About AHCJ: General News

Comparative Effectiveness Research Fellows named for 2017 Date: 08/28/17

COLUMBIA, MO. – Ten journalists have been chosen for the third class of the AHCJ Fellowship on Comparative Effectiveness Research. The fellowship program was created with support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to help reporters and editors produce more accurate in-depth stories on medical research and how medical decisions are made.

The fellows will gather in Washington, D.C., the week of Oct. 15 for a series of presentations, roundtables, how-to database sessions and interactions with researchers.

The 2017 fellowship class includes:

  • Paula Andalo, ethnic media editor, Kaiser Health News (@paula_andalo)

  • Karen Bouffard, investigative health reporter The Detroit News (@kbouffardDN)

  • Francie Diep, staff writer, Pacific Standard (@franciediep)

  • Shannon Firth, Washington correspondent, MedPage Today (@shannonfirth)

  • Katti Gray, independent journalist, Monticello, N.Y. (@kattigray)

  • Rachele Hendricks-Sturrup, independent journalist, Hollywood, Fla.

  • Laura Joszt, digital managing editor, The American Journal of Managed Care (@AJMC_Journal)

  • Matthew Ong, reporter The Cancer Letter (@thecancerletter)

  • Sarah Owermohle, health care reporter, S&P Global Market Intelligence (@saraahoh)

  • Cheryl Platzman Weinstock, independent journalist, Weston, Conn. (@CherylWeinstock)

The training topics will include:

  • How to critique research studies that compare various treatments and approaches

  • How patients are helping to redesign research and health care

  • Clinical trial challenges

  • Resources for finding the best evidence

  • Open science and data transparency

  • The future of clinical trials

The fellows were selected from dozens of qualified applicants.

“We’re very happy to be able to present this in-depth learning opportunity again and to collaborate with PCORI, which has growing expertise on these issues,” said AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese. “It’s a rare chance for journalists to get advanced training on understanding medical studies, evaluating evidence and looking for ways to tap into patient involvement.”

Joe Selby, M.D., M.P.H., executive director of PCORI, said his organization is eager to support connections between in-the-trenches researchers and the journalists who need to make sense of medical studies and evidence for an interested public.

“As research funders who emphasize involvement of the public in conducting research, we believe it’s critically important to continue improving the public’s understanding of how research gets done and of the evidence it produces,” Selby said. “Journalists can play a central role in making this happen, modeling the presentation and discussion of research and evidence in clear and compelling ways.”

“It’s especially important for comparative effectiveness research because this research is meant primarily to serve patients and their clinicians. I am so pleased by the enthusiasm of a new class of fellows, look forward to our symposium with them and really appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with AHCJ.”

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 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, an independent nonprofit, nongovernmental organization located in Washington, D.C., was authorized by Congress in 2010 to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers and policymakers make informed health decisions. Specifically, it funds comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER, as well as supports work that will improve the methods used to conduct such studies.