Category Archives: Conference

Freelancers share best practices, top tools

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.

In April, several experienced independent journalists shared their advice for having a successful freelance career during a panel at Health Journalism 2017 in Orlando. People in the audience chimed in with contributions.

“Panelists offered dozens of helpful tips and plenty of sound advice — including several ideas that were new to even the most experienced freelancers in the room,” wrote Liz Seegert, AHCJ’s core topic leader on aging and an independent journalist.

Seegert and Tara Haelle, AHCJ’s medical studies core topic leader, compiled an extensive tip sheet from the information shared at that panel especially for AHCJ’s freelance members. See the tip sheet.

Helmsley Charitable Trust backs better health journalism with $1.3 million grant

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.

The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has been awarded a grant of nearly $1.3 million to provide educational opportunities and resources for journalists on health care issues that result in more knowledgeable reporters and better, more trustworthy, stories for the public.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust made the three-year grant of $1,291,452 to the Missouri-based center to boost the competency of the U.S. health journalist corps and to increase the number of other journalists capable of tackling stories that serve the general public in producing accurate and actionable information.

“We continue to see a hunger within the journalism world for focused career development, topical education and skills training that will lead to stronger stories and meaningful impact,” said Len Bruzzese, executive director of AHCJ. “The Helmsley Charitable Trust’s continued generous support recognizes how important it is to reward that desire to be better, to make a difference – now more than ever.”

The funding will support work in three general areas: conferences/workshops, fellowship programs and web resources.

Read more about the specific projects that will be supported.

Examining efforts to lower cost of caring for seniors at home

Mark Taylor

About Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor is an independent health care journalist based outside Chicago. Taylor was legal affairs reporter for Modern Healthcare magazine and writes for newspapers, as well as Medicare NewsGroup and Hospitals & Health Networks. He is a former Kaiser Media Fellow and a founding member of AHCJ.

Photo by Boris Bartels via Flickr

It’s long been known that 5 percent of all Medicare patients account for more than half of Medicare spending.

In addition, the top 1 percent of the sickest and most vulnerable Medicare patients consume 23 percent of Medicare resources, largely because of the severity of their illness but also because their conditions frequently are not managed well. Repeatedly they travel a painful journey among hospital emergency departments, nursing homes and hospital readmissions, in the process racking up huge medical bills, exposing themselves to hospital-acquired infections and bedsores. In the process, they often lose control of their lives. Continue reading

Changes in health care landscape could mean big stories in oral health

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJPanelist Mary Foley focused on the potential changes in financing of oral health programs that serve the public during a discussion at Health Journalism 2017.

It is hard to know, amid the ongoing battle to reshape the nation’s health care system, what the future holds for dental care.

Panelists at Health Journalism 2017 tackled the unknown yet crucial territory that lies ahead in a session entitled “Oral Health Stories to Watch in 2017.” Speakers encouraged the reporters in the audience to remember to ask good questions about dental services as they cover their beats in the months ahead. Continue reading

Story ideas revealed in intersection of mental illness, criminal justice system

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

One of the sessions featured at Health Journalism 2017 in Orlando explored the intersection of the criminal justice system and mental illness in the United States from various angles. This Storify includes tweets from multiple attendees at the session – along with quite a number of leads for story ideas.

A fair amount of the session was unfortunately unsurprising in revealing how the justice system has become one of the nation’s biggest mental health care providers (if not the largest), but hearing about the sheer scale of the problem was nonetheless enlightening and disturbing. This topic area is rich with potential story ideas that are woefully undercovered and underappreciated. Continue reading