Category Archives: Member news

AHCJ mourns journalist Dori J. Maynard

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.

Dori Maynard

Dori J. Maynard

AHCJ laments the passing of Dori J. Maynard, longtime journalist and president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Maynard died Tuesday of lung cancer at 56. She and the organization named for her father pushed for diversity in journalism coverage and newsroom staffing.

A champion of journalism education, she led the Fault Lines project, which seeks to teach journalists to recognize and leverage diversity “across the ‘fault lines’ of race, class, gender, generation and geography.” She was a 1993 Nieman fellow, following in the footsteps of her father, who was a fellow in 1966.

As a reporter, she worked at The Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., and the Detroit Free Press.  Maynard attended AHCJ events as an AHCJ Ethnic Media Fellow, as an annual conference speaker and as a co-sponsor of a workshop on multicultural health. Her contributions will be missed.

Welcoming 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.

  • Laine Bergeson, news producer, BringMeTheNews, Minneapolis (@lainebergeson)
  • Maggie Clark, business of health reporter, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Fla. (@maggieclark320)
  • Naomi Cohen, student, Columbia University, Los Altos, Calif.
  • Folasade Falebita, student, Columbia University, Jersey City, N.J. (@sadefalebita)
  • Michelle Faust, reporter/producer, WXXI Public Broadcasting, Rochester, N.Y. (@michereports)
  • Cynthia McKelvey, science journalist, Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum, Berkeley, Calif. (@NotesofRanvier)
  • Roger Plothow, editor and publisher, Post Register, Idaho Falls, Idaho (@rdplothow)
  • Guimel Sibingo, student, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
  • Nancy Stedman, deputy editor, health, More Magazine, New York

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.

Reporters use fellowships to take in-depth look at health care issues

Kris Hickman

About Kris Hickman

Kris Hickman (@the_index_case) is a graduate research assistant for AHCJ, pursuing a master’s degree in public health. She has a bachelor's degree in anthropology, with a minor in journalism, from the University of Missouri. She spent two years in Zambia as an HIV/AIDS community education volunteer in the Peace Corps. She aspires to be an epidemiologist and science writer.

Last year, AHCJ awarded five Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance and the fellows produced a rich variety of projects on the health care landscape, investigating little-known stories such as state Medicaid models and the cancer care migration.

We’re highlighting each fellow and their accomplishments. Continue reading

AHCJ award-winner’s work foretold N.Y. moratorium on certain supplements

Kris Hickman

About Kris Hickman

Kris Hickman (@the_index_case) is a graduate research assistant for AHCJ, pursuing a master’s degree in public health. She has a bachelor's degree in anthropology, with a minor in journalism, from the University of Missouri. She spent two years in Zambia as an HIV/AIDS community education volunteer in the Peace Corps. She aspires to be an epidemiologist and science writer.

Image by  Health Gauge via flickr.

Image by Health Gauge via flickr.

AHCJ members likely weren’t too surprised on Feb. 3, when the New York Office of the Attorney General ordered four major companies to stop selling certain herbal supplements, because in 2013, USA Today reporter Alison Young won an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for investigating the lucrative and shadowy world of dietary supplements.

Research in New York showed many products did not contain any of the advertised ingredients, and in the series “Supplement Shell Game,” Young showed that some drugs – and their makers – can be downright dangerous. Even worse, industry players often clash with regulators, and many have criminal backgrounds.

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What a reporter learned following primary care residents

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

We’ve posted a new tip sheet and a new “How I did it” piece that may yield some story ideas for reporters.

In her “How I did it” essay, Karen Brown describes how she tracked a group of primary care residents for a year of their training – a year in which two of the three she chose to focus on ultimately decided not to go into primary care after all.

“Their decisions may have been disappointing for the field, but they did make for a more compelling story. I was able to use their personal dilemmas, unfolding in real time, to illustrate the crisis in primary care,” she writes. Brown had an AHCJ fellowship to do her project, but she gives advice on how to embark on a similar project  – without a fellowship – in your community.

In the tip sheet, Lola Butcher explains the 340B drug program, which requires pharmaceutical companies to sell discounted drugs to eligible health care organizations that serve a lot of poor people. The drugs are for outpatient use.

But the program has continued to grow, prompting questions about its cost and purpose. “Like all good controversies,” Butcher writes, “this one has enthusiastic advocates and wild-eyed opponents, and it’s easy to get snagged by the passion of the partisans.”

Both feature projects were funded with AHCJ Reporting Fellowships in Health Care Performance.

Welcome these new AHCJ 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.

  • Rosalind Adams, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York, (@rosalindzadams)
  • Nurith Aizenman, correspondent, global health and development, NPR, Washington, D.C. (@aizenglobe)
  • Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor-in-chief, HIV Plus and Advocate magazines, Hemet, Calif. (@deliciousdiane)
  • Malena Carollo, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York
  • Darwin Chan, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York
  • Caren Chesler, independent journalist, Ocean Grove, N.J. (@thedancingegg)
  • Deven Clarke, reporter, WJAC-DuBois, Pa.
  • Shea Connelly, associate editor, TMC Pulse Magazine, Houston
  • Claudia Copeland, independent journalist, New Orleans, La.
  • Krista Daly, staff writer, Imperial Valley Press, El Centro, Calif. (@kristadaly6)
  • Sydney Devine, student, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. (@syrdevine10)
  • Eddy Duryea, senior writer, The Villages Daily Sun, The Villages, Fla. (@EddyDuryea)
  • Joanne Fayron, reporter/producer, inewsource, San Diego (@JoanneFaryon)
  • Anne Glausser, coordinating producer, Ideastream, Lakewood, Ohio (@anne_glausser)
  • Heather Grimshaw, senior editor, MGMA, Englewood, Colo.
  • Ruobing Han, student, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  • Monica Heger, independent journalist, San Francisco
  • Alexandra Howson, Thistle Editorial LLC, Snoqualmie, Wash. (@thistlellc)
  • Jessica Huseman, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York (@jessicahuseman)
  • Stefanie Ilgenfritz, bureau chief, health & science, The Wall Street Journal, New York (@stefaniei)
  • Lee Ann Jarousse, senior editor, custom publications, Health Forum, Chicago
  • Heather Johnson, independent journalist, Oakland, Calif.
  • Coulter Jones, data reporter, MedPage Today, Brooklyn, N.Y. (@coulterjones)
  • Zoe Kirsch, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York, (@zrkirsch)
  • JoAnna Klein, student, New York University, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, New York
  • Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton, independent journalist, Tulsa, Okla. (@LenzyKB)
  • Nancy LeBrun, independent journalist, Roswell, Ga. (@nlroundabout)
  • Alexandra Levine, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York
  • Bryant Maddrick, reporter, WHP-Harrisburg, Pa. (@bryantcbs21)
  • Ann Marsh, senior editor, Financial Planning, New York (@Ann_Marsh)
  • Christopher McGee, student, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  • Aliza Nadi, producer, NBC News, New York (@alizanadi)
  • Daniela Porate, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, Toronto, Ontario
  • Erin Rock, student, University of Georgia, Statham, Ga. (@smeeb)
  • Rebekah Ryan, student, University of Georgia, Watkinsville, Ga. (@rebekahryan14)
  • Lauren Schumacker, student, University of Georgia, Oak Park, Ill.
  • Mary Silver, reporter/editor, Epoch Times, Atlanta (@maryhooksilver)
  • Miriam Sitz, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York (@miriamsitz)
  • Amanda Stein, editor, TMC Pulse Magazine, Houston
  • Ansley Stewart, student, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. (@ansleyestewart)
  • Tal Trachtman, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York
  • Wes Venteicher, reporter, Chicago Tribune, Chicago (@wesventeicher)
  • Will Whitson, state house reporter, WIS-Columbia, S.C. (@WillWhitsonWIS)
  • Filliez Xavier, journalist, Ringier, Brooklyn, N.Y
  • Mohamad Yaghi, student, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York (@MoYaghi)

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.

Panels, key speakers announced for Health Journalism 2015

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.

California’s Silicon Valley – an intersection of health and technology – will be home to Health Journalism 2015, AHCJ’s annual conference scheduled for April 23-26.

Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese

Convening at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, hundreds of journalists will visit area sites during field trips, hear from world-class speakers during panels, take part in skill-building workshops and more.

The  conference will help reporters, editors and producers cover the latest in medical research, health technology, public health  issues, the business of health care, health policy matters and journalism. Freelance members can meet face-to-face with editors during the popular PitchFest.

Deane Marchbein

Deane Marchbein

Conference spotlight speakers will include Stanford University physician and author Abraham Verghese, M.D.,  M.A.C.P.; Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald; and Deane Marchbein, M.D., the president of the United States’ board of directors for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.

Verghese, a bestselling author and medical school professor, will be the  conference kickoff speaker on the evening of April 23 .

His work includes advocacy for the value of bedside skills and physical diagnosis, skills he sees as waning in an era of increasingly sophisticated medical technology, diverting  physicians’  attention from patients. At Stanford, he was instrumental in development of the “The Stanford 25” initiative, which is designed to showcase and teach 25 fundamental physical exam skills and their diagnostic benefits to interns. Continue reading

Welcome these new AHCJ 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.

  • Erika Check Hayden, senior reporter, Nature, San Francisco
  • Cathyrn Domrose, staff writer, Nurse.com, San Francisco
  • Sarah Jacoby, associate editor, health and sciences, Refinery29, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Sarah Peyton, student, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  • Tina Rosenberg, co-writer, Fixes column, The New York Times, New York (@tirosenberg)
  • Julie Steenhuysen, correspondent, Reuters, Chicago

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.

  • Amy Birnbaum, producer, CBS News, New York, (@amybirn)
  • Shraddha Chakradhar, assistant news editor, Nature Medicine, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Jill Neimark, independent journalist, Atlanta
  • Cynthia McCormick, reporter, Cape Cod Times, Sandwich, Mass. (@Cmccormickcct)
  • Jon Spayde, producer, BringMeTheNews, Saint Paul, Minn. (@jonspayde)
  • Dan Verel, reporter, MedCity News, Berkeley, Calif. (@DanVerel)
  • Elijah Wolfson, senior editor, Newsweek, New York

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.

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.

Continue reading