New jobs and honors for AHCJ members


Here’s the latest about AHCJ members, from the Spring 2011 issue of HealthBeat. If you have news please let us know by sending it to

Marshall Allen joined ProPublica as a re­porter. He and Alex Richards have been widely recognized for their series, “Do No Harm,” about preventable errors in hos­pitals, written when the pair worked at the Las Vegas Sun and partially completed while Allen was on an AHCJ Media Fel­lowship on Health Performance, support­ed by The Commonwealth Fund. They have received the 2011 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize and a National Headliner award.

Bianca Alexander won a Chicago Mid­west Emmy for “Outstanding On-Cam­era Performance” as a correspondent on “Soul of Green,” a show about the latest news in the urban health and sustainabili­ty movements, airing on WFLD-Chicago.

Emily Baucum is a reporter for KOTV-Tulsa. She previously was with KOLR/KSFX-Springfield, Mo.

Lisa Benton, M.D., M.P.H., of the Ohio Center for Broadcasting won the 2010 Region 4 Society of Professional Journal­ists Mark of Excellence Award for the cat­egory television general news reporting by a two-year/community college. She was honored for “Mold After the Flood.”

Seattle Times reporter Michael Berens received the Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents’ As­sociation and the 2010 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism for his “Seniors for Sale” series, which focused on Washington State’s booming adult home industry and the dangers of the regulatory gray area it often seems to fall into. The series prompted a proposed overhaul of state laws on long-term care of elderly adults.

Rachel Boehm, who expects to gradu­ate from American University’s master’s program in journalism and public affairs, will intern this summer at the Bureau of National Affairs.

Karen Brown, of WFCR-FM in Am­herst, Mass., won a 2011 Erikson Award for Excellence in Mental Health Media, a national award sponsored by the Austen Riggs Center to honor journalists who have “brought nuance, compassion, and scientific rigor to their coverage of mental illness and recovery.”

Heather J. Chin is a staff reporter and photographer with the Home Report­er and Sunset News and The Brooklyn Spectator in Brooklyn, N.Y. She writes monthly health features in addition to breaking news, education, police, events and profiles.

Carolyn Davis Cockey, editor of Healthy Mom&Baby magazine, has launched an iPad version of the magazine. The maga­zine also has an expanded suite of so­cial media and syndication for its blogs, including The Momalogues, Cockey’s health and parenting blog.

Paul Goldberg is president of The Can­cer Letter Inc., and editor and publisher of The Cancer Letter and The Clinical Cancer Letter. Kirsten Goldberg stepped down as editor and publisher of The Can­cer Letter, a position she held since taking her father’s place at the helm 20 years ago. She is a senior program manager in the Communications and Patient Informa­tion Department at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Joe Goldeen, health reporter for The (Stockton, Calif.) Record, was honored by the San Joaquin County Public Health Services for his comprehensive coverage on health issues of importance; thought­ful and thorough presentations, balanced approach and actionable information.

Jamie Hirsh was promoted in December to senior associate editor at Consumer Reports.

“Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life after Loss,” the 30th book by Harriet Hodgson, B.S., M.A., will be published by Grief Illustrated Press, a Centering Corporation company.

Lisa Jaffe Hubbell is the editor of Hos­pital Peer Review, a newsletter published by American Health Consultants. She also is a contributor to HIT Exchange, a new publication on health information technology.

Shereen Jegtvig, M.S., has been accepted into the National Institutes of Health’s Medicine in the Media course at Dart­mouth College in July. Jegtvig writes about nutrition for

Daniel M. Keller, Ph.D., and Eric T. Rosenthal received a bronze award for Best Feature Article Series from the Amer­ican Society of Healthcare Publication Editors for their five-part Oncology Times series on proton beam radiation therapy.

Joanne Kenen won the American Col­lege of Emergency Physicians Journalism of Excellence Award for “We Can’t Save You,” which was published in Slate on Aug. 4, 2010.

Bridget M. Kuehn, Mike Mitka, Joan Stephenson and Rebecca Voelker are writing for the Journal of the American Medical Association‘s health news blog.

Meryl Davids Landau‘s women’s novel, “Downward Dog, Upward Fog,” was published in May. ForeWord Reviews calls it “an inspirational gem.”

Euna Lhee was a fellow for the Science Literacy Project workshop developed by SoundVision Productions. She also was the first-place winner of the Mobile Jour­nalist category at the 2011 Florida Associ­ated Press Broadcasters Contest.

Trudy Lieberman received a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award that will allow her to lecture on U.S. health policy to masters’ candidates and academics at Coventry University and other universi­ties in the Midlands area of Great Britain. She will participate in seminars for local journalists and British hospital officials, a European Union consortium on training for health journalists, and a conference for European health care journalists at Cov­entry University. The grant also provides for her participation in an organizational meeting of an AHCJ London chapter.

Jennifer Meckles of the Missouri School of Journalism won three Region 7 Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She received first place for “Target 8: Fulton State Hos­pital” in the television in-depth report­ing category; first place for “New Signs for Boomer Eyes” in the television gen­eral news reporting and second place for “Adults vs Kids: Texting and Driving” in the television feature category.

AHCJ Board President Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Dan Nguyen of ProPublica, won the Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism in the IRE Awards for their series Dollars for Docs. The judges called it “truly innova­tive, the work represents the best media can do for the public good.”

André Picard, a health reporter at the Globe and Mail, earned this year’s Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism. The award is presented by the Public Policy Forum, an independent Canadian nonprofit. It comes on the heels of the 2010 National Newspaper Award that named Picard Canada’s best columnist.

Jennifer Ringler, associate editor of Pharmaceutical Executive/Pharmaceutical Representative, is volunteering for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association as copy editor and book reviewer.

Ryan Sabalow of The Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight won a first-place award in the business or financial story category from the California Newspaper Publish­ers Association. The story covered the local increase in doctors who prescribe medical marijuana to their patients and concerns raised by the community. Saba­low credits AHCJ’s electronic discussion list for helping him write a sidebar about the situation in other states.

Gary Schwitzer, publisher of Health­, spoke to the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making’s annual forum in Washing­ton, D.C., in January; to former U.S. Sen. David Durenberger’s health policy class at the University of St. Thomas in March; and to a media ethics class at the University of Minnesota in April.

Sibyl Shalo‘s article about directly observed therapy for tuberculosis, published in the American Journal of Nursing and inspired by an AHCJ chapter event, was a finalist in the trade category of The 17th Annual NIHCM Foundation Health Care Print Journalism Awards.

Joanne Silberner is living in mossy Seattle, teaching journalism part time at the University of Washington and freelancing for public radio outlets.

Maria Simbra of KDKA-Pittsburgh is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association’s 2010 first-place award for her feature story “Toddler’s News Fingers.”

Michelle Sipics is the content developer/science writer of The History of Vaccines website, which was named a Webby Honoree in the science category, and awarded the honorable mention in the education category of Museums and the Web conference’s “Best of the Web.”

In April, Pat Skerrett gave a talk on covering medical research to 60 Portuguese journalists and health communicators in Lisbon as part of the Harvard Medical School-Portugal Project, which aims to improve the understanding of health, medicine, and biomedical research among Portuguese students and professionals, as well as among the citizens of Portugal. Skerrett is the editor and chief writer of the Harvard Heart Letter.

“Conducting Clinical Research: A Practical Guide for Physicians, Nurses, Study Coordinators, and Investigators,” by Judy Stone, M.D., was released in a revised and expanded second edition, with new sections on the politics and ethics of clinical research and updated information about the rapidly shifting global drug development industry.

Miriam E. Tucker, a senior writer at Elsevier/International Medical News Group, was featured in a Huffington Post piece about “16 Health Experts To Check Out On Twitter,” co-written by Barbara Ficarra.

Laurie Udesky is now an assistant editor position at FairWarning, a nonprofit online investigative news organization that focuses on news of safety, health and corporate conduct.

David Wahlberg of the Wisconsin State Journal won a Sigma Delta Chi Awards for non-deadline reporting by smaller newspapers for his series on “The Rural Health Care Gap.”

Kelley Weiss has joined the Califor­nia HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting as a broadcast reporter. She will expand the organization’s work in the broadcast arena, particularly in pub­lic radio. Weiss was a 2007-08 Midwest Health Reporting Program Fellow.

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Pia Christensen