About AHCJ: General News

Midwest Health Journalism Fellows graduate; applications accepted for next class Date: 06/25/09

The Midwest Health Journalism Program completed another year with the graduation in June of its second class of fellows.

The selection of Kansas and Missouri journalists for a third class of fellows is under way. Read more about the program.

The program was launched in 2007 through funding by a consortium of six Missouri and Kansas health foundations. The program is a cooperative effort of AHCJ, the Kansas Health Institute and the University of Kansas School of Journalism. Its aim is to provide established journalists with the tools needed to improve the depth and amount of coverage focused on critical state and local health issues. Each annual fellowship class takes part in workshops and other events several times throughout the year for training. The fellows use a private electronic discussion group to share story regional ideas and resources, and they are offered mentors experienced in health reporting specialties to help them with a variety of stories and projects.

"The fellowship sessions, experts and discussions opened my mind to a more sophisticated level of reporting," said Kathleen O'Dell, a reporter for The Springfield News-Leader.

Wichita Eagle reporter Jeanine Koranda initially wondered how the training would impact her work, as a Kansas statehouse correspondent not covering health exclusively. "I have found the training invaluable," she said. "It has helped me know how to quickly find data that has added depth to my stories."

The funding group for the program includes The Kansas Health Foundation, Wichita, Kan.; The Sunflower Foundation, Topeka, Kan.; The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Hutchinson, Kan.; the REACH Healthcare Foundation, Merriam, Kan.; the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.; and the Missouri Foundation for Health, St. Louis.