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Membership: Benefits

Why join AHCJ?

The AHCJ website has a wealth of useful information that is updated regularly. Members have exclusive access to job postings, great resources, back issues of HealthBeat and a special section for freelancers. We want to be a regular stop and the first place you turn when you start a story.

Updated five days a week, the Covering Health blog is your link to the latest news in the field, story ideas, hot headlines, new reports and tools to use in your reporting, noteworthy stories and more.

The newsletter, HealthBeat, is published twice a year. 

The electronic discussion list is a private service for AHCJ members where they can hold ongoing discussions, seek help with a story and request information. The AHCJ's board members take turns administering the list. If you're a member, you're automatically added to the list, but you can opt out. The list is archived online, giving members access to many years' worth of shared resources and wisdom.

Financial data on nonprofit hospitals: The association has partnered with GuideStar to present a comprehensive look at the IRS Form 990s filed by nonprofits that operate U.S. hospitals. The database will give AHCJ members a reliable way to see how much charity care their nonprofit hospitals provide and how much their local CEO is making compared to others in the state and the country. The database will be posted on the AHCJ web site and will be the featured subject of a session at Health Journalism 2012.

• An annual professional conference and smaller regional workshops, with an educational program by our Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, to advance your skills, hear insightful speakers, and meet others who face the same challenges you do. Hundreds of people gather each year for AHCJ's annual conferences, featuring experts and newsmakers in health care as well as experienced journalists who share tips and offer resources to help our members. In recent years attendees have heard from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, patient safety expert Peter Pronovost, health care economics expert Uwe E. Reinhardt, Elizabeth Edwards, actor Dennis Quaid, Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, President and Mrs. Carter, the American Cancer Society's Otis Brawley, M.D., and many more. 

Fellowships for training opportunities help our members get the training and support they need to do their jobs well.

  • The AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Fellowship includes a number of training events throughout the year for selected journalists from a specific region of the country. The fellows are assigned a mentor from AHCJ's membership, attend the organization's workshops and conferences and visit the CDC for customized briefings.
  • The AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health Performance give reporters the training and resources to examine the quality of health-care systems.
  • AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows spend a week studying public health issues at two CDC campuses in Atlanta.
  • AHCJ-NLM Health Journalism Fellows spend a week at the National Institutes of Health learning about medical research.
  • Other fellowships allow journalists from Oregon, California, New York, Missouri and Georgia attend AHCJ's annual conference, as well as members of the ethnic media and journalists on nonhealth beats.

• The AHCJ staff is always happy to lend assistance to our members. The office staff's regular working hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. central time, Monday through Friday. Feel free to e-mail or call with questions or comments. Our telephone number is 573-884-5606.

An online directory of AHCJ members who do freelance work for hiring managers to use to find expert health journalists.

• Free access to journals and databases, including:

  • Elsevier's ClinicalKey and ScienceDirect: ClinicalKey is the world’s first Clinical Insight Engine that lets you take advantage of the world’s largest online database of science, technical and medical information with ScienceDirect. Read more.

  • UpToDate.com is an electronic medical information resource with detailed information about the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of most medical conditions. Content is created, reviewed and updated by more than 5,100 physician authors and editors. Normally, individual subscriptions run up to $499 a year. Read more about UpToDate.

  • The Cochrane Library, a clinical research database (a $235 value!). Read more about what the Cochrane Library offers.

  • Annual Reviews, which publishes reviews in more than 40 focused disciplines within the biomedical, life, physical and social sciences. Annual Reviews journals are among the most highly cited in scientific literature as indexed by the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports®. This would cost thousands of dollars if you signed up on your own. Read more about what Annual Reviews offers.

  • Health Affairs, the respected health policy journal (a $125 value!). Read more about what Health Affairs offers.

  • American Journal of Public Health, dedicated to original work in research, research methods, and program evaluation in the field of public health. (a $200 value!). Read more about what the American Journal of Public Health offers.

  • Journal of the American Medical Association and its nine specialty journals. Read more about what JAMA/Archives offers.

  • The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a nonprofit, professional organization whose mission is to promote world health by the prevention and control of tropical disease through research and education..The journal includes original scientific articles covering new research with an emphasis on laboratory science and the application of technology in the fields of tropical medicine, parasitology, immunology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, basic and molecular biology, virology and international medicine. The press login includes access via a free mobile app available in the Apple store and from Google Play.

• Regional chapter groups, which organize social gatherings and meetings with sources.

Audience at Health Journalism 2007Events that will generate immediate stories and sources.

Online resources – tip sheets, "How we did it" articles, audio of special panels, presentations from health experts and more – to help you do your job better.

A Transition Assistance Program to help members who are forced into a job change. Any current AHCJ member who is laid off or is required to take a buyout is eligible.

A mentoring program to link members seeking some guidance with members who have recognized expertise in specific areas.

Online information about job openings, fellowships, contests and freelance opportunities.

A calendar of upcoming news events.

• An electronic discussion group, offered either as regular e-mails or a once-a-day digest e-mail.

• Social networking on LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as an active presence on Twitter.

A committee for freelance affairs and one for right-to-know concerns.

• An online bookstore for members' books, AHCJ publications and other books.

AHCJ depends on its member volunteers to produce its newsletter and to run a strong organization. If you're interested in joining a committee, producing something for the newsletter or website or serving on the board, please contact the AHCJ office.

Above all, AHCJ advocates for journalists. We work with institutions and sources to promote the free flow of information. We encourage the journalism industry to broaden training opportunities on this beat. Together, we can achieve what no individual could alone.

Join AHCJ today!

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