Making the most of medical research sessions at #AHCJ16

road-to-cleveland-2Each year, the AHCJ conference includes a smorgasbord of opportunities to inform and enhance journalists’ knowledge and reporting. Topics include health care disparities, hospital performance reporting, age-specific conditions for youth and elderly alike – and, of course, what the medical research reveals about these and other subjects.

Even in sessions that focus on a specific population or a condition that doesn’t immediately seem relevant to medical research – such as how to cover the ongoing opioid epidemic – there likely are ways that the material intersects with research on that topic. If you’re looking for stories that might involve some digging in PubMed, here are some sessions to consider during Health Journalism 2016 in Cleveland, April 7-10.


Gary Schwitzer

Gary Schwitzer

  • The conference kicks off with “Reporting on medical studies,” featuring Ivan Oransky, M.D., Gary Schwitzer, Kevin Lomangino and myself.
  • “Science: Breaking down obesity,” features experts from the Cleveland Clinic and Children’s Hospital at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
  • “The maternal health gap: How the United States lags in infant and maternal mortality,” with Nicholas Kassebaum, M.D., from Seattle Children’s Hospital.


  • “Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: Trends to watch in 2016 and beyond,” featuring researchers and physicians from University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic.
  • “Will innovative cancer care reach patients” (a particularly good opportunity to hear tips on separating facts from hype), with the director of the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.

    Leana Wen

    Leana Wen

  • “How to understand and cover the opioid epidemic,” with Leana S. Wen, M.D. M.Sc., Baltimore’s commissioner of health.
  • “Precision medicine: Getting behind the hype,” a session examining the research behind claims about matching treatments to patients’ specific forms of cancer.
  • “Covering the concussion crisis: Research and real life,” with Charles Bernick, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, and Josh Cribbs, a free agent NFL return specialist and wide receiver.


  • “Trauma’s mental impact from childhood to adulthood,” with a sexual assault nurse examiner from University Hospital Rainbow Babies and Children’s Program and the director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute Division of Behavioral Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
  • “Stem cells and regenerative medicine: What’s real,” which will explore the progress scientists have made – and the remaining challenges – in manipulating or “programming” stem cells, as potential treatments for ailments that include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and arthritis.
  • “Cancer care tailored to teens and young adults,” featuring pediatric oncologists from Cleveland Clinic Children’s and UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
  • “From Ebola to Zika: Responsible reporting on emerging infectious diseases,” an opportunity to learn how to stay abreast of rapidly published research without falling prey to hype.


Hilda Bastian

Hilda Bastian

  • “Flaws, limits and conflicts: Tips to find study pitfalls,” with Hilda Bastian, editor for clinical effectiveness resources, PubMed Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine.

Not yet registered for Health Journalism 2016? The advance registration deadline is past, but you can still join us there. Check here for details.

Leave a Reply