HJ23 draws large crowd to the Gateway to the West

The St. Louis Union Station Hotel light show plays during the HJ23 Thursday night reception. (Photo courtesy of Zachary Linhares)

More than 550 people gathered in St. Louis earlier this month for Health Journalism ’23, with at least 300 organizations represented.

As always, old friends and colleagues reconnected while new friendships and work relationships were formed, facilitated by the nearly 40 meetups created during the event and 3,000-plus messages sent to the community board in the conference app, Whova.

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Journalists need support and self-care when reporting on trauma 

AHCJ Board President Felice Freyer, addresses attendees during the “Journalists and trauma: A survivor’s guide” session at HJ23. (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

A global pandemic, never-ending mass shootings, heartbreaking patient stories, an opioid epidemic, legislation that endangers people’s lives … there’s no shortage of traumatic stories in the news every day, and the journalists who report it are affected by secondary trauma from that reporting.

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Top 2023 policy stories: end of public health emergency and telehealth

“Public health legislation in the new Congress” session panelists Timothy McBride, professor of public health at Washington University in St. Louis.; Cara Tenenbaum, principal at Strathmore Health Strategy; Leann Chilton, vice president of government relations at BJC HealthCare (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

For journalists seeking important health care policy stories in 2023, look to the impact of the end of the public health emergency on Medicaid enrollment and how it may change the number of people who are uninsured, experts said on March 11 during “Public health legislation in the new Congress” session at Health Journalism 2023 in St. Louis. Federal action on telehealth and its impact on health equity and rural health care will also be key policy topics to follow during the year, they said.

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Panelists say the health care system needs to pay more attention to intimate partner violence

Joanne Kenen, a contributing writer to Politico Magazine and the Journalist-in-Residence at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Melissa Beal, a registered nurse and a survivor of intimate partner violence; Jacquelyn Campbell, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; Anita Ravi, a family medicine physician who specializes in the health of gender-based violence survivors, (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

Intimate partner violence is not simply a criminal justice issue. It’s also a public health problem. Speakers at the panel, “Domestic violence as a public health problem and social determinant of health,” discussed how the health care system in the United States could do a better job of helping survivors physically and emotionally.

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HJ23 session: Putting a face on family caregiving

Julia Yarbough, a former local TV journalist in Chico, CA, addresses attendees during the “The biggest untold story in health care: 53 million family caregivers” session at HJ23.

Caregiving. It seems almost everyone has a story, whether they’re a millennial, baby boomer or older person caring for a parent, spouse or family member with disabilities. A new AARP report found that family caregivers provide a whopping $600 billion worth of uncompensated care across the U.S. annually more than the federal government spends on long term services and supports.

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