AHCJ leaders hold series of media access meetings with government officials

AHCJ representatives held a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., last week to press for government openness at the state and federal levels.

AHCJ President Charles Ornstein and board member Felice Freyer (chair of the sunshine-week1organization’s Right to Know Committee) met with representatives of the Health and Human Services Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as 12 newly appointed state health directors organized by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

The federal officials professed a commitment to openness, within limits, and promise to look into specific requests to further that goal. The state health officials, who heard a panel presentation about working effectively with reporters, were receptive and eager to talk with AHCJ about building relationships at the state level.

Read more for details from each meeting …


Freyer will moderate a panel on this topic, “Right to know: Getting information from government agencies,” at Health Journalism 2011. The panel features Peter Ashkenaz, director of communications, FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs; Lisa Chedekel, senior writer and co-founder, Connecticut Health I-Team; Lucy A. Dalglish, executive director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; and Lilian Peake, M.D., M.P.H., director, Thomas Jefferson Health District, Virginia Department of Health.

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