Tara Haelle takes over AHCJ’s medical studies core topic area


Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle, an independent journalist based in Peoria, Ill., and regular contributor to Forbes and HealthDay, is AHCJ’s newest core topic leader.

She will help guide journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enable them to translate the evidence into accurate information that their readers can grasp.

Haelle is a freelance journalist and multimedia photographer who has particularly focused on medical studies over the past five years.

She particularly specializes in reporting on vaccines, pediatrics, maternal health, obesity, nutrition and mental health.

Her work has appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post, Politico, Slate, NOVA, Wired and Science, and she writes regularly for HealthDay, Frontline Medical Communications, Forbes and her parenting science blog Red Wine & Apple Sauce. She’s co-writing an evidence-based parenting book due in April 2016.

She will write tip sheets and background briefs, ask other journalists to share their experiences and she will curate lists of resources for journalists. Her blog posts for Covering Health will recognize important reporting on medical studies and offer journalists information about what to look for and what to steer clear of in their reporting.

While there are hundreds of health and health care-related topics covered in news and feature stories every day, the Association of Health Care Journalists believes there is a core set of topics that today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.

Healthjournalism.org is home to thousands of pages of information, data and brilliant story examples. In an effort to curate this information into a curriculum of sorts for fellow journalists, we launched a Core Topic effort using “topic champions” – lead editors – from our membership to shape this material into practical guidance in covering stories on those topics.

Each specialty topic page includes glossaries, key concepts, reporting tip sheets, weekly blog items, first-person stories by fellow journalists, videos, data and more. Each topic home page serve as a launch pad to more resources, on healthjournalism.org and elsewhere. Journalist Brenda Goodman served as AHCJ’s first medical studies core topic leader and helped launch the pages.

If you have suggestions for Haelle, questions you’d like to see answered or examples of medical studies you’d like guidance on, please send them to tara@healthjournalism.org.

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