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About AHCJ: General News

AHCJ names 2018-19 Regional Health Journalism Fellows Date: 06/12/18

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2018-19 class of the Regional Health Journalism Fellowship, an annual fellowship program for reporters and editors across the United States.

The program, which focuses on different regions each year, is dedicated this year to journalists from the Mountain States region of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah. Past classes of fellows have come from the northern Midwest and Plains, the Southeast, the West Coast, the South Central United States, the Great Lakes and the mid-Atlantic states.

The new fellowship class will gather together for the first time next month. The fellows are:

  • Melissa Davlin, producer, Idaho Public Television, Boise (@davlinnews)

  • Patricia Ferrier, business-health reporter, The Coloradoan, Fort Collins (@PatFerrier)

  • Mary Clare Fischer, assistant editor, 5280 Magazine, Denver (@mc_fischer)

  • Tara Gatewood, host and producer, Native America Calling, Albuquerque (@taran8v)

  • Katheryn Houghton, staff writer, health, Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle (@K_Hought)

  • Seth Klamann, health reporter, Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune (@SethKlamann)

  • Kimberlee Kruesi, statehouse reporter, The Associated Press, Boise (@kkruesi)

  • Maria La Ganga, reporter, Idaho Statesman, Boise (@marialaganga)

  • Erik Neumann, health care reporter, KUER-Salt Lake City (@ErikMNeumann)

  • Susan Olp, reporter, Billings (Mont.) Gazette (@bgSueOlp)

  • May Ortega, reporter, KUNM-Albuquerque/Public Health New Mexico (@MayVOrtega)

  • Jakob Rodgers, health care reporter, The Gazette, Colorado Springs (@JakobRodgers)

The aim of the program, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is to provide established journalists with the tools to improve the depth and amount of coverage focused on localizing critical health issues. Designed by journalists for journalists, the training occurs over the span of a year.

The training includes:

  • An initiation and in-depth seminar in Albuquerque on social determinants and disparities

  • An intense health reporting boot camp at the Missouri School of Journalism featuring some of the top health journalists in the country

  • Customized briefings at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta

  • An exclusive online news webinar

  • Attendance at Health Journalism 2019, the annual conference of AHCJ featuring dozens of panels, field trips and news briefings with key health experts and policy makers

  • Attendance at the 2019 Rural Health Journalism Workshop

  • A professional membership in the Association of Health Care Journalists, with access to all print and Web-based member resources

  • Access to an experienced personal mentor from AHCJ's 1,400-plus membership

  • A fellows-only electronic discussion list

  • Continuing resources and support after the fellowship

AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese has called the fellowship one of the most important programs AHCJ offers.

Bruzzese said he was impressed with the response of reporters and editors from the Mountain States. “The region is obviously more sparsely populated, but the desire of journalists in the region to strengthen their reporting and research skills is as strong as anywhere in the country. We hope to offer these fellows a great opportunity in professional career development.”

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. In less than 20 years, it has grown into the premier organization for training health journalists, boasting nearly 1,500 members across the United States and in several other nations. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. AHCJ, which is based at the Missouri School of Journalism, conducts training through its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.