About AHCJ: General News

Gov. Schwarzenegger, Steve Case address record crowd at Health Journalism 2007 Date: 03/18/07

March 18, 2007
Contact: Len Bruzzese, AHCJ executive director, 573-884-5606
Charles Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, program committee chair, 213-237-7969

LOS ANGELES - Saying the "time for tinkering and piecemeal fixes is over," California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told journalists attending Health Journalism 2007 that he plans to fix his state's "broken" health care system by mandating everyone have insurance

"We know reform efforts of the past failed because they put the entire burden on just government or business. And we know shared responsibility is what works best and is absolutely essential," Schwarzenegger said at the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

"Ideas that may not work on their own, like our individual mandate or guaranteed access, work great together."

Cailf. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at Health Journalism 2007Schwarzenegger's news briefing was just one highlight of the conference, which drew more than 400 attendees from across the United States and from as far away as Hong Kong and Switzerland.

The March 15-18 conference also featured a question-and-answer session with Steve Case, founder of AOL, and now, Revolution Health; a Hollywood-focused roundtable featuring writers, producers and actors from top health-related television shows; and a luncheon at which the annual Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism were awarded.

Journalists attending the conference chose from more than 35 panels and classes on a wide range of health topics. Special sessions addressed broadcast journalists, freelancers and authors.

Specialty workshops, held on the opening day of the conference, offered in-depth information designed to expand health journalists' skills. One delved into covering health in a multicultural society while the other, "Medicine 101: Words, numbers and journals," was designed for those new to the beat or those needing a refresher in understanding jargon, studies and statistics.

At an opening-day news conference, Mark D. Smith, president and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation, released the organization's latest study on "End-of-life care - Racial and ethnic differences," that highlighted the wide range of opinion and experience with end-of-life care in the nation's most populous and diverse state.

Some attendees took advantage of field trips to City of Hope, USC Health Sciences and UCLA Health Sciences to see first-hand some the latest medical research, clinical work and teaching efforts.

Host organizations this year included the University of California, Irvine; USC Health Sciences; UCLA Health Sciences; and City of Hope. Sponsoring organizations included KNBC-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times, Kaiser Family Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health, The California Wellness Foundation, University of California, Riverside, Western University of Health Sciences, California HealthCare Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, RTI International, Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, Picker Institute and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.