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Staff

Len BruzzeseLen Bruzzese, Executive Director

Bruzzese is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He also is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and serves on the executive committee of the Council of National Journalism Organizations. Bruzzese, a founding staff member of USA Today, spent 20 years in daily journalism before entering the nonprofit and academic worlds. He served as deputy director of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting for seven years before helping base AHCJ at Missouri in 2005. He is co-author of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook," (fourth edition), and has edited 15 reporter beat books focused on different reporting topics of use to daily journalists. He has won several newspaper and magazine editing awards and was named Outstanding Alumnus in Journalism by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Bruzzese's journalism career included writing, editing and management stints at USA Today, The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), the Pensacola News Journal and Gannett News Service (Washington, D.C.). His final daily newspaper position was as editor of The Olympian in Olympia, Wash. len@healthjournalism.org | Phone: 573-884-5606

Jeff Porter, Special Projects Director

Jeff PorterPorter plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He has trained journalists to use databases, spreadsheets and online resources since 1998 and continues that work for AHCJ members. Before joining AHCJ in 2008, he served six years as the database library director for Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting. In that position, he conducted and directed data analysis for broadcast and print investigative projects, served as lead instructor for computer-assisted reporting boot camps, and provided journalism training across the United States and overseas. He has served as a CAR instructor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Previously, he worked 20 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist, served as adjunct college faculty, and co-created and hosted a weekly radio program. His last newspaper job was at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where he served as CAR specialist, combining traditional investigative reporting techniques with advanced data analysis tools. jeff@healthjournalism.org | Phone: 573-884-5477

Pia ChristensenPia Christensen, Managing Editor/Online Services

Christensen manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org and assists with the editing and production of AHCJ's publications, including books, conference programs and the quarterly newsletter. In 2010, she was featured in "Journalists to Follow: 20 industry thinkers, innovators and practitioners we recommend you get to know" in Quill magazine, published by the Society of Professional Journalists. She previously was publications coordinator for Investigative Reporters and Editors, where she oversaw website content, edited IRE publications and assisted advertisers. She worked as a copy editor and an interactive producer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a producer for Tribune Interactive, a sports copy editor for the Marin (Calif.) Independent Journal, and was job and internship coordinator at the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism in San Francisco. She telecommutes from Oklahoma. (@AHCJ_Piapia@healthjournalism.org | Phone: 405-707-7300

Ev Ruch-GrahamEv Ruch-Graham, Training Coordinator

Ruch-Graham helps arrange conferences, workshops and other training events. She offers logistical assistance to speakers, exhibitors and conference program advertisers, and provides on-site leadership during events. She also offers direct assistance to journalists awarded specialty fellowships. She has served in similar roles at New Directions for News, Investigative Reporters and Editors and Missouri School Boards Association. She also has worked as a continuing education coordinator at the University of Missouri's College of Education.  ev@healthjournalism.org | 573-884-8103

Brandi McGrathBrandi McGrath, Membership & Marketing Coordinator

McGrath provides the first line of service for members and potential members. She also coordinates marketing and outreach efforts to inform AHCJ members and other journalists who would benefit from AHCJ events, resources and support. She served as membership & administrative director for the YMCA of Callaway County before joining AHCJ. (@BrandiKMcbrandi@healthjournalism.org | 573-882-2955

Stacey AndreasenStacey Andreasen, Financial Officer

Andreasen handles daily accounting chores and overall budget monitoring of the association and the center. The former office manager for a local private company has served as a case manager for developmentally disabled children, a payroll clerk and a Spanish teacher. She graduated from Utah State University with degrees in Spanish and political science/pre-law. She is happy to assist our Spanish-speaking members. stacey@healthjournalism.org | 573-882-2868

J. Chris ColwellJ. Chris Colwell, Web Producer

Colwell is responsible for programming and content creation that will improve site navigation and the overall experience at healthjournalism.org. Before joining AHCJ in 2012, Colwell helped create commercial, educational and journalism-oriented sites and performed programming/development for sites owned by Quaker Oats, Celebrity Cruises and Pepsico brands. He attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

Student Assistants

Maggie Prude, Training Events Assistant

Prude, an AHCJ intern, is a senior in the University of Missouri’s Hospitality Management Program with an emphasis in conference and event planning and MU’s Business Administration Program with an emphasis in finance. She is from Springfield, Mo.

Kris Hickman, Graduate Research Assistant

Hickman is working on a master’s in public health. As an undergraduate at the University of Missouri, she earned a degree in anthropology, with a minor in journalism. She spent two years in Zambia as an HIV/AIDS community education volunteer in the Peace Corps. She completed an internship with Reuters AlertNet in London. She aspires to be a physician, epidemiologist and science writer.

Editorial Contributors

Joseph Burns, Topic Leader/Insurance

Burns provides resources for AHCJ members to cover the complex and changing landscape of health insurance through blog posts, tip sheets, articles and links to sources. An independent journalist, Burns has been covering health care since 1991 and writes frequently about health policy and the business of health care for a variety of publications, including Hospitals & Health NetworksManaged Care magazine, Ophthalmology Management and The Dark Report. One of the founding editors of the Practice Options newsletters, Burns has edited books on health care and business strategies for Faulkner & Gray and Panel Publishers. From 1991 to 1994, he was editor-in-chief of Business & Health magazine and later was a contributing editor and author of a monthly column for Managed Healthcare Executive magazine. He was the founding editor of The Financial Manager, a magazine for accountants and other business strategists. Burns, based in Massachusetts, began his career as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut. (@jburns18)

Brenda Goodman, Topic Leader/Medical Studies

Goodman writes and edits blog posts, articles, tip sheets and other resources  to help guide journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enable them to translate the evidence into accurate information that their readers can grasp. She has been a health and science reporter for 15 years across a variety of platforms. Her stories have appeared in Scientific American, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Self, Health, Parade and The Boston Globe. She is a regular news writer for WebMD. She has a master’s degree in science, health, and environmental reporting from New York University and lives in Atlanta. (@goodmanbrenda)

Joanne Kenen, Topic Leader/Health Reform

Kenen, the health editor for Politico, is a Washington-based writer who specializes in health and health policy. She provides resources to help AHCJ members cover the complexities of implementing health care reform. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, The Washington Post, Slate, the Washingtonian, Kaiser Health News, Health Affairs, Miller-McCune, the American Prospect, AARP Magazine and numerous other publications. She was the senior writer for the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation, and a Kaiser Media Fellow in a 2006-07, where she wrote extensively about palliative medicine, hospice, and aging. A longtime Reuters correspondent in New York, Florida/the Caribbean, and Washington, she has covered everything from voodoo festivals to U.S. presidential campaigns and she spent more than a decade covering health policy on Capitol Hill. Thanks to her particularly wakeful second son, she is co-author of a parenting book, "The Sleeplady's Good Night, Sleep Tight." Earlier in her career, she did a lot of reporting from Latin America, and co-authored a book on Costa Rica. (@joannekenen)

Mary Otto, Topic Leader/Oral Health

Otto is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist who began writing about oral health at The Washington Post, where she covered social issues, including health care and poverty, for eight years. In 2007, she wrote about 12-year-old Deamonte Driver, a Maryland child covered by Medicaid who died after bacteria from a dental infection spread to his brain. The death of the boy spurred congressional hearings, a revamping of Maryland’s Medicaid dental system and increased attention to oral health access for Medicaid children nationwide. After leaving the Post in a newsroom downsizing, Otto spent an academic year as a 2009-10 Knight Science Journalism Fellow studying oral health and public health at Harvard University. Her ongoing exploration of barriers to dental care in poor communities has been assisted by a California Endowment Dennis A. Hunt Fund grant. Otto has continued to write about oral health and other health and social issues as a freelance writer for the Post, as a contributing writer for an online publication for oral health professionals called DrBicuspid.com, and as the editor of Street Sense, a newspaper produced and sold by homeless men and women in Washington, D.C. (@mottomatic)

Joe Rojas-Burke, Topic Leader/Social Determinants and Disparities

Rojas-Burke is a freelance journalist in Portland, Ore. He was a staff writer for 14 years at The Oregonian newspaper, where his beat coverage included science, medicine, and the business of health care. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the 2012-13 academic year. Before wandering into journalism, he studied biology at Columbia University and worked as a cell biology researcher at the Rockefeller University in New York City. (@rojasburke)

Liz Seegert, Topic Leader/Aging

Seegert is leading the effort to provide resources to help AHCJ members cover the complexities of aging by writing blog posts, tip sheets, articles and other resources. She has more than 25 years’ experience in print, broadcast and online media. Her journalism experience includes stints in Boston as a general assignment news reporter for public radio and a writer for all-news radio, and as a TV news associate producer/writer in New York City. Several years in the corporate world helped to sharpen her writing and immersed her in the world of health and wellness. Since 1995, she has flown solo as a writer/reporter. She is a regular contributor to the HealthCetera, blog and to the award-winning HealthStyles show (WBAI/Pacifica), both part of the Center for Health, Media and Policy at Hunter College, where she is also a senior fellow. (@lseegert)

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