Award winners tackled range of important medical, health issues

Investigations into shoddy oversight of adult care homes and low quality at dialysis centers – along with moving portrayals of the trade-offs patients and their families face with some life-saving medical treatments – were among the top winners in this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

Read more about each winner, including a summary of each winning entry and the judges’ comments.

First-place honors also went to stories examining the bankruptcy of an iconic New York hospital and the pollution conundrum posed by wood stoves. Domestic issues were not the only focus: Winners also included a look at the state of health care in China and a series highlighting how other countries face up to difficult questions about who will receive care amid limited resources.

The 2010 awards, announced today by the Association of Health Care Journalists, recognize the best health reporting in nine categories covering print, broadcast and online media. The contest, in its seventh year, received more than 300 entries, an increase from the previous year.

“Journalists are tackling difficult and important medical and health policy issues, despite working in an era of increasingly limited resources,” said contest chair Julie Appleby, senior correspondent for the nonprofit Kaiser Health News. “The high quality of these winning entries show they are doing so in a way that not only captivates and informs, but in many cases also results in needed changes.”

AHCJ launched the awards program amid growing concern that too many journalism awards are sponsored by special interest groups that seek to sway media coverage. No health care companies or agencies fund AHCJ’s awards program.

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