Category Archives: Member news

Second open-enrollment period discussed at Atlanta chapter event

Andy Miller

About Andy Miller

Andy Miller (@gahealthnews) is the editor and publisher of the nonprofit Georgia Health News. The former health care reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a member of AHCJ's board of directors and leads the association's Atlanta chapter.

The Atlanta chapter of AHCJ and the Alliance for Health Reform sponsored a Dec. 2 event focused on the second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act.

The panel discussed the state of navigator assistance, narrow networks and slower-than-expected enrollment since the insurance exchanges opened Nov. 15. About 25 AHCJ members and invited guests gathered for the event.

Joining me on the panel were Trey Sivley, a division director in the office of Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner; Lisa Stein of Seedco, which runs a navigator program in Georgia and three other states; and Dorian Martindale of Whitefoord, a federally qualified health center in Atlanta.

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D.C. journalists gather for annual holiday celebration

Phil Galewitz

About Phil Galewitz

Phil Galewitz, a senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News, helps lead AHCJ's Washington, D.C., chapter.

In  one of the best attended D.C. chapter events, nearly 50 health journalists, along with several industry and government officials, gathered at The Watergate in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 4 to toast the holiday season.

The National Journal and its health reporters,  Sophie Novack and Sam Baker, hosted the event at their offices overlooking The Kennedy Center. Journalists from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Politico, Kaiser Health News, The Huffington Post and U.S. News & World Reports were among those in attendance.

Senior communications officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The White House , PhRma and the National Pharmaceutical Council gathered at the chapter event which featured beer from Belgium and the greater Washington, D.C., area. There was no formal program. The event allowed journalists to network with one another and industry and government officials.

Welcome AHCJ’s newest members

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len 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.

Please welcome these new professional members to AHCJ. All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves.

  • Idelle Davidson, independent journalist, Los Angeles (@IdelleDavidson)
  • Paul Demko, bureau chief, Modern Healthcare, Washington, D.C. (@Mhpdemko)
  • Patti DiVincenzo, producer, WSB-Atlanta (@pattiwsb)
  • Amanda Keim-Morrison, health news producer, BringMeTheNews, Minneapolis (@amandakeim)
  • Elizabeth Millard, reporter/producer, BringMeTheNews, Bruno, Minn.
  • Kate Moos, director, news content development, American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, Minn.

If you haven’t joined yet, see what member benefits you’re missing out on: Access to more than 50 journals and databases, tip sheets and articles from your colleagues on how they’ve reported stories, conferences, workshops, online training, reporting guides and more. Join AHCJ today to get a wealth of support and tools to help you.

On the move: Latest news about AHCJ members

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 social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The latest report on AHCJ members’ awards, fellowships, job changes and other news includes Christie Aschwanden, Jennifer Boen, Karen Brown, Pieter Droppert, Ellen Durckel Vestewig, Pamela Fayerman, Nancy Finn, Kristin Gourlay, Tara Haelle, Harriet Hodgson, Naseem Miller, Crissinda Ponder, Maria Ortiz Briones, Joe Rojas-Burke, Liz Seegert and Emily Willingham. Continue reading

Welcome AHCJ’s newest members

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len 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.

Please welcome these new professional and student members to AHCJ. All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves.

  • Yngrid Fuentes, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Berkeley, Calif.
  • Noelia Gonzalez, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Berkeley, Calif. (@noeliagmo)
  • Stacey Naggiar, associate producer, NBC News, New York (@sjnaggiar)
  • Naomi Nishihara, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Berkeley, Calif. (@ncnishihara)
  • Brian Rinker, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, San Francisco, (@_thebrink)
  • Leah Rose, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, San Francisco (@leahrosita)
  • Anne Saker, staff writer, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati (@apsaker)
  • Gabriel Sanchez, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Berkeley, Calif. (@gabejsanchez)
  • Pallavi Somusetty, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Oakland, Calif. (@chandifilms)
  • Daniel Steiner, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, San Francisco, (@hararuk)
  • Mara Van Ells, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Berkeley, Calif.
  • Vanessa Walker, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Vallejo, Calif. (@vaneswalker)
  • Nicole West, graduate student, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism, Berkeley, Calif. (@nicole_west)

If you haven’t joined yet, see what member benefits you’re missing out on: Access to more than 50 journals and databases, tip sheets and articles from your colleagues on how they’ve reported stories, conferences, workshops, online training, reporting guides and more. Join AHCJ today to get a wealth of support and tools to help you.

Freelancer concerns: You might get caught in your pajamas

Carla K. Johnson

About Carla K. Johnson

Carla K. Johnson (@CarlaKJohnson) is a medical writer at The Associated Press and has covered health and medicine since 2001. She is a member of AHCJ's board of directors, serving as liaison to the association’s local chapters and leading the one in Chicago.

Photo by  Carla K. Johnson.

Photo: Carla K. Johnson.Independent writers Cindy Kuzma and Jenni Prokopy and accountant Deborah Conatser (left to right) speak to the Chicago chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists on Nov. 11 in Chicago.

Freelance journalist Jenni Prokopy recently agreed to do a podcast interview, not realizing that it would include video. Working at home, she was wearing pajamas. “I immediately lifted the camera, so you could just see from here,” Prokopy said gesturing to her neck. “Busted! Now even for podcast interviews, I will be putting on a blouse.”

Prokopy and two other panelists shared their sometimes-humorous experiences and hard-earned wisdom about setting up and maintaining a healthy freelance business at a recent AHCJ Chicago chapter event. Continue reading

Why some LA kids are affected by diabetes, obesity

Wendy Wolfson

About Wendy Wolfson

Wendy Wolfson is a science writer based in Irvine, California. She covers innovation in biotechnology, medicine and healthcare. She was a columnist for Chemistry & Biology (Cell Press), and freelance contributor to Nature Biotechnology, Science, Red Herring, The Lancet, Bio-IT World, Wired, The Boston Globe and CURE magazine.

In Los Angeles, the chances of a child developing type 2 diabetes fluctuates by ZIP code, according to Ellen Iverson, M.P.H., a medical anthropologist and public health investigator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

At the Nov. 6 AHCJ chapter meeting, at the Los Angeles Times, Iverson and Steven Mittelman, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatrician/cancer researcher at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who directs the Diabetes and Obesity Program, discussed why diabetes disproportionately affects kids in certain neighborhoods and what community interventions could be effective.

Journalist Wendy Wolfson introduced Ellen Iverson, M.P.H., and Steven Mittelman, M.D., Ph.D., both from  Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, at a Nov. 5 AHCJ chapter meeting.  Photo by Ron Shinkman.

Photo: Ron ShinkmanJournalist Wendy Wolfson introduced Ellen Iverson, M.P.H., and Steven Mittelman, M.D., Ph.D., both from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, at a Nov. 5 AHCJ chapter meeting.

Mittelman’s field is childhood cancer. In adults, obesity raises the risk of developing cancer by 20 percent but, in children who have cancer, obesity leads to significantly worse outcomes. According to Mittelman, diabetes hits kids harder than adults. Most adults can control diabetes with drugs like metformin for years. “Most kids need insulin within three to five years,” Mittelman said.

Factors that include the barrage of junk food advertising aimed at kids, our evolutionarily developed efficiency at storing fat, the upswing in portion size (in the past 70 years, serving sizes increased 63 percent) and ubiquitous sugar (soda drinks containing sugar don’t have the same degree of satiety as sugar in food) contribute to obesity.

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Welcome these new members to AHCJ

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len 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.

Please welcome these new professional and student members to AHCJ. All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves.

  • Margret Aldrich, producer, BringMeTheNews, Minneapolis (@mmaldrich)
  • Chris Dall, health news producer, BringMeTheNews.com, Minneapolis (@cvdall)
  • Mariana De Maio, student, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla. (@marianasabina)
  • Sheila Eldred, producer, BringMeTheNews, Minneapolis (@milepostmedia)
  • Linda Nguyen, student, University of Texas at Dallas (@linda_nguyen)
  • Leslie Roberts, deputy news editor, Science Magazine, Washington, D.C.
  • Mathew Rodriguez, community editor, TheBody.com, New York (@mathewrodiguez)
  • Amy Sisk, reporter, The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, N.D., (@amyrsisk)
  • Lynne Terry, health reporter, The Oregonian/OregonLive.com, Portland, Ore. (@LynnePDX)

If you haven’t joined yet, see what member benefits you’re missing out on: Access to more than 50 journals and databases, tip sheets and articles from your colleagues on how they’ve reported stories, conferences, workshops, online training, reporting guides and more. Join AHCJ today to get a wealth of support and tools to help you.

Welcome AHCJ’s newest members

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len 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.

Please welcome these new professional and student members to AHCJ. All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves.

  • Kristen Harris, student, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
  • Amy Umble, health care reporter, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va. (@aumble)
  • Beth E. Kutscher, reporter, Modern Healthcare, Brentwood, Tenn. (@mhbkutscher)
  • Denise Morris, reporter, San Angelo Standard-Times, San Angelo, Texas
  • Jayne E. O’Donnell, reporter, USA Today, McLean, Va. (@jayneodonnell)
  • Ryan White, contributing editor for content, ReportingOnHealth.org, Los Angeles

If you haven’t joined yet, see what member benefits you’re missing out on: Access to more than 50 journals and databases, tip sheets and articles from your colleagues on how they’ve reported stories, conferences, workshops, online training, reporting guides and more. Join AHCJ today to get a wealth of support and tools to help you.

Five journalists receive 2015 Health Care Performance fellowships

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len 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.

AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance 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.

The 2015 fellows will be:

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