Vesely to lead newest AHCJ core topic effort: health information technology

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

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

Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely, an independent journalist based in San Francisco, will lead AHCJ’s newest core topic on health information technology.

She will be guiding AHCJ members to the resources they need to cover the many aspects of health information technology through blog posts, tip sheets, articles and other material. The core topic area of healthjournalism.org will feature a glossary, a more lengthy explanation of key concepts, shared wisdom from other reporters, story ideas and more.

She will write tip sheets and background briefs, ask other journalists to share their experiences, host webcasts and curate lists of resources for journalists. Her blog posts for Covering Health will recognize important reporting on health information technology topics and offer journalists information about its growth and implementation, including what to look for and what to steer clear of in their reporting.

Vesely has been a contributor to California Healthline and iHealthBeat.org, covering telehealth, mobile health and California health policy. She was a reporter for Modern Healthcare magazine, covering a range of health care financial news, including passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“We feel very lucky to get someone with Rebecca’s experience serving as a core topic leader on health IT,” said Len Bruzzese, executive director of AHCJ. “As such, she’ll be a peer mentor to all of her fellow journalists trying to understand and do better stories in this fast-changing area.”

The creation of the health information technology core topic is being made possible by support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, based in Palo Alto, Calif., which has a profound interest in this area. The funders agreed reporters could use more help in reporting on health information technology. Although the organization is providing funding, it has not sought to influence any of the materials on the pages, Bruzzese said.

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, the association launched a Core Topic effort using “topic champions” – lead editors – from the 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 serves as a launch pad to more resources, on healthjournalism.org and elsewhere.

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

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