About AHCJ: General News

2017 AHCJ Reporting Fellows on Health Care Performance named Date: 11/11/16

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance to five journalists who intend to pursue significant projects in 2017. The program, in its seventh year, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care markets and the U.S. health system as a whole.

The fellowship program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is intended to give experienced print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to concentrate on the performance of health care systems – or significant parts of those systems – locally, regionally or nationally. The fellows are able to examine policies, practices and outcomes, as well as the roles of various stakeholders.

The 2017 fellows will be:

  • JESSICA BYLANDER (@jebylander) is a senior editor for Health Affairs and formerly wrote and edited at Elsevier’s The Gray Sheet. Her project will explore how health reform has affected American Indians living on reservations and where health system innovation is occurring in Indian Country.

  • BRENDA GOODMAN (@webmd_brendag) is a senior news writer at WebMD in Atlanta. She has worked as a television news producer, national freelance writer and was an editor for Arthritis Today. Her project will examine maternal death in the states, with concentrated comparisons between California and Texas, and how risk assessments and monitoring may vary.

  • MARKIAN HAWRYLUK (@markianhawryluk) is a health reporter at the Bend Bulletin in Oregon. He has reported at the Houston Chronicle, American Medical News and Healthcare Industry Executive magazine. His project will focus on how well Oregon is handling treatment of those addicted to opiates and where gaps may exist in the system.

  • ERIN MERSHON (@eemershon) is a health care reporter with Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. She formerly covered health care and technology for Politico. Her project will focus on how some rural states have maintained competitive insurance marketplaces while neighboring states now offer little choice.

  • BRAM SABLE-SMITH (@besables) is lead reporter on the Health & Wealth Desk at KBIA-Columbia, Mo. He also is part of the Side Effects Public Media regional collaborative. His project will examine the state of rural hospitals in Missouri and which specific decisions lead some to survive, while others falter and close.

The fellows will continue in their current jobs during the coming year, but also receive customized training, mentoring and financial support for field reporting and conference and workshop attendance. With the support of the program, and their own news outlets, they are expected to complete significant and unique reporting projects by the end of 2017.

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. With about 1,500 members across the United States and around the globe, its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The association and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism provide training, resources and a professional home for journalists. Offices are based at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. The Fund is based in New York City.