#ahcj15 will kick off with field trips, workshops, chance to catch up with colleagues

I hope many of Covering Health’s readers are looking forward to Health Journalism 2015. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing so many of you.

The conference registration desk will be open on Wednesday from 3 p.m.  until 7 p.m. It will re-open on Thursday at 7 a.m. on the hotel’s mezzanine. Be sure to check in to get your program and name tag.

Here’s a little preview of what to expect on Thursday:

Field trips

The conference will start on Thursday with a set of daylong field trips in the Santa Clara area, with stops at 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.

Journalists will have a chance to learn about pioneering pediatric heart care, as well as how NASA has inspired training for crisis births. Find out about drills and simulations that hospitals use for disaster preparedness training – whether that disaster is an earthquake or a bioterrorism attack. Prepare to be surprised by how the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is advancing drug development and basic biological insight. Get a look at a state-of-the-art simulation facility that includes a room that was was converted to reproduce a treatment room for patients with Ebola. Try out a virtual reality headset or a holographic workstation to learn about anatomy. Learn about efforts to detect cancer at its most treatable stage. See a bionic suit that is helping to teach injured veterans how to move again.

If you have signed up for a field trip, please be at the conference registration desk by 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. We have a tight schedule and high demand for field trip spots, so if you aren’t there, your spot may be given to someone else. Remember to wear comfortable shoes. You will be outside some, so dress appropriately.

Panels and workshops

For those who don’t go on the field trips, we are offering several sessions that will be of immediate use in your work, including:

HIPAA: The ins, the outs, and how to navigate – If you’ve been covering health care for very long, you’ve likely been denied information “because of HIPAA,” as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is commonly known. Learn exactly who and what is covered by this often misinterpreted and misused law. Get practical tips for navigating the law to obtain the interviews and information you need for your stories.

A genetics primer for journalists – Find out about the promise and limitations of genetics in health care, as well as the research trends you should expect to see. Learn how to write more accurately and clearly about the complex topics involved in this field.

Th e science of diet: A journalist’s guide – Media audiences can have an insatiable appetite for more and deeper information about diet. As you’re researching for your own audience, you may find yourself bogged down by a mishmash of myths, quackery and Internet or late-night TV sales pitches. Occasionally, you’ll be fortunate enough to bump against real, science-tested techniques to tackle diet, nutrition, obesity and weight loss. Our experts will help you find clarity and fact-based material to inform your coverage.

New tech tools for journalists – Enhance your mojo – mobile journalism skills, that is. Our
panel will share their favorite technology tools for reporting, writing, photography and video to help up your game. We’ll also hear about new ways to engage your audience, and learn about the Bay Area News Group’s Mobile Journalism Lab – a van outfitted with a bevy of technology that doubles as a roving classroom and newsroom.

Conference welcome and kickoff

Abraham Verghese

Stanford University physician and bestselling author Abraham Verghese, M.D., M.A.C.P., emphasizes the importance of bedside medicine and physical examination in an era of advanced medical technology.

He contends the patient in the bed often has less attention than the patient’s data in the computer.


After Verghese’s talk, join us in the pool courtyard for food, drinks and conversation to kick off the conference. Mingle with new members and catch up with old friends. Conference fellows should look for designated meetup spots to help them connect with other fellows.

Leave a Reply