Conn. site joins online health journalism world

The Connecticut Health Investigative Team, which has nicknamed itself C-HIT, debuted this week with reports on disciplined doctors who are practicing in the state and how often students in the state’s schools are restrained or secluded, information it got through the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

The site, which will concentrate on coverage of health care, safety and veterans, was founded by Lynne DeLucia, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former editor of The Hartford Courant, and Lisa Chedekel, who was an award-winning reporter at the Courant. Covering Health readers likely remember Chedekel as co-author of the 2006 series “Mentally Unfit to Fight,” about mental health in the military.

The “Data Mine” section of C-HIT’s site will host searchable databases. The first two databases on the site have information about the state’s nursing homes and statewide ambulance response times.

Like other online startups we’ve seen recently, the site will distribute its content through partnerships with media outlets in Connecticut and the region.

C-HIT is part of the Online Journalism Project, founded in 2005 “to encourage the development of professional-quality hyperlocal and issue-oriented online news websites.”

The site is working with students in the journalism program at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

C-HIT has received grants from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.

Other similar ventures include Georgia Health News, Health News Florida, the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting, Kaiser Health News, ProPublica, California Watch and others that were collectively referred to as a thriving “new journalism ecosystem” in a recent study.

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