Author Archives: Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Ruling takes one step closer in releasing SNAP data

The public’s right to information was bolstered by a federal judge’s decision that the U.S. Department of Agriculture should release data about how much taxpayers pay to retailers through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by Argus Leader Media in South Dakota, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the “annual sales amounts of every business in the nation that participates in SNAP. USDA refused to release the data, and the paper filed suit in 2011.” Continue reading

Five journalists named to fellowship program

The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance to five journalists who intend to pursue significant projects in 2017. The program, in its seventh 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.

Read on to find out who the 2017 fellows will be.

An early look at president-elect Trump’s positions on health care

Photo: Matt A.J. via Flickr

Photo: Matt A.J. via Flickr

Covering Health will have more about the election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. president but we start with some links about Trump and his positions on health care, especially the Affordable Care Act, which he says he will repeal. Continue reading

Tips from the archives: Covering hurricanes and other natural disasters

Photo: Eric Hackathorn via Flickr

Photo: Eric Hackathorn via Flickr

With Hurricane Matthew coming ashore on Haiti and approaching Cuba and the United States, this seems like a good time to review some resources and advice that AHCJ has compiled about reporting on hurricanes and other disasters.

Even if you’re not reporting on an affected location, this may be a good time to ask some questions and write about disaster preparedness in your region. Continue reading

Access – or lack of access – to health information is making news

key-in-lock-showing-forbidden-information-graphicstockSeveral stories about access to public information have caught my eye in the past week. Whether it involves public health data from Florida, evidence in a federal criminal case or embargoes and favored access at a federal agency, it’s clear that journalists are facing obstacles in ensuring the public’s access to information.

In Rhode Island, a judge ruled in favor of a journalist seeking evidence presented in the trial of a doctor now “serving four life sentences for his role in operating a pain management clinic like a ‘pill mill.'” The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had refused to release the records since journalist Phil Eil requested them after the trial ended in 2011. Continue reading