Workshop to offer look at nation’s rural health landscape #ruralhealth15

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

A lot has been made of mapping health care lately, from states and counties to ZIP codes and income. But take a step back, and a lot of the issues facing health care writers and policymakers are part of the nation’s larger rural-urban divide.

The Association for Health Care Journalists is offering a chance on June 19 for health writers to explore what is happening in America’s less populated areas as well as the emerging trends at its Rural Health Journalism Workshop.

This free, one-day workshop in Fort Worth aims to offer journalists an opportunity to gain deeper insight into specific issues affecting health and health care in the rural United States, and hear from experts about the latest challenges facing such areas.

Sessions will offer a broad look at the rural health care landscape and the large issues facing residents in such areas, including regional culture and underserved populations. Panelists will address the challenges that hospital systems serving rural America face as well as other issues, including mental illness and how to find specific areas where needs are going unmet. Attendees will leave with a list of new sources, an array of insights and, hopefully, a list of story ideas.

Fellow AHCJ members steeped in rural health care coverage from the High Plains Journal, Houston Public Media, The Times-Picayune and Tulsa World, among other outlets, will moderate.

Additionally, here are some of the institutions whose experts will offer insights at the workshop:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Health Equity
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
  • Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute of Public Affairs
  • West Virginia University School of Medicine-Charleston
  • Center for Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University

This is the eighth year AHCJ has presented the workshop, sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Missouri Foundation for Health and The Commonwealth Fund and hosted by the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

It is offered at no charge to AHCJ members, but they must register. The deadline is June 8. 

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