karl Stark asks for daily or weekly updates, rather than the monthly updates the administration has planned. 


New AHCJ resource to help reporters cover insurance    Posted: 10/08/13

The Association of Health Care Journalists has rolled out another Core Curriculum topic on its website. “Insurance” is the fifth in a series of core topic subject areas making up the curriculum. It is one of at least a dozen key subject areas the organization believes today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.

“Understanding health insurance in the United States has just gotten tougher,” said Len Bruzzese, executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. “Our mix of employer-based, federally backed and state-supported systems was already confusing for many. Now, the implementation of health reform means reporters need an even firmer grasp on what’s out there so they can assist the public.”


AHCJ contest opens for submissions of 2013 work    Posted: 09/13/13

Awards for Excellence in Health Care JournalismEntries for the 2013 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism are now being accepted. The awards recognize the best health reporting in print, broadcast and online media across 12 categories.

Those categories are topic-based, with entries competing head-to-head no matter whether they appeared in magazines, newspapers, trade publications or on radio or television stations or websites, although some of the categories are divided by size of outlet.

“This contest showcases the high level of reporting being done nationally and around the world on vital health and health policy issues,” said Julie Appleby, AHCJ’s contest chair and a senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service based in Washington, D.C.


Board names officers to two-year terms    Posted: 09/03/13

The AHCJ board of directors elected a new set of officers for 2013-15 to take their seats this week.

Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer was named president, Ivan Oransky of MedPage Today was named vice president, Felice J. Freyer of The Providence Journal was named treasurer and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News was named secretary. Charles Ornstein of ProPublica, and board president for the past four years, remains on the board. He did not seek another officer position.


2013 class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows chosen    Posted: 08/22/13

Eight journalists have been named to this year's class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters' access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.


New AHCJ board seated for 2013-14    Posted: 07/22/13

Six incumbents won re-election to the Association of Health Care Journalists' 2013-14 board of directors.

The re-elected board members are Felice J. Freyer of The Providence (R.I.) Journal; Gideon Gil of The Boston Globe; Carla K. Johnson of The Associated Press; Maryn McKenna, an independent journalist based in Atlanta; Charles Ornstein of ProPublica and Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer.


AHCJ names 2013-14 Regional Health Journalism Fellows    Posted: 06/07/13

AHCJ Regional Health Journalism ProgramThe Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2013-14 class of the Regional Health Journalism Fellowship, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors across the United States.

The program, which changes regions each year, will focus this year on journalists from the Western United States, namely Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The program begins in July. The first class of fellows came from the northern Midwest and Plains. The second class of fellows, which is just completing its year of training opportunities, came from the Southeast.


AHCJ invites members to run for a seat on the board of directors    Posted: 06/07/13

VoteEach year, members in AHCJ’s professional category elect members for the association board of directors. Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. The call for candidates will open on June 10 and will remain open until July 12. Elections will be conducted the week of July 15.

Find out more about being a board member and how to declare your candidacy.


Denver named as Health Journalism 2014 site    Posted: 05/09/13

Health Journalism 2014Health Journalism 2014, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists, will take place in Denver next year, AHCJ has announced.

The conference, which has drawn between 600 and 800 attendees in each of the past three years, will take place March 27-30, 2014, at the Grand Hyatt Denver. The hotel is located just a block from Denver’s popular 16th Street pedestrian mall and features views of the vibrant downtown and the majestic Rocky Mountains.


Journalists call on USDA to release food stamp information    Posted: 04/08/13

The Association of Health Care Journalists, along with six other journalism and open-government groups, has called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to release to the public vital information about the multibillion-dollar food stamps program.

Currently, the USDA refuses to reveal how much money individual retailers make from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. Additionally, the USDA does not disclose which products are purchased with SNAP dollars or how much is spent on each product, in aggregate.


AHCJ names Seegert new topic leader on aging issues    Posted: 04/02/13

Liz Seegert
Liz Seegert

The Association of Health Care Journalists has hired reporting professional Liz Seegert as the new topic champion for its core curriculum efforts on aging.

Seegert’s reporting and writing background spans more than 25 years in print, broadcast, and digital media, covering consumer and professional health topics. She takes over from founding topic leader Judith Graham, who built the foundation of the site, and who now writes for The New York Times’ blog The New Old Age.

The pages offer a central and cataloged collection of materials on the topic, with the practical daily guidance of a lead editor who specializes in the topic. Each specialty topic page includes glossaries, key concepts, reporting tip sheets, weekly blog items, first-person stories by fellow journalists, videos, data and more. The topic home page serves as a launch pad to more resources on the healthjournalism.org site and elsewhere.


Nearly 800 attend AHCJ's annual conference    Posted: 03/20/13

Health Journalism 2013A record crowd attending Health Journalism 2013 saw AHCJ unveil its own searchable news application of hospital inspection reports, heard experts in virtually every field, and marked the group’s 15th anniversary.

The annual event drew nearly 800 attendees to the four-day gathering in Boston. The conference featured panel discussions, workshops, field trips, showcase speakers and a news briefing. The sessions covered the medical research, health care policy, clinical practice, public health, consumer health and the business of health care.


AHCJ unveils hospitalinspections.org    Posted: 03/15/13

The Association of Health Care Journalists today launched hospitalinspections.org, a free, searchable news application that compiles thousands of federal inspection reports for hospitals around the nation since January 2011.

The move follows years of advocacy by AHCJ urging the government to release the deficiency reports in an electronic format. Until now, reporters and the public had to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to obtain the documents, a process fraught with delays that can stymie timely public knowledge of problems at hospitals.


2012 winners named in top health journalism awards    Posted: 02/25/13

Awards for Excellence in Health Care JournalismAn investigation revealing concerns about unnecessary treatments by private dental firms – along with stories showcasing the enormous financial toll of medical care and the cost of dying – were among the top winners of this year's Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

First-place awards also went to a series that investigated long-forgotten lead factories and the dangers they pose to nearby residents, coverage of the compounding pharmacy linked to the national outbreak of fungal meningitis, the toll obesity is taking on residents of one state and the effect of violence against those living with HIV.


AHCJ accepted into World Federation of Science Journalists    Posted: 02/04/13

The Association of Health Care Journalists has been accepted into the World Federation of Science Journalists, a nonprofit organization of 44 groups dedicated to increasing public understanding of science and technology through the mass media.

“The international segment of our membership continues to grow. We feel it makes sense to work with other established international journalism groups where possible to meet the needs of these reporters, editors and producers,” AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese explained.

AHCJ leaders expect WFSJ membership will increase networking potential for AHCJ members in both reporting and career development.


New AHCJ resource to help reporters cover medical research    Posted: 01/07/13

The Association of Health Care Journalists has rolled out another Core Curriculum topic on its website. “Covering Medical Studies” is the fourth in a series of core topic subject areas making up the curriculum. It is one of at least a dozen key subject areas the organization believes today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.

“Journalists are inundated daily with the latest medical studies,” said Len Bruzzese, executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. “AHCJ has long promoted the need to understand the essential building blocks of covering medical studies. At the same time, we have tried to teach that such coverage comes with a certain responsibility to keep this information in context. This core topic content will serve both demands.”


2013 Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance awarded    Posted: 12/03/12

AHCJ Reporting Fellowshiops on Health Care Performance

The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded five journalists AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance. The program, in its third year, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care markets and the U.S. health system as a whole.

The fellowship program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is intended to give experienced print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to concentrate on the performance of health care systems – or significant parts of those systems – locally, regionally or nationally. The fellows are able to examine policies, practices and outcomes, as well as the roles of various stakeholders.


Call for entries opens for health journalism awards    Posted: 10/02/12

Entries for the 2012 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism are now being accepted.

Following on changes begun last year, the contest retains its topic-based categories, where entries compete head-to-head no matter whether they appeared in magazines, newspapers, trade publications or on radio or television stations or websites.


AHCJ launches Web resource about ‘oral health’ for reporters    Posted: 09/21/12

The Association of Health Care Journalists has rolled out another Core Curriculum topic on its website. “Oral health” is the third in a series of core topic subject areas making up the curriculum. It is one of at least a dozen key subject areas the organization believes today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.

Each specialty topic page includes glossaries, key concepts, reporting tip sheets, weekly blog items, first-person stories by fellow journalists, videos, data and more. The topic home page serves as a launch pad to more resources on the healthjournalism.org site and elsewhere.


2012 class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows chosen    Posted: 08/16/12

AHCJ-NLM FellowshipsSix journalists have been named to this year's class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters' access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.

Their visit to the NIH campus, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 4, will include hands-on workshops about how to use and get the most from several government research databases, such as PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov and ToxNet. Fellows also will meet with senior NLM and NIH researchers and officials for exclusive informational sessions.


Reporting project fellowships available    Posted: 08/09/12

AHCJ Reporting Fellowshiops on Health Care PerformanceInterested in pursuing a project on patient safety and quality care? Efforts to address racial disparities in infant mortality? The power hospitals or insurers wield in your market? What hospital or insurance company consolidation will mean? How well a hospital system tracks medical errors? How a doctor shortage is affecting care in a region's community health clinics? Differences between U.S. states in mandated coverage for autism treatment?

Receive financial assistance and a fellowship award to pursue health journalism projects of significance to your audience.


New AHCJ board seated for 2012-13    Posted: 07/20/12

Scott HensleyScott Hensley, NPR’s Shots blog writer and editor, joins five incumbents in being seated on the Association of Health Care Journalists' 2012-13 board of directors.

Incumbents starting a new two-year term include AHCJ Secretary Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News; AHCJ Treasurer Ivan Oransky, M.D., Reuters Health; Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News; Andy Miller, Georgia Health News; and Irene Wielawski, independent journalist. Immediate Past President Trudy Lieberman, a longtime board member and contributing editor for Columbia Journalism Review, chose not to run for re-election.


AHCJ protests FDA surveillance of communication between reporters, scientists    Posted: 07/16/12

Following a New York Times report that revealed the federal government secretly tracked communication sent by FDA scientists to “members of Congress, lawyers, labor officials, journalists and even President Obama,” the Association of Health Care Journalists has expressed alarm at the “Orwellian practices” in a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


President’s Corner: Renewing our reporting focus on the health aspects of health reform    Posted: 07/01/12

Charles OrnsteinThis column, by AHCJ President Charles Ornstein, originally appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of HeatlhBeat.

After months of suspense, the Afford­able Care Act survived its day in court.

Within minutes of the Supreme Court’s decision, elected officials and po­litical candidates unleashed sound bites and slogans to try to win the message wars. Pundits and prognosticators wasted little time talking about whether the de­cision would change the outcome of this year’s presidential race.

If we were all political reporters, we would spend the next five months duti­fully chronicling this silly horse race. But for those covering health, the task is more nuanced and difficult.


AHCJ names 2012-13 Regional Health Journalism Fellows    Posted: 06/15/12

The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2012-13 class of the Regional Health Journalism Fellowship, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors across the United States.

The program, which changes regions each year, will focus this year on journalists from the Southeastern United States, namely Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. The inaugural class of fellows, which just completed its year of training opportunities, came from the northern Midwest and Plains.


Call for candidates: Run for a spot on AHCJ's board of directors    Posted: 06/07/12

Each year, members in AHCJ’s “professional” category elect members for the association board of directors. (Associate and allied members cannot run for election or cast ballots.)

Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. Incumbent board members are allowed to run for re-election.


Rural health in the spotlight at workshop    Posted: 06/05/12

Rural Health Journalism Workshop 2012AHCJ’s fifth Rural Health Journalism Workshop brought more than 50 people to hear speakers to discuss hunger and health, recruiting doctors and the growth of non-traditional health care professionals, the health status of children, the business of health, and health emergencies – all in a rural theme.


Boston named as Health Journalism 2013 site    Posted: 05/24/12

Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists, will take place in Boston next year, AHCJ has announced.

The conference, which has drawn more than 600 attendees in each of the last two years, will take place March 14-17, 2013, at the Seaport Boston Hotel and the adjacent Seaport World Trade Center. The hotel and conference center are located on the Boston waterfront in the growing Seaport District.


AHCJ urges Joint Commission to release inspection results    Posted: 04/06/12

The Association of Health Care Journalists has called upon The Joint Commission to make public its hospital accreditation surveys and complaint reports.

In a letter to the agency sent last week (PDF), AHCJ president Charles Ornstein noted that some consumers can obtain hospital inspection reports while others cannot, depending on where they live and which organization or regulator did the survey.


2011 winners named for top health journalism awards    Posted: 04/04/12

Awards for Excellence in Health Care JournalismA touching narrative about a terminally ill man’s choices at the end of life – along with stories showcasing how ethnic communities are coping with diabetes and an investigation into one doctor’s trail of malpractice allegations – were among the top winners of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

First-place awards also went to stories detailing risks at hospitals – including a higher-than-average rate of violence against workers – and a series uncovering problems with state and federal oversight of private ambulance services in Houston.

The 2011 awards, announced today by the Association of Health Care Journalists, recognize the best health reporting in 10 categories.


After AHCJ protest, HHS stipulates public meetings are open to media    Posted: 04/03/12

In November, Department of Health and Human Services held a series of “listening sessions” in 10 cities to gather input on an important aspect of the Affordable Care Act. These meetings were publicized among thousands of invited “stakeholders,” and anyone who heard by word of mouth could also attend.

But apparently no media advisories went out and, worse, reporters who happened to learn about the meetings were barred from attending.  The meetings were not transcribed or recorded.

The Association of Health Care Journalists worked with the HHS media office to find out what had happened and to express its concerns. As a result HHS has agreed to make it a policy that public meetings are open to the media.


AHCJ opens dialogue to improve journalists’ access to medical society meetings    Posted: 03/26/12

The Association of Health Care Journalists has launched an effort to improve reporters’ access to the data and information released at medical society meetings.

These meetings are often the world’s first look at research findings and advances in medical science. But the policies of some medical societies can make it hard for reporters to do their jobs well.


AHCJ calls for accessible reporting of physician payments    Posted: 02/17/12

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should create an easily usable and searchable database when it publishes information from drug and device makers about payments to physicians, according to comments (PDF) submitted by the Association of Health Care Journalists  on proposed rules for carrying out the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.

The act will open a window on financial relationships between physicians and industry. Starting in 2013, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers must report to CMS any “transfer of value” worth more than $10 to a physician, and CMS will post the information online.


AHCJ weighs in on FCC broadcast transparency proposal    Posted: 01/13/12

AHCJ is supporting a new effort to require broadcasters to report their funding sources online, because that would make it easier for people to recognize infomercials that masquerade as news.

The practice of broadcasting reports that, unbeknownst to viewers or listeners, are paid for by hospitals or other health-care organizations has long been a concern. For example, in 2010 a health reporter for a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles appeared in a segment interviewing a hospital’s chief medical officer – paid for by that hospital. The segment looked like news but the hospital considered it advertising. Viewers were left to guess.

Now, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing rules requiring that sponsorships be posted online in a searchable database. Currently, such information is available only to people who go to the station and ask to review paper files.


AHCJ opposes taking taxpayer-funded research out of public’s reach    Posted: 01/12/12

Congress should not roll back public access to taxpayer-funded research reports, AHCJ wrote in a letter to members of Congress.

AHCJ is opposing the Research Works Act (H.R. 3699), which would remove the public’s access to medical journal articles about publicly funded research. They are currently available for free to the public no more than 12 months after their publication in a medical journal.


'Aging' joins Core Curriculum topics for journalists    Posted: 01/10/12

The Association of Health Care Journalists has rolled out another Core Curriculum topic on its website. “Aging” is the second in a series of core topic subject areas making up the curriculum. Aging is one of at least a dozen key subject areas the organization believes today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.

Colorado-based writer Judith Graham is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging. She produces reporting guides, seeks out reliable resources, assigns stories and blogs regularly. She works with Pia Christensen, AHCJ’s managing editor/online services, to find the latest material, edit contributions and make the site as easy to navigate as possible.


Journalism organizations ask HRSA to clarify how it will exercise restrictions    Posted: 12/22/11

The Association of Health Care Journalists and five other journalism organizations asked federal health officials this week to specify how they plan to enforce new rules governing access to the public version of the National Practitioner Data Bank.

In a letter to Mary Wakefield, administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, the groups continued to express disappointment in the agency’s restrictions on the data bank’s Public Use File. In the past, reporters have used the file to expose faulty oversight of doctors by state medical boards.


AHCJ objects to CMS meeting privately with investors    Posted: 12/22/11

Responding to a report that federal health officials met in private with Wall Street investors, AHCJ leadership sent a letter to the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services objecting to the selective release of information to stakeholder groups.

AHCJ’s letter, signed by president Charles Ornstein, states, “We feel strongly that journalists should receive information from CMS no later than other groups. If guidance or previews are provided to special interest groups, it also should be provided to journalists, who inform the public.”


Health reform debuts as 'Core Curriculum' topic for health journalists    Posted: 12/19/11

Core Topic: Health ReformThe Association of Health Care Journalists has rolled out the first of its new Core Curriculum topics – the implementation of health reform – is one of at least a dozen key subject areas the organization believes today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.

While the AHCJ website already provides some of the best education and training materials available on health care reporting, these core topic pages within the larger site will offer a more curated collection of materials and the practical daily guidance of a lead editor who specializes in the topic, said Len Bruzzese, executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.


2012 Health Performance Fellows named    Posted: 12/15/11

Logo: AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health PerformanceThe Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded three journalists AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health Performance. The program, in its second year, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care systems and the U.S. health system as a whole.

The fellowship program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is intended to give mid-career print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to learn about examples of high-performing health care systems, to focus on innovations in care delivery, and to explore a system or its significant parts to determine what makes that system effective or ineffective. Fellows will be able to examine providers of care, insurers, regulators and policymakers.


AHCJ asks Supreme Court to permit broadcast of arguments in health reform case    Posted: 11/21/11

The Association of Health Care Journalists has asked Chief Justice John G. Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court to permit live audio and video coverage of the oral arguments next March in the case challenging congressional authority to mandate health insurance coverage and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act.


Journalism groups protest HRSA restrictions to Sebelius    Posted: 11/10/11

Letter to HHS Sec. SebeliusThe Association of Health Care Journalists and six other journalism organizations on Thursday formally protested the Obama administration’s new restrictions on access to the republished Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank.

In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the groups said that the new restrictions “are ill-advised, unenforceable and probably unconstitutional. Restricting how reporters use public data is an attempt at prior restraint.”


AHCJ expresses concerns about new rules for federal doctor discipline database    Posted: 11/09/11

The Association of Health Care Journalists welcomed the re-posting of the public version of the National Practitioner Data Bank today, but expressed concern over new conditions reporters must agree to in using the data.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration removed the Data Bank’s public use file from its website in September, claiming a reporter used it to identify a physician inappropriately.

“I appreciate the Obama administration’s willingness to work with reporters on this issue but I am concerned by new restrictions that reporters must agree to in order to access the data,” AHCJ Board President Charles Ornstein said.  ”How can the government say data is public but then say it’s only public with strings attached?”


2011 AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows announced    Posted: 10/27/11

AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellowships logoThe Association of Health Care Journalists has announced the selection of the fourth class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 10 journalists will spend a week studying a variety of public health issues at two Atlanta campuses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fellowship program will include presentations, roundtable discussions and lab tours on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, obesity and other chronic diseases, vaccine safety, foodborne disease, influenza, antibiotic resistance, autism, climate change and other topics.


Health journalism awards updated to reflect evolving media    Posted: 10/13/11

Awards for Excellence in Health Care JournalismThe Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, which began accepting 2011 entries today,  has been revamped to reflect the changing nature of media, the Association of Health Care Journalists announced. The contest categories will revolve around story topics more than traditional media platforms.

Investigative articles, consumer pieces, business stories and other work will compete head-to-head, whether they appeared in magazines, in newspapers, on radio, on television or through websites.  Several of these platform-neutral categories will be divided by size, in recognition of the resources different newsrooms can bring to a story.


Grassley criticizes federal agency over removal of doctor discipline data    Posted: 10/07/11

Sen. Charles GrassleyU.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter today to the Health Resources and Services Administration, criticizing its decision to remove a public version of the National Practitioner Data Bank, which has helped reporters and researchers to expose serious gaps in the oversight of physicians.

“Shutting down public access to the data bank undermines the critical mission of identifying inefficiencies within our health care system – particularly at the expense of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries,” Grassley wrote to HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield. “More transparency serves the public interest.”


Former Practitioner Data Banks official says HRSA ‘erroneously interpreting the law’    Posted: 10/03/11

A former federal official criticized a decision by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for removing the Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank from the agency's website - a major development as journalism groups fight to restore access to the important tool.

Robert Oshel, who created the Public Use File in the mid-1990s and managed it until his retirement in 2008, said in a statement released to the Association of Health Care Journalists on Sunday that HRSA is "erroneously interpreting the law" governing the data bank.


Journalists turn to Sebelius for access to National Practitioner Data Bank file    Posted: 09/28/11

HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius spoke to journalists at Health Journalism 2010 in Chicago.
HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius

The Association of Health Care Journalists and five other journalism groups appealed to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to intervene in the dispute over the Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank and restore access to this important data tool.

AHCJ was joined in its letter to Sebelius by Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Science Writers, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Freedom of Information Coalition. The groups have more than 15,000 members.


Agency declines to restore public data    Posted: 09/22/11

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration resisted demands by three major journalism organizations for the immediate restoration of a Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank, a tool that reporters have used to expose lapses in oversight of troubled physicians.

HRSA removed the Public Use File from the data bank website earlier this month because officials believe it was used to identify physicians inappropriately.

In letters to the Association of Health Care Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists, HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield said her agency regretted having to remove the Public Use File from its website and hopes to bring it back in some form "as quickly as is possible." She did not provide a date.


More journalism groups join effort to restore access to National Practitioner Data Bank    Posted: 09/21/11

Three additional journalism organizations have joined the campaign calling for the Obama administration to restore access to a public version of the National Practitioner Data Bank. And letters are going out to key members of Congress asking for their assistance.

The National Association of Science Writers, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and National Freedom of Information Coalition have signed the letter, along with the Association of Health Care Journalists, Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Society of Professional Journalists.  The groups have more than 15,000 members.


AHCJ, other journalism organizations protest removal of data from public website    Posted: 09/15/11

The Association of Health Care Journalists, joined by the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors, sent a letter to the Obama administration today protesting its decision to pull offline a public database of physician discipline and malpractice payments.

AHCJ, SPJ and IRE called for the government to immediately restore access to the Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank. The government has made this file available online for years, and reporters have used it to call attention to lax oversight of physicians across the country.


2011 class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows chosen    Posted: 08/29/11

AHCJ-NLM FellowshipsSix journalists have been named to this year's class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters' access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.

"This is a great class of fellows interested in putting some new resources to use in their news reports," said AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese. "And, because of our past fellowships, the professionals at the Library of Medicine are excited to share these tools with journalists."


Health officials, journalists agree on standards    Posted: 07/20/11

New guidance addresses information release in public health emergencies

Public health officials and journalists now have guidance on what information should be made public when someone dies or falls ill during a public health emergency, thanks to a unique collaborative effort being made public today.

A new document – developed by leaders in public health and health-care journalism – provides a framework for releasing such information as the age and location of private individuals who have been affected by an epidemic or other public-health event.  


New AHCJ board seated for 2011-12    Posted: 07/15/11

Gideon GilGideon Gil, the health and science editor at The Boston Globe, joins five incumbents in being seated on the Association of Health Care Journalists' 2011-12 board of directors.

Incumbents starting a new two-year term include Felice Freyer of The Providence (R.I.) Journal,  Carla K. Johnson of The Associated Press, independent journalist Maryn McKenna, Charles Ornstein of ProPublica and Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Independent journalist Andrew Holtz, a longtime board member and former interim executive director, chose not to run for re-election.


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

AHCJ Regional Health Journalism ProgramThe 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.


Call for candidates: Run for a spot on AHCJ's board of directors    Posted: 06/16/11

Each year, members in AHCJ’s “professional” category elect members for the association board of directors. (Associate and allied members cannot run for election or cast ballots.)

Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. Incumbent board members are allowed to run for re-election.


AHCJ revises membership rules    Posted: 06/15/11

The AHCJ board has amended the organization's membership guidelines, completing a process first begun in early 2010. The adjustments are an effort to make membership rules more consistent and ensure AHCJ is first and foremost an organization of and for journalists.

The changes will have no effect on most current members, says board member Phil Galewitz, chair of the Membership Committee. Journalists working for publications of health companies or health advocacy organizations, however, will be shifted into the associate member category, if they are not already there, he said.


FDA creates embargo policy in response to reporter concerns    Posted: 06/14/11

The Food and Drug Administration has adopted a policy on embargoes that permits reporters to share embargoed information with outside sources, provided the sources agree to uphold the embargo.

The policy explicitly supports embargoes as a way for reporters to add depth and detail to their stories, and conforms to common practice among medical journals and other sources of complex information.

The policy was shared with AHCJ this week after complaints from the organization earlier this year. In January, the FDA barred reporters from interviewing experts about new regulations on medical devices until the embargo lifted. AHCJ wrote to the FDA that such an approach created obstacles to serious journalism.


Record crowd attends Health Journalism 2011    Posted: 05/01/11

Health Journalism 2011Stories were pitched, skills were sharpened, cutting-edge technologies were experienced firsthand. Those are just a few of the highlights of the record-setting Health Journalism 2011, AHCJ's annual conference, held April 14-17 in Philadelphia.

More than 625 attendees – a record – from 37 states and six countries were on hand, including about 100 fellows – also a record – through seven different fellowship programs, funded by five private foundations.


Presidents of AHCJ, SPJ call for more openness from Obama administration    Posted: 03/31/11

The presidents of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists published an op-ed in The Washington Post this morning, criticizing the lack of openness within the Obama administration and calling on officials to improve the flow of information to journalists and the public.


2010 winners named in premier health journalism awards    Posted: 03/22/11

Awards for Excellence in Health Care JournalismInvestigations into shoddy oversight of adult care homes and low quality at dialysis centers – along with moving portrayals of the trade-offs patients and their families face with some life-saving medical treatments – were among the top winners in this year's Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

First-place honors also went to stories examining the bankruptcy of an iconic New York hospital and the pollution conundrum posed by wood stoves. Domestic issues were not the only focus: Winners also included a look at the state of health care in China and a series highlighting how other countries face up to difficult questions about who will receive care amid limited resources.


AHCJ leaders hold series of media access meetings with government officials    Posted: 03/15/11

AHCJ representatives held a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., last week to press for government openness at the state and federal levels.

AHCJ President Charles Ornstein and board member Felice Freyer (chair of the board's Right to Know Committee) met with representatives of the Health and Human Services Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as 12 newly appointed state health directors organized by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

The federal officials professed a commitment to openness, within limits, and promise to look into specific requests to further that goal. The state health officials, who heard a panel presentation about working effectively with reporters, were receptive and eager to talk with AHCJ about building relationships at the state level.


AHCJ asks FDA to re-evaluate embargo policy    Posted: 02/14/11

The Association of Health Care Journalists has sent a letter to FDA officials asking them to re-examine a policy that prohibits reporters from sharing embargoed materials with sources before the embargo lifts for the purpose of obtaining outside comment and context. As AHCJ notes, this highly unusual policy severely limits the ability of reporters to give readers the full story of a federal agency.


The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust supports health journalists with $1.1 million    Posted: 01/25/11

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust made the three-year grant of $1,097,000 to the Missouri-based Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, to increase the range of training opportunities for current journalists and to help develop new health journalists across the country.


Joint Commission changes website based on AHCJ request    Posted: 01/24/11

The Joint Commission, the largest nonprofit organization to accredit hospitals in the United States, has improved the quality of information available to consumers and journalists on its website.  In response to a request by AHCJ's Right to Know Committee, the agency has made it easy to tell whether a facility has recently lost accreditation or is in danger of losing it.


AHCJ joins organizations concerned with Texas A&M open-record restrictions    Posted: 01/03/11

The Association of Health Care Journalists has signed on to a letter criticizing a proposal by the Texas A&M University System that would result in punishment for journalism instructors who assign students to file open-records requests with institutions in the A&M University System.


AHCJ urges reporters in disaster areas to avoid focusing on selves    Posted: 12/20/10

Reporters covering cholera in Haiti and the latest tsunami in Indonesia bring the world's attention to people in urgent need, just as they did following the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods earlier this year. However, a few news reports from these and other places in crisis raise questions of journalistic ethics and professional responsibility. These questions prompted the board of AHCJ to consider these questions and offer guidance to our colleagues.


Health officials, journalists agree information is key in public health crisis    Posted: 11/22/10

Right to KnowWhen the H1N1 pandemic first hit in the fall or 2009, every sickness and every death was of great interest to the public. Anxiety ran high; people wanted to know how this new illness was affecting their communities. In some places, public health officials released considerable information about the victims. In others, however, they revealed little or nothing.

That may change soon, thanks to a cooperative effort between AHCJ's Right to Know Committee and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, aimed at establishing flexible guidelines on how much information to reveal about victims in a public health crisis.


11 chosen as 2010 AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows    Posted: 11/05/10

AHC-CDC Health Journalism FellowshipsThe Association of Health Care Journalists has announced the selection of the third class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 11 journalists will spend a week studying a variety of public health issues at two Atlanta campuses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fellows will tour the CDC director's National Emergency Operations Center, meet sources on policy and research and learn how to tap the agency's abundant resources to produce better stories. The training will take place in December at CDC's Atlanta and Chamblee campuses. 


Workshop in Ohio tests waters for possible chapter    Posted: 10/25/10

On Oct. 9, health care journalists and journalism professors turned out for a free workshop on how to use resources from the National Library of Medicine. Attendees learned how to access several of the National Library of Medicine's online databases and tested the waters in the Cleveland-Akron area about interest in forming a local chapter of AHCJ to provide opportunities for more education/training events and networking.


Journalists, officials discuss information released in public health emergencies    Posted: 10/11/10

Local, state and federal health officials from around the country will gather Friday with journalists to start developing guidelines on how much information health officials should release about deaths during a public health emergency or outbreak.

The meeting springs from concerns that AHCJ raised last year about the wide variations in the type of information disclosed when people died from H1N1.

Health officials in some states revealed such details as age and town of residence. Others merely acknowledged that someone somewhere had died. The discrepancies became the topic of news reports and may have led to public distrust of health authorities.


New online reporting guide focuses on covering medical studies    Posted: 09/02/10

Slim Guide: Covering Medical ResearchThe Association of Health Care Journalists has released its latest slim guide, "Covering Medical Research: A Guide for Reporting on Studies." The guide, published with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is one in a series intended to assist reporters in thoughtfully planning their coverage, and at the same time, serve reporters on deadline to quickly find the best sources or data.

The guide explains the hierarchy and quality of evidence when it comes to medical studies, how to put each of the types of studies into context for your audience, explaining absolute risk and relative risk and the all-important "number needed to treat." It is meant as an online resource for AHCJ members, is easily surfed on one's desktop and provides live links to even more resources for reporters.


2010 class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows chosen    Posted: 08/24/10

AHCJ-NLM FellowshipsSix journalists have been named to this year's class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters' access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.

The fellows, selected from dozens of qualified applicants, will visit the NIH campus in September for hands-on workshops about how to use and get the most from several government research databases, such as PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov and ToxNet. Fellows also will meet with senior NLM and NIH researchers and officials for exclusive informational sessions.


AHCJ adds access to data, online mapping as a benefit for members    Posted: 08/19/10

AHCJ members will now get special access to data and mapping tools, thanks to an agreement the organization has made with Esri, a company that provides mapping software and data.

This new member benefit allows AHCJ members to use data – at no cost – to enhance their health reporting. They will have the option to sign up for a basic subscription to Esri's Business Analyst Online (BAO), a web-based demographic data exploration application. Journalists can use BAO to investigate demographic patterns and compare areas through interactive maps.


AHCJ membership guidelines updated, made more inclusive    Posted: 08/11/10

The AHCJ board of directors in June voted unanimously to revise the association's membership guidelines in an effort to involve more journalists and have a more consistent approach to eligibility.

"Under our expanded eligibility, more journalists will be able to take advantage of the many resources of AHCJ and their inclusion will make us a stronger organization," said Phil Galewitz, chair of the AHCJ membership committee and a correspondent for Kaiser Health News. "At the same time, we are once again making it perfectly clear that AHCJ will not permit members who conduct public or media relations, with the exception of officers of independent, nonpartisan health and journalism foundations."


Eight Kansas, Missouri journalists named as Midwest Health Journalism Program Fellows    Posted: 08/03/10

Midwest Health Journalism Program logoThe Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2010-11 class of the Midwest Health Journalism Program, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors from Kansas and Missouri.

The program provides established journalists with the tools needed to improve the depth and amount of coverage focused on critical state and local health issues. The goals include a better-educated public and more accountability for policymakers, say the program planners.


Media Fellows on Health Performance named for 2010-11    Posted: 08/03/10

AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health PerformanceThe Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded the first AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health Performance. The program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care systems and the U.S. health system as a whole.

The fellows will receive customized training, mentoring and financial support for field reporting and conference attendance. They are expected to complete a significant and unique reporting project by the end of the fellowship year in June 2011.


AHCJ speaks up for public access to publicly funded research    Posted: 07/15/10

 The Association of Health Care Journalists sent comments in support of full-text access to the fruits of publicly-funded research to members of Congress considering H.R.5037 – Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009. One section of that bill would require researchers who receive funding from federal agencies to provide free online public access to final peer-reviewed manuscripts or published versions as soon as practicable, but not later than six months after publication in peer-reviewed journals.


AHCJ members show their support for organization as individual donors    Posted: 07/15/10

We don't often get the chance to say thank you to the individuals who add $20 to their membership renewals or offer multi-year pledges matched by their em­ployers. This kind of support is testament to how members feel about the mission of an organization. It is the support of which we should be most proud.

We are happy to list the individuals who gave that little bit extra during the past fiscal year. The entire organization thanks you.


Reform's next challenge: Telling the health stories of real community residents    Posted: 07/15/10

President's Corner, by Charles Ornstein

Charles OrnsteinCharles Ornstein

On a day-to-day basis, it seemed that political stories got better billing - at least from my vantage point. With the election of Scott Brown and the looming 2010 primaries, part of that is understandable. But I am really proud of the job health journalists did breaking through the noise and putting the political developments in the appropriate policy context. Time and again, reporters from outlets big and small profiled folks struggling with and without insurance in their communities, looked at the budget realities in their states and went beyond the catch phrases used by both sides. Journalists repeatedly took the vari­ous bills moving through the process and explained how they would affect readers, listeners and viewers. And they especially did this after the bill became law.

But for us, as health reporters, the hardest task comes next. As health reform is implemented, we move from the theo­retical to the actual.


New AHCJ board seated for 2010-11    Posted: 07/02/10

Andy Miller, longtime health care journalist, joined five incumbents in being seated on the Association of Health Care Journalists' 2010-2011 board of directors.

Incumbents starting a new two-year term include Julie Appleby and  Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News; Ivan Oransky of Reuters Health; Trudy Lieberman of Columbia Journalism Review; and freelancer Irene Wielawski. The six journalists were the only ones to register in time to run for the six open spots, precluding the need for an election. Board member Mike Stobbe of The Associated Press chose not to run for re-election.


Committee works to improve access to experts, officials    Posted: 06/29/10

If a public relations representative listens in on an interview, should the reporter let readers know?

That question has recently stirred debate among AHCJ members and others, following discussion sparked by AHCJ's Right-to-Know Committee, a 12-member group working to improve access to information for reporters and the public. Members of the committee recently met with federal officials about improving reporters' access to experts. In addition, the committee is working with state and local public health officials to develop guidelines on reporting deaths of interest to the public, continues its efforts to persuade the Joint Commission to make its Web site more transparent and accessible, and to challenge medical groups that impose excessive restrictions on recording and photography at their meetings.


Professional members invited to run for AHCJ's board of directors    Posted: 06/16/10

If you are a "professional" member of AHCJ and would like to serve on the board of directors, you are invited to declare your candidacy. Each year, AHCJ conducts an election to pick people to serve on the association's board of directors. Six of the 12 positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. The organization has issued its call for candidates.


Workshop explores special health needs of rural residents    Posted: 06/09/10

More than 50 people attended the Rural Health Journalism Workshop 2010, part of the Association of Health Care Journalists' Midwest Health Journalism Program, on June 4 in Kansas City, Mo. With 15 speakers and topics that included a look at barriers to mental health services in rural areas, health disparities, oral health and more, attendees of the free, daylong event left with story ideas and new resources to enhance their reporting.


Journalists invited to apply for Midwest Health Journalism Program Fellowships    Posted: 06/08/10

Midwest Health Journalism ProgramThanks to a grant from a group of Kansas and Missouri health foundations, the Association of Health Care Journalists (based at the Missouri School of Journalism) has worked with the Kansas Health Institute and the KU School of Journalism to create the Midwest Health Journalism Program. Through our Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, we select a handful of journalists annually from each of the two states for a training fellowship. This will be our fourth class.


New fellowship program encourages examination of health care systems    Posted: 05/19/10

Logo: AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health PerformanceThe Association of Health Care Journalists has announced a new fellowship program to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care systems and the U.S. health system as a whole. The AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health Performance, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, provides for training as well as field reporting assistance.

The program for mid-career journalists is intended to give print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to learn about examples of high-performing health care systems, to focus on innovations in care delivery, and to explore a system or its significant parts to determine what makes that system effective or ineffective. Fellows will be able to examine providers of care, insurers, regulators and policymakers.


Board adjusts scope of exhibit hall    Posted: 05/01/10

A limited number of trade associations and partisan foundations will be al­lowed to exhibit at next year's AHCJ con­ference under a pilot program approved by the group's board of directors at its April meeting.

The action, one of several key decisions made by the board, came in response to concerns that the exhibit hall could offer a more complete exchange of ideas while not being turned into a commercial ba­zaar.


Patient safety, reform, H1N1 top annual conference agenda    Posted: 04/26/10

Health Journalism 2010More than 500 attendees of Health Journalism 2010 took advantage of news-breaking speakers, experts on the impact of health reform, ideas on pursu­ing patient safety stories and more. The Association of Health Care Journalists' four-day annual conference in Chicago featured field trips, workshops, panels, roundtables and news briefings focusing on health reform, public health and medi­cal device safety.


2009 winners named in health journalism awards    Posted: 03/21/10

Logo: Awards for Excellence in Health Care JournalismInvestigations into questionable autism treatments, the safety of generic drugs, claims denials by disability insurers and the global trade in smuggled cigarettes were among the top winners in this year's Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

The 2009 awards, announced today by the Association of Health Care Journalists, recognize the best health reporting in nine categories, covering print, broadcast and online media. The contest, in its sixth year, received more than 250 entries.


AHCJ seeks consistency in medical meeting policies for news media coverage    Posted: 03/18/10

The Association of Health Care Journalists has asked medical organizations to end  policies that bar journalists from recording or photographing the meetings where new scientific research is presented.  Such policies make it difficult for journalists to provide complete and accurate information to the public. Most medical societies do not bar recording and photography


Annual conference to offer panels, field trips and more    Posted: 03/04/10

Health Journalism 2010Health Journalism 2010, set for April 22-25 in Chicago, is expected to draw hundreds of reporters, editors, news directors and producers for the latest information on covering health issues for consumer and trade audiences.

The annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists will feature a Newsmaker Briefing by Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frieden assumed the role last summer at the height of the public's attention to the H1N1 flu pandemic.

In a year when health reform debate has reached a fevered pitch, a special "Assessing Health Reform" track will devote several panels to related questions. The conference will include dozens of panels with a mix of journalists and topic experts. There will be field trips and sessions about finding health story ideas in data and maps. Other sessions will cover every angle of health - including science, medicine, money, politics and policy. Attendees will have opportunities to learn about the trends of aging, both policy and science; the future of women's health research; spotting conflicts of interest in medical research; how state budgets impact the health of poor people; and more.


AHCJ calls for better information from hospital accreditation Web site    Posted: 03/02/10

The Association of Health Care Journalists has called upon the Joint Commission, the nonprofit agency that accredits hospitals, to do a better and more complete job of telling the public what it knows about the quality of hospital care.


Health journalists cite uneven disclosure of H1N1 deaths across country    Posted: 12/02/09

An informal poll of AHCJ members from across the country, as well as a review of press releases and news reports, reveals that there is a wide variation in what information local and state health officials are disclosing about H1N1 deaths. AHCJ is preparing a guide for journalists who have difficulty getting basic information about deaths that are of public interest. The organization also hopes to work with public health officials on national level to encourage greater openness.


Major journalism groups demand agency end newsgathering constraints    Posted: 12/02/09

Eleven major journalism organizations, representing thousands of journalists, are demanding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration end requirements that journalists and FDA employees notify or obtain permission from an agency official in order to conduct an interview.

The Association of Health Care Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Newspaper Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association and several other journalism groups were joined by more than two dozen individual journalists in signing the letter sent to the agency's Transparency Task Force this week.


Eight months later, freelancer still generating story ideas from fellowship    Posted: 11/12/09

Meryl Davids and Lorna Benson at the CDC in Atlanta.Meryl Davids Landau writes about her experience as a 2008-09 AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellow, meeting her "fellow Fellows" and CDC officials, what topics she learned more about and how she has been able to translate that experience into a number of articles for various news outlets.

She says that, eight months later, she is still developing and pitching stories based on what she learned during her week in Atlanta and that the fellowship boosted her credibility with editors.


Outgoing president presents state of the association, notes transition with pride    Posted: 11/04/09

This will be my last HealthBeat column. After five years as president of AHCJ, it's time to turn the gavel over to Charlie Ornstein and a new set of officers who will take their positions at the fall board meeting in Miami. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this organization for so long as president and help build it into one of the best, most vibrant professional journalism organizations around. I will always consider being president of AHCJ a highlight of my very long career in journalism.


Journalists selected for 2009-10 AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellowships    Posted: 11/04/09
AHCJ has announced the selection of the second class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 10 journalists will spend a week studying a variety of public health issues at two Atlanta campuses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fellowship program will include presentations, roundtable discussions and lab tours on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, obesity, vaccine safety, pandemic flu preparedness, autism and many other topics.


AHCJ objects to federal agencies' handling of story embargo    Posted: 10/21/09

The Association of Health Care Journalists sent letters this week to several federal agencies and a medical journal objecting to the uneven handling of embargoed news.

The AHCJ letters were addressed to officials at the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics to protest the recent handling of embargoes on two autism studies.


Applications sought for second annual AHCJ-CDC Fellowships    Posted: 09/30/09

AHCJ and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have agreed to a second annual national fellowship program for journalists. Ten fellows will be chosen to spend a week studying a variety of public health issues at two CDC campuses in Atlanta in December. The training will take place Dec. 13-18, 2009 at CDC's Atlanta and Chamblee campuses. Fellowship applications are being accepted until Oct. 23.


AHCJ board names new officers    Posted: 09/15/09

The AHCJ board of directors elected a new set of officers to take their seats at the upcoming fall board meeting.


AHCJ announces 2009-10 Midwest Health Journalism Program fellows    Posted: 08/17/09

The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2009-10 class of the Midwest Health Journalism Program, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors from Kansas and Missouri. The program provides established journalists with the tools needed to improve the depth and amount of coverage focused on critical state and local health issues. The goals include a better-educated public and more accountability for policymakers, say the program planners.


Membership elects new board members    Posted: 07/17/09

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Members of the Association of Health Care Journalists elected two new names to the AHCJ board of directors and returned four incumbents to their posts for the 2009-11 term.

Felice J. Freyer of The Providence Journal and Maryn McKenna, an independent journalist and author, were selected to join the board. Incumbents Charles Ornstein of ProPublica, Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Carla K. Johnson of The Associated Press and Andrew Holtz, a Portland, Ore., independent journalist, were returned to the board.


AHCJ names first class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows    Posted: 07/13/09

AHCJ-NLM Health Journalism FellowshipsSix journalists have been named the first AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created this year to increase reporter access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.

The visit to the NIH campus, set for Sept. 13-17, will allow hands-on workshops about how to use and get the most from several government research databases, such as PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov and ToxNet. Fellows also will meet with senior NLM and NIH researchers and officials for exclusive informational sessions.


Midwest Health Journalism Fellows graduate; applications accepted for next class    Posted: 06/25/09

The Midwest Health Journalism Program completed another year with the graduation in June of its second class of fellows. The selection of Kansas and Missouri journalists for a third class of fellows is under way for this cooperative effort of AHCJ, the Kansas Health Institute and the University of Kansas School of Journalism that provides established journalists with the tools needed to improve the depth and amount of coverage focused on critical state and local health issues.


Professional members invited to run for AHCJ's board of directors    Posted: 06/22/09

Each year, members in the "active" or professional category elect members for AHCJ's board of directors. Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. Incumbent board members are allowed to run for re-election. Potential board members need to declare candidacy by 5 p.m. (ET) on July 6.


AHCJ releases letter to the editor of JAMA    Posted: 04/02/09

The Association of Health Care Journalists objects to any effort by the Journal of the American Medical Association to silence whistle-blowers who call attention to potential conflicts of interest involving study authors. It could discourage potential whistle-blowers from coming forward with crucial information that physicians and the general public urgently need to make informed decisions about medical care.


2008 winners named in health journalism awards    Posted: 03/26/09

A reporter's revelation of astonishing conflicts of interest by scientists advocating for early detection of lung cancer led to one of this year's Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. The awards also spotlighted such work as the exploration of a hidden world of illegal prescription drugs sold at swap meets, a narrative on a mechanic seeking to rebuild his life after an accident severed his arms, and a trip into the nightmarish world of a boy struggling with mental illness.


AHCJ calls on new administration to improve access to federal experts    Posted: 03/04/09

The Association of Health Care Journalists has urged President Barack Obama to end inherited policies that require public affairs officers to approve journalists' interviews with federal staff. A letter sent to the Obama administration points out that such policies hamper newsgathering and make it difficult for reporters to fulfill their obligation to hold government agencies accountable.


AHCJ: Proposed legislation would be blow to public access    Posted: 02/19/09

The Association of Health Care Journalists supports full and timely public access to the results of government-funded research. It believes legislation introduced this month by U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. and others would constitute a blow to the public's right to access vital scientific data.


Journalists selected for AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellowship Program    Posted: 01/13/09

AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism FellowshipsThe Association of Health Care Journalists has announced the selection of the first class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 11 journalists will spend a week studying a variety of public health issues at two Atlanta campuses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fellowship program, supported by the CDC Foundation, will include presentations, roundtable discussions and lab tours on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, obesity, vaccine safety, pandemic flu preparedness, autism and many other topics.


AHCJ to launch mentor program    Posted: 01/07/09

AHCJ has begun taking applications for the organization's new mentoring program, a project designed to help AHCJ members share their expertise with other members who are in the process of building their careers. Whether you are just starting out and seeking advice on getting ahead or interested in making a mid-career transition and looking for someone to show you the ropes, AHCJ's mentoring program can help you achieve your goals.


AHCJ unveils assistance plan for ‘downsized’ members    Posted: 12/18/08

Announcing the Transistion Assistance Program for journalistsAlthough AHCJ membership continued to increase this year as more journalists learned of its training opportunities and useful services, the group recognizes the strain under which the news media finds itself. The economic downturn has resulted in layoffs, buyouts and downsizings in several industries, including our own.

With that in mind, AHCJ is announcing a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to help members who are forced into a job change. Any current AHCJ member who is laid off or is required to take a buyout, is eligible for TAP.


AHCJ and CDC launch national health journalism fellowships    Posted: 11/10/08

CDC fellowship logoAHCJ and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have unveiled a new national fellowship program for journalists. Ten fellows will be chosen to spend a week studying a variety of public health issues at two CDC campuses in Atlanta in early 2009. The application deadline is Dec. 29.


Urban Workshop keynote puts focus on mental health    Posted: 11/01/08

Steve LopezSteve Lopez

Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez' moving stories about his relationship with a mentally ill street musician helped illuminate the often forgotten illness of schizophrenia and the plight of the homeless living on skid row.

Lopez described his personal and professional journey in a keynote talk at AHCJ's second annual Urban Health Journalism Workshop in New York in October, reminding attendees why they became reporters and writers and the power they have to change lives.


Journalism groups warn newsrooms against unhealthy alliances with hospitals    Posted: 08/11/08

Two important journalism organizations are urging local broadcast stations and newspapers to avoid arrangements with hospitals that improperly influence health coverage, saying unethical partnerships interfere with independent news coverage of health care.

The Association of Health Care Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists are concerned about news media that publish or broadcast stories, reports, news releases and interviews prepared or paid for by hospitals.


President's corner: AHCJ membership hits new high    Posted: 07/17/08

Each spring it's time to take stock of where we are as an association - what we have done in the past year and where we are headed for the next one. As I noted in March at our annual meeting in Washington, D.C., AHCJ is in the best position ever - financially and otherwise.


New board and officers seated for 2008-09    Posted: 07/14/08

Members of the Association of Health Care Journalists have re-elected five directors and added one new one for the 2008-09 fiscal year.


Ten journalists named 2008-09 Midwest Health Journalism fellows    Posted: 07/01/08

The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2008-09 class of the Midwest Health Journalism Program, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors from Kansas and Missouri.


New webcast series for health journalists debuts    Posted: 07/01/08

A new series of health-related webcasts for journalists debuts next week with a spotlight on the growing problem of the underinsured – those who have insurance but are still at risk for substantial out-of-pocket expenses. "Talking Health" will be presented by the Association of Health Care Journalists, The Commonwealth Fund and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.


Professional members invited to run for AHCJ's board of directors    Posted: 06/05/08

Each year, members in the "active" or professional category elect members for AHCJ's board of directors. Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. Incumbent board members are allowed to run for re-election. Potential board members need to declare candidacy by 5 p.m. (Central time) on June 27.


AHCJ holds first Rural Health Journalism Workshop    Posted: 05/04/08

Rural Health Journalism WorkshopAbout 75 people gathered in early May for AHCJ's first Rural Health Journalism Workshop to explore the special issues facing people living in rural areas, such as limited access to health care providers and pharmacies and a lack of resources. Journalists listened to experts on panels that dealt with diabetes, visual and dental health, challenges in getting health care workers to practice in rural areas, immigration, aging, how Medicare affects rural health care and more.


Midwest fellows program graduates first class    Posted: 05/04/08

Chris KIng, a 2007-08 Midwest Health Journalism Program fellowThe Midwest Health Journalism Program completed its first year with the graduation in May of its inaugural class of fellows. The fellowship program was launched in 2007 through funding by a consortium of six Missouri and Kansas health foundations. Chris King, editorial director of the St. Louis American, was one of the fellows. In a sidebar, he reflects on their experiences and what they learned during their year as fellows.


Health reporters take stand against hospital confidentiality agreements    Posted: 04/17/08

Right to Know logoConcerned by incidents in which hospitals have attempted to restrict newsgathering, the Association of Health Care Journalists strongly urges reporters to resist signing confidentiality agreements with hospitals. Confidentiality agreements typically aim to bar journalists from disclosing information they discover in the course of reporting at a facility, unless they obtain the hospital's approval.


FOIA survey: FDA's slow response means stories go unpublished    Posted: 04/10/08

More than two-thirds of health care reporters taking part in a First Amendment survey have had stories held or left unpublished because the Food and Drug Administration did not respond to FOIA requests in a timely manner. Only a third of reporters said they received a response within the required 20 days called for in the federal Freedom of Information Act. Many waited months or years – or never received requested data, according to the survey and analysis conducted for the Association of Health Care Journalists by graduate students at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.


Record crowd hears from Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Edwards    Posted: 04/01/08

A record crowd attending Health Journalism 2008 heard Elizabeth Edwards criticize Republican presidential candidate John McCain's health care proposals, actor Dennis Quaid urge better protection against hospital medical errors and Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt unveil access to hospital patient satisfaction data.


Highlights from Health Journalism 2008    Posted: 03/28/08

Health Journalism 2008 highlights include an opening newsmaker briefing from actor Dennis Quaid with his very personal perspective on medical errors and a roundtable of some of AHCJ's founding members discussing the organization's past and future.


2007 winners named in health journalism awards    Posted: 03/10/08

Awards for Excellence in Health Care JournalismAn investigation into deaths in Georgia's psychiatric hospitals, a riveting examination of the way genetic screening tests have changed American life, and a look at the abysmal state of dental health in West Virginia are among the top winners of the latest Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

The 2007 awards, announced today by Association of Health Care Journalists, recognize the best health reporting in 10 categories covering print, broadcast and online media. In its fourth year, the contest received nearly 400 entries.


Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Edwards, Mike Leavitt to headline journalism conference    Posted: 03/03/08

Hollywood actor Dennis Quaid, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, will headline the nation's largest health care journalism conference. About 500 attendees are expected to attend Health Journalism 2008, set for March 27-30 in Washington, D.C. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the association, one of the world's fastest-growing journalism organizations.


New guidelines strengthen AHCJ's journalism commitment    Posted: 02/07/08

Truth in advertising is a motto we adhere to at the Association of Health Care Journalists, right down to the organization's name. That's the reason behind a recent update to our membership guidelines.


Jeff Porter joins AHCJ staff    Posted: 01/14/08

Veteran journalist and computer-assisted reporting instructor Jeff Porter has joined the Association of Health Care Journalists staff as its first special projects director. Porter will help with current and upcoming special projects, conference content planning and outreach efforts.


U.K. journalists gather, discuss forming AHCJ chapter    Posted: 01/11/08

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, spoke to about three dozen journalists at an AHCJ event in London.The event was followed by a discussion about creating a U.K. chapter of AHCJ.


Presidential candidates answer questions from AHCJ members    Posted: 01/02/08

Ask the candidatesAs balloting gets under way in the 2008 presidential primary season, three leading candidates have outlined their views on health care in response to questions posed by members of the Association of Health Care Journalists, the nation's leading group of health journalists.


Fla. reporters gather, meet with top state health regulators    Posted: 11/15/07

Sixteen reporters from Tallahassee to Fort Lauderdale gathered on Nov. 13 at the Winter Park Health Foundation in Winter Park, just outside Orlando.


First Urban Health Workshop attracts more than 100    Posted: 10/23/07

Urban Health Journalism WorkshopMore than 100 working journalists and journalism students attended the first Urban Health Journalism Workshop, presented by the Association of Health Care Journalists and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. The event was hosted by the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, where participants got to tour the new facilities. The workshop's keynote address and opening reception gave attendees a chance to see The New York Times' new building, as well.


International membership discount extended    Posted: 10/23/07

The AHCJ board of directors has approved extending the association's international membership discount for another year. The discount, allowing journalists from countries outside the United States and Canada to join for $30, was first approved in the fall of 2006.


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

AHCJ and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation logosThe 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.


New AHCJ guide has the skinny on obesity resources, coverage    Posted: 09/13/07

Cover - Covering ObesityThe Association of Health Care Journalists has released its latest slim guide, "Covering Obesity." The guide, published with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is one in a series intended to assist reporters planning projects to think through the issues, and at the same time, to serve reporters on deadline surf quickly to sources or data.


D.C. chapter learns about drug safety regulation and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act    Posted: 07/20/07

Audio iconWashington, D.C., members gathered July 18 for a brown-bag lunch and panel discussion on drug safety regulation and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), currently in conference committee in Congress. The panelists were Susan F. Wood, Ph.D., professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University and former director of FDA's Office of Women's Health; and Caroline Loew, Ph.D., senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Audio of this timely and informative discussion is available for download.


AHCJ announces 2007-08 Midwest Health Journalism Program Fellows    Posted: 07/10/07

The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the inaugural class of the Midwest Health Journalism Program, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors from Kansas and Missouri.


New board and officers seated for 2007-08    Posted: 06/26/07

AHCJ members, voting in this year's board election, re-elected five directors and added one new one. Half the board faces election each year. Re-elected: Andrew Holtz, Charles Ornstein, Carla K. Johnson, Karl Stark and Mary Chris Jaklevic. Newly elected this year is Sheree Crute.


AHCJ opposes secrecy clauses in medical contracts    Posted: 06/12/07

AHCJ's board of directors has sent a letter to Sen. Arlen Specter stating opposition to secrecy clauses in contracts between medical device manufacturers and hospitals that interfere with the vital watchdog role of the news media.


Redesigned AHCJ Web site debuts with robust resources    Posted: 06/04/07

The Association of Health Care Journalists has launched its new Web site featuring enhanced, easy-to-access resources for reporters, editors and others covering health news. AHCJ members will find more in-depth resources to help cover the beat, including articles written exclusively for the AHCJ site, tip sheets from fellow journalists, links to in-depth health coverage, an e-newsletter and much more.


Foundations support launch of Midwest Health Journalism Program    Posted: 05/31/07

Midwest Health Journalism ProgramA consortium of six health foundations in Kansas and Missouri has pledged $724,739 to establish the Midwest Health Journalism Program, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors from both states. The program involves a cooperative effort among the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Kansas Health Institute and the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas.


Welcome to our new site!    Posted: 05/25/07

We hope this new Web site will become your new home on the Internet. You'll find more in-depth resources to help you cover your beat, including articles written exclusively for the AHCJ site, tip sheets from fellow journalists, links to in-depth health coverage, an e-newsletter and much more.


Chicago chapter's kickoff meeting yields scoop    Posted: 05/23/07

The kickoff meeting of the Chicago chapter of AHCJ drew about 20 people who got a scoop: the first word of a report on Medicare-funded hospices by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An OIG staff member gave a summary, highlighting findings on Illinois hospices - all in advance of the report's official release.


Bay Area chapter examines conflicts of interest    Posted: 05/14/07
Thirty Bay Area AHCJ members and health journalists gathered in The London Wine bar in San Francisco on May 8, 2007, to hear a timely, important, and revealing report about conflicts of interest and bias in the health and drug industry.
Appleby named to fill vacant board position    Posted: 04/27/07
Julie ApplebyJulie Appleby, a reporter with USA Today, has been named to the board of directors of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. She fills a position vacated by Suzanne Havala Hobbs of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hobbs recently resigned.
Georgia event brings health, medical stories to reporters    Posted: 04/15/07

New strategies for covering local hospitals' quality of care and financial soundness were among the topics spotlighted during the "2007 Gnat Line News Briefing: Real Health and Medical News for Working Reporters."


Chicago chapter of AHCJ is formed    Posted: 04/02/07
Journalists in the Chicago area will have more opportunities to network and deepen their understanding of health care issues and trends with the formation of the Chicago chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists. The chapter's kickoff meeting is April 23, 2007.
Gov. Schwarzenegger, Steve Case address record crowd at Health Journalism 2007    Posted: 03/18/07
More than 400 attendees gathered for Health Journalism 2007, AHCJ's annual conference, gathering story ideas and resources. Highlights included a news briefing by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; a question-and-answer session with Steve Case, founder of AOL and Revolution Health; a Hollywood-focused roundtable featuring writers, producers and actors from top health-related television shows; and a luncheon at which the annual Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism were awarded.
AHCJ's membership passes 1,000    Posted: 03/17/07
AHCJ has reached a milestone, surpassing 1,000 active members for the first time. The announcement of the record 1,012 members was made at AHCJ's annual membership meeting during Health Journalism 2007.
Winners announced: 2006 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism    Posted: 03/08/07
A series that revealed how pharmacy chains toss customers' private health records into unsecured dumpsters and a story detailing efforts to save the life of a toddler who had been accidentally run over were among the winners of the 2006 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.
Special Health Affairs subscription available to AHCJ members    Posted: 12/01/06
Health Affairs, a journal of health policy published by Project HOPE, offers a one-year complimentary, online-only subscription.
Board approves special international membership rate    Posted: 11/02/06
The AHCJ board of directors has approved a limited-time special rate for international journalists applying for membership. The half-price rate applies to journalists from outside the United States and Canada who are first-time members.
New board and officers seated for 2006-07    Posted: 07/01/06
Phil Galewitz of The Palm Beach Post joined a slate of incumbents in taking office as AHCJ’s 2006-07 board of directors.
2006 National Conference sees record number    Posted: 03/20/06
Andrew von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute, nominated by President Bush to become commissioner of the FDA, offered a keynote address at Health Journalism 2006 in Houston.
Winners announced: 2005 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism    Posted: 03/18/06
A Seattle Times study of the pharmaceutical industry's influence in defining diseases and a North Carolina Public Radio report on the effects of poverty on dental health were among the winners of the 2005 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.
AHCJ hires Bruzzese as executive director    Posted: 04/26/05
The Association of Health Care Journalists hired veteran journalist Len Bruzzese as its new executive director. The organization and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism will relocate to the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo.
2004 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism    Posted: 04/01/05
The Association of Health Care Journalists is pleased to announce the winners of its first Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. The association received more than 375 entries in five categories -- large newspapers, small newspapers, magazines, trade/online journals, and TV/radio.
Twenty-one journalism groups decry HHS’s use of fake news reports    Posted: 03/18/04

Twenty journalism organizations – representing more than 25,000 journalists – today joined the Association of Health Care Journalists in asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to stop using video news releases that have the appearance of authentic news reports. AHCJ President Andrew Holtz made the request in a telephone call to HHS spokesman William Pierce on Tuesday.


 

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