Health Journalism 2015 agenda covers gamut of health care

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

<span class="credit">Pia Christensen/AHCJ</span>AHCJ President Karl Stark, the assistant managing editor, business, health and science at <em>The Philadelphia Inquirer</em>, gives tips on covering hospital finance at Health Journalism 2014.

Pia Christensen/AHCJAHCJ President Karl Stark, the assistant managing editor, business, health and science at The Philadelphia Inquirer, gives tips on covering hospital finance at Health Journalism 2014.

We have posted descriptions of nearly all of the panels planned for Health Journalism 2015 and it’s an agenda packed with timely and useful sessions for anyone covering health.

Field trips on Thursday will feature trips to Stanford University, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford Health Care, Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory, the Division of Clinical Anatomy at Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System to learn about simulation training, pediatric heart care, hospital disaster preparation, veterans’ rehabilitation, early detection of cancer and much more.

Workshops on Thursday will help reporters navigate HIPAA; report on medical research; use LinkedIn to find story ideas and sources, break stories and promote your work; sort out conflicting hospital quality data and cover genetics.

A panel will introduce journalists to technology tools for reporting, writing, photography and video, as well as new ways to engage an audience. Other sessions will demystify hospital finance, explore how to cover the Affordable Care Act and look at the science and nutrition. Attendees will get an exclusive first look at alcohol data for every county in the United States and be able to use an innovative mapping tool to explore trends in alcohol use, heavy drinking and binge drinking over two decades.

Throughout the conference, there will be plenty of opportunities for networking and learning reporting skills. A workshop about the “narrative craft” with Jacqui Banaszynski, Knight chair in editing at the Missouri School of Journalism, will highlight some of the best techniques to bring creativity to health and science stories while making important information more accessible, relevant and engaging.

A series of panels created especially for freelance journalists will address the special issues encountered when writing for trade publications, crowdfunding long-term projects and labors of love, reselling and re-slanting stories for multiple markets and how to make a successful book proposal. Of course, Friday will feature the annual Freelance PitchFest, with writers meeting one-on-one with 17 editors from major publications to pitch their story ideas.

Here is a sampling of other topics that will be on tap at the conference:

  • Ebola
  • Barriers to oral health care
  • Climate change
  • Aging, caregivers and end-of-life care
  • Online health games
  • HIV
  • Veterans’ health
  • Hospital infections
  • Clinical trials
  • The human microbiome
  • Health data and transparency
  • Organ transplants
  • Health inequality
  • Cancer as a chronic condition
  • Education of health providers
  • Stem cells
  • New health-related technology
  • E-cigarettes
  • Using evidence-based tools
  • Vaccines
  • Medical devices

If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late. The discounted, early-bird registration fee is available through Friday. You can still sign up after that but the price will go up.

Take a look back at coverage of last year’s conference.

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