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Board of Directors

Officers

President
Karl Stark
Assistant Managing Editor, Health and Science, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia

Karl Stark

Karl Stark is the assistant managing editor, health and science, at The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has worked as The Inquirer's health editor, pharmaceuticals reporter, national/foreign editor and covered health care extensively as a business reporter. He has won many awards for his investigative work, including the National Press Club's Consumer Story of the Year. His work on a Pennsylvania-based health system triggered a criminal probe that resulted in plea bargains by top managers for misusing restricted medical endowment funds. Stark was one of four authors of AHCJ's "Covering the Quality of Health Care – A Resource Guide for Journalists." He serves on AHCJ's Finance and Development Committee. Stark was a media fellow of the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2000, enabling him to write about medical errors and quality. He writes weekly jazz reviews for The Inquirer. A former collegiate tennis player, he likes to think he still has game. You can follow him at @KWStark.

 

Vice President
Ivan Oransky, M.D.
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today
New York

Ivan OranskyIvan Oransky, M.D., is vice president and global editorial director for MedPage Today and he blogs at Embargo Watch and at Retraction Watch. Before taking that position, he was executive editor at Reuters Health. Previously, he was the managing editor for online at Scientific American and was the deputy editor of The Scientist. He has served as editor in chief of Pulse, the medical student section of the Journal of American Medical Association and of Praxis Post, an online magazine of medicine and culture. Co-author of "The Insider's Guide to Medical Schools," (Peterson's, 1999), he has written for publications including The (Baltimore) Sun, The Boston Globe, the Forward, the Lancet, The New Republic, The New York Sun, Salon, Slate, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report.

He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University, where he was executive editor of The Harvard Crimson, his medical degree from New York University, and completed an internship at Yale before leaving medicine to be a full-time journalist. He also holds appointments as an adjunct professor of journalism and clinical assistant professor of medicine at New York University. He lives in New York City with his wife (and fellow AHCJ member) Cate Vojdik, whom he met at an AHCJ conference. He was first elected to the board in 2002 and serves on AHCJ's Finance and Development Committee. You can follow him at @IvanOransky.

 

Treasurer
Felice J. Freyer
Health Care Reporter, The Boston Globe
Providence, R.I.

Felice Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is chair of AHCJ’s Finance and Development Committee. As a health care reporter for The Boston Globe, she covers health care from every angle, including public policy, primary care, mental health, research and finance. She has also been a medical writer for The Providence (R.I.) Journal. Her honors have included second place in AHCJ’s Excellence in Health Care Journalism awards, a Kaiser Media Fellowship and the “Master Reporter” award from the New England Association of Newspaper Editors. Freyer also serves as vice chair of AHCJ's Right to Know Committee. She is an active tweeter on health care and open government; you can follow her at @felicejfreyer and on Facebook.

Secretary
Julie Appleby, M.P.H.
Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News
Washington, D.C.

Julie Appleby

Julie Appleby, M.P.H., is a senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News. Prior to that, she spent 10 years covering the health care industry beat for the business section of USA Today. She has been a chair of AHCJ's annual Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism contest since its inception. Appleby has worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, the Financial Times in London and the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Calif. Her reporting has led to several awards. You can follow her at @Julie_Appleby.

 

Directors

Gideon Gil
Health and Science Editor, The Boston Globe
Boston

Gideon Gil

Gideon Gil is chair of AHCJ's Membership Committee. He has been the health and science editor at The Boston Globe since 2003, overseeing print and online coverage of health care, medicine, science and the environment. Before that, he worked for 19 years as a medical reporter and an editor at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he was part of the team that won a 1989 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of a bus crash that killed 27 people. He lives in Wellesley, Mass. Gil, elected to the board in 2011, is chair of the local planning committee for Health Journalism 2013, and of AHCJ’s Boston chapter. You can follow him at @GlobeGideon.

 

Scott Hensley
Writer and Editor, NPR
Washington, D.C.

Scott HensleySince the summer of 2009, Scott Hensley has been running Shots, NPR's online health channel, and done some radio work. Before that, he was the founding editor of The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog. He covered the drug industry and the Human Genome Project for the Journal. Later, he wrote an online column about the business of health and edited stories for the paper and WSJ.com. Previously, he was a reporter at Modern Healthcare and American Banker. In a past career, he oversaw clinical trials for a maker of high-tech medical devices. He has a bachelor's degree in natural sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. Hensley serves on AHCJ's Membership Committee. You can follow him at @ScottHensley.

 

Carla K. Johnson
Medical Writer, The Associated Press
Chicago

Carla K. JohnsonCarla K. Johnson, a medical writer at The Associated Press, has covered health and medicine since 2001 and has been an AHCJ member nearly that long. In 2003, she joined the board of the organization and has worked as the board's liaison to AHCJ's local chapters. A 1980 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she has worked as a copy editor and covered the education beat. She worked many years at the daily newspaper in Spokane, Wash., before returning to her native Illinois to join the AP. You can follow her at @CarlaKJohnson.

 

Tony Leys
Health Care Reporter, Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Iowa 

Tony LeysTony Leys has been the Des Moines Register’s main health care reporter since 2000. He also writes about social-welfare issues and dabbles in political coverage during Iowa’s presidential caucus season. He previously spent 10 years as a Register assignment editor, including stints overseeing state and political coverage. He grew up in the Milwaukee area and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a 2011-12 AHCJ Regional Health fellow, and he has reported from Haiti, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Uganda and Mali. You can follow him at @TonyLeys.

Maryn McKenna
Independent Journalist
Minneapolis/Atlanta

Maryn McKenna

Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist who specializes in public health, global health and food policy. She blogs for Wired and is a columnist for Scientific American and a long-form and investigative writer for Self, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Nature, and other publications in the United States, Europe and Asia. She is the author of "Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA" (Free Press/S&S 2010) and "Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service" (FP/S&S 2004). She was recently named a senior fellow of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. Previously, she was a newspaper reporter, working for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Boston Herald, The Cincinnati Enquirer and Rockford Register-Star. She has held fellowships with the Dart Center on Journalism and Trauma, the East-West Center, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Knight-Wallace Fellows of University of Michigan. She is the chair of AHCJ's Freelance Committee. You can follow her at @MarynMcK.

 

Charles Ornstein
Senior Reporter, ProPublica
New York

Charles Ornstein

Charles Ornstein, who serves on AHCJ's Right to Know Committee, is a senior reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news organization based in New York. Prior to joining ProPublica in 2008, he was a member of the metro investigative projects team at the Los Angeles Times. In 2004, Ornstein was a lead author on a series on Martin Luther King Jr. /Drew Medical Center, a troubled hospital in South Los Angeles. The articles won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service. In 2009, Ornstein co-authored a series of stories that detailed serious failures in oversight by the California Board of Registered Nursing and nursing boards around the country. The work was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Ornstein's most recent project, Dollars for Docs, was awarded the 2010 Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism from Investigative Reporters & Editors.

Ornstein is an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, where he covered health care on the business desk and worked in the Washington bureau. Born in Detroit, Ornstein attended the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in history and psychology. In 1999-2000, he was a Media Fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, examining the future of the employer-sponsored health insurance system. He served as AHCJ's president from 2009 to 2013. You can follow him at @CharlesOrnstein.

 

Charlotte Sutton
Senior editor/health and politics
Tampa Bay Times 
Tampa, Fla. 

Charlotte SuttonCharlotte Sutton is senior editor/health and politics at the Tampa Bay Times, responsible for daily, project and feature coverage in print and online from reporters in the Tampa Bay area and the state capital. She created the newspaper's popular twice-monthly wellness section and writes a column on health issues.

As a reporter and editor for nearly 30 years, she has covered a wide range of topics, from politics to consumer issues to the arts. She completed her master’s degree in public health at the University of South Florida in May 2014, focusing on health management and policy, particularly Medicare. She was a 2012-13 AHCJ Regional Health Fellow, and has participated in health journalism programs at Knight/MIT and the National Press Foundation. You can follow her @SuttonTimes.

 

 

Irene Wielawski
Independent Journalist
Pound Ridge, N.Y.

Irene Wielawski

Irene Wielawski, one of AHCJ's founders, is an independent writer and editor specializing in health care and policy topics. Previously, she was a medical writer for newspapers, including the Providence Journal-Bulletin and the Los Angeles Times, where she served on the investigations team. Her independent work (www.irenewielawski.com) appears in The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Health Affairs and peer-reviewed journals and books. She has produced medical segments for public television and reviews manuscripts for Health Affairs. Honors include two team Pulitzer Prizes and a Pulitzer finalist citation for medical journalism. Wielawski is chair of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee and also serves on the Freelance and the Finance and Development committees. You can follow her at @wielawski.

 

Executive Director

Len Bruzzese
Association of Health Care Journalists
Columbia, Mo.

Len Bruzzese

AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese 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.

 

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