About AHCJ: General News

AHCJ names 2020 National Cancer Reporting Fellows Date: 12/18/20

Twelve journalists have been chosen for the 2020 class of the National Cancer Reporting Fellowship. The program is supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The fellows will spend three partial days online Jan. 12-14, 2021, with experts from the National Institutes of Health and other experts to increase their understanding of and ability to report accurately on complex scientific findings, provide insight into the work of cancer researchers and to better localize cancer-related stories.

The 2020 fellowship class includes:

  • Marcus Banks, independent journalist, New York

  • Karen Bannan, contributor, Cancer Today, Massapequa, N.Y.

  • Katie Brandt, assistant editor, Chicago Health Magazine, Chicago

  • Elizabeth Cooney, reporter, Stat, Boston

  • Ellen Eldridge, health care reporter, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta

  • Sherree Geyer, contributor, Pain Medicine News, Phoenix

  • Caroline Hopkins, biopharma reporter, Precision Oncology News, Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • Cierra Johnson, reporter/fill-in anchor, KNTV-San Jose, Calif.

  • Kakoli Mukherjee, senior reporter, The New Indian Express, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

  • Maggie O'Neill, assistant editor, Health Digital, New York

  • Melissa Patrick, reporter, Kentucky Health News, Lexington, Ky.

  • Cheryl Platzman Weinstock, independent journalist, Weston, Conn.

Training sessions will include:

  • COVID-19 and cancer connections

  • Cancer wars and moonshots

  • Cancer evidence by the numbers

  • Hands-on exercises, using SEER and GIS

  • The world of cancer guidelines and screening

  • Exploring cancer clinical trials

  • Storybuilding: Including patients in the equation

  • Tackling the cost of drugs and treatment

  • Deep dive: Immunotherapy

  • Deep dive: Diet and cancer risk

  • Kids and cancer – pediatric oncology

“We are excited to once again partner with the dedicated staff at the National Cancer Institute to offer this extensive training opportunity to journalists,” said AHCJ Executive Director Andrew Smiley. “We are thankful for the continued support of the Helmsley Charitable Trust in helping make such a one-of-a-kind reporting program available.”

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. Its office is based at the Missouri School of Journalism.