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About AHCJ: General News

AHCJ welcomes new directors of education and engagement Date: 04/14/21

AHCJ welcomes two new senior staff members to continue its efforts for education, content and member engagement. They will start mid-May.

Experienced journalist and educator Katherine Reed of Columbia, Mo., will become the new director of education and content. She will play a key role in planning content for AHCJ conferences, workshops and fellowship programs. She will also oversee AHCJ’s growing website and publications.

Andrea Waner of Columbia, Mo., has been named director of engagement for AHCJ. She will work toward developing strategies for further engaging our members, marketing educational and training opportunities, growing our social media footprints, and collaborating with other journalism organizations.


Andrea Waner


Katherine Reed

“We are thrilled to have Katherine and Andrea join our talented AHCJ staff in these two important senior roles,” said Andrew Smiley, executive director for AHCJ. “Both of them have displayed a commitment to serving journalists in all aspects of their work and are dedicated to furthering the mission of AHCJ. We look forward to enhancing our educational offerings and member outreach efforts as we continue to grow the organization.”

Reed has been an AHCJ member since 2009, as a faculty member for the University of Missouri School of Journalism, a position she held for 16 years. In addition to her current role as a full professor, she is public health editor for the Columbia Missourian newspaper. She’s been a frequent judge for AHCJ’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism contest. Before moving to Missouri, she served as the editor-in-chief for the Prague Business Journal.

Reed replaces AHCJ staffer Jeff Porter, who is retiring after his 20-year stint working for journalism nonprofit organizations -- AHCJ and, before that, Investigative Reporters and Editors. Previously, he worked 21 years as a newspaper journalist in Arkansas.

Waner previously served as director of advancement and operations for Central Methodist University and has held communications positions with the nonprofit Institute of People, Place and Possibility; University of Missouri Health Care; and Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services. In 2020, she received the Missouri Progress Social Justice Award. Waner, who is also a freelance writer, is a certified diversity facilitrainer, and in 2020, she received the Missouri Progress Social Justice Award.

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. In just 20 years, it has grown into the premier organization for training health journalists, boasting 1,500 members. 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.