About AHCJ: General News

Winners announced: 2005 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism Date: 03/18/06

March 18, 2006

Charles Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, contest co-chair, 213-237-7969
Julie Appleby, USA Today, contest co-chair, 703-854-5647
Len Bruzzese, AHCJ executive director, 573-884-5606

HOUSTON - A Seattle Times study of the pharmaceutical industry's influence in defining diseases and a North Carolina Public Radio report on the effects of poverty on dental health were among the winners of the 2005 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

The awards, announced Saturday at the Association of Health Care Journalists' national conference, recognize the best health reporting in eight categories covering print, broadcast and online media. In only its second year, the contest drew more than 350 entries.

"Our judges were extremely impressed with the quality of this year's winning entries," said Trudy Lieberman, AHCJ's president. "Our winners and their news outlets understand the importance of health coverage and the role reporters play in explaining complicated topics to the public."

In 2004, the association's board voted to create the awards because of concerns that special interest groups were seeking to sway media coverage by awarding large prizes for coverage of medical and health issues. No health-care companies or agencies fund the Association's awards.

Winners were recognized at an awards luncheon, with first-place winners receiving $500 plus registration and hotel accommodations for the conference. Winners spoke on conference panels about their work, which will be made available on the AHCJ website at healthjournalism.org.

The contest's categories were large newspapers, medium newspapers, small newspapers, magazines/news, magazines/feature, trade/online journals/newsletters, TV/radio in Top 20 markets and TV/radio below Top 20.

The winning efforts:

Large newspapers (circulation over 250,000)

  • First Place: "Suddenly Sick," Susan Kelleher and Duff Wilson, The Seattle Times

  • Second Place: "Dangerous Devices," Barry Meier, The New York Times

  • Third Place: "The Making of an ICU Nurse," Scott Allen, The Boston Globe

Medium newspapers (circulation of 90,000 to 250,000 )

  • First Place: "Crushed by Medical Bills," Lindy Washburn, The Record (Bergen County, N.J.)

  • Second Place: "The Meth Menace," Jenny Marder and Stephen Carr, Long Beach Press Telegram

  • Third Place: "Living Positive: HIV/AIDS in East Tennessee," Kristi Nelson, Jeannine Hunter and Chandra Harris, Knoxville News Sentinel

Small newspapers (circulation less than 90,000)

  • First Place: "A Body's Burden: Our Chemical Legacy," Douglas Fischer, The Oakland Tribune

  • Third Place (tie): "Deadbeat Doctors," Steve Ellman, Julie Kay and Harris Meyer, (Miami) Daily Business Review

  • Third Place (tie): "A Life Lived Her Way To The End," Tim Christie, The (Eugene, Ore.) Register Guard

TV/Radio Top 20 markets

  • First Place: "Wounded Soldier," Susan Dentzer, Liz Callan and Lete Childs, "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer"

  • Second Place: "Border Health Series," Scott Shafer, KQED-San Francisco

  • Third Place: "Iressa: Whose Benefit, Whose Risk?" Cate Vojdik, Aaron Brown and Wilson Surratt, CNN's Newsnight with Aaron Brown

TV/Radio Below Top 20 markets

  • First Place: "The Trouble with Teeth," Emily Hanford and Deborah George, North Carolina Public Radio

  • Second Place: "Second Opinion--Depression," Elissa Orlando, WXXI Public Broadcasting, Rochester, NY

  • Third Place (tie): "End-of-Life Resistance," Kate Long, West Virginia Public Radio

  • Third Place (tie): "TennCare in Crisis," Nancy Amons, Zina Bauman and Cam Cornelius, WSMV-Nashville

General Interest Magazines/News

  • First Place: "Bad Medicine," Katherine Eban, Vanity Fair

  • Second Place: "Big Pharma's Shameful Secret," David Evans, Michael Smith and Liz Willen, Bloomberg Markets

  • Third Place (tie): "Who Needs Doctors?" Katherine Hobson, Christopher Gearon and Angie Marek, U.S. News & World Report

  • Third Place (tie): "Marcus Welby, CEO," Marilyn Werber Serafini and Lisa Caruso, National Journal

General Interest Magazines/Feature

  • First Place: "India: First Software, Now Surgery," Abhay Singh and Mrinalini Datta, Bloomberg News

  • Second Place: "Julie Krampitz Prays for the Phone to Ring...," Roxanne Patel, Sara Austin and Lucy S. Danziger, Self Magazine

  • Third Place: "How Far Would You Go To Have a Baby?" Brian Alexander and Wendy Naugle, Glamour Magazine

Trade/Online Publications/Newsletters

  • First Place: "Misleading Coding Advice," Wendy Vogenitz, Anethesia & Pain Coder's Pink Sheet

  • Second Place: "No School Nurses Left Behind," Laurie Udesky, Salon.com

  • Third Place (tie): "25 Things You Can Do to Save Lives Now," Lee Ann Runy, Dagmara Scalise and Matthew Weinstock, Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine

  • Third Place (tie): "Troubles With TV Health News," Gary Schwitzer, Poynter.org

The Association of Health Care Journalists is a nonprofit professional association dedicated to serving members and advancing the importance of health care journalism. It was incorporated in 1998 to advance public understanding of health and health care issues and to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The group has more than 900 members.

In 2004, AHCJ established the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, a charitable nonprofit, to offer educational and training activities.

The association and center are based at the Missouri School of Journalism.