AHCJ heads to Baltimore for annual conference

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.

Hundreds of health journalists will gather in Baltimore – known as Charm City – for the annual AHCJ conference May 2-5.

Health Journalism 2019 will be at the Baltimore Hilton, a short walk from the Inner Harbor, with shops, museums, restaurants and historic ships. The hotel is next to Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. And yes, the Orioles are scheduled to be at home during the conference, hosting the Tampa Bay Rays from May 3-5.

The first day of the conference will offer a different look at Baltimore sites – field trips to local research, clinical and educational sites. At the same time, the conference hotel will host a series of skill-adding workshops and science-oriented sessions exploring genetics.

The field trips and workshops will last until late afternoon, followed by a newcomer welcome, where first-time conference attendees can meet members of AHCJ’s board of directors and learn how to make the most out of the conference. The evening will end with an official conference welcome for all attendees, a kickoff spotlight session and a Welcome to Baltimore Reception.

May 3 will launch scores of panels, with topics ranging from medical research to the business of health to policy and more. The conference Exhibit Hall will open that day, featuring a chance to network, win prizes and enjoy a snack. Health Journalism 2019 panels will give story ideas and resources about the opioid epidemic, drug prices, women’s health, the effects of violence and health, and more.

The popular Freelance PitchFest will return on May 3, giving a chance for journalists to sit face-to-face with editors to pitch their story ideas. A series of panels designed for freelance journalists – covering making pitches, ethics, investigative journalism and working with editors – will take place throughout the conference.

The May 4 Awards Luncheon will recognize the best work of 2018 with the annual Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Attendees will be able to meet award winners in a dessert gathering immediately after the luncheon. The day will end with a reception – Salute to Health Journalism.

May 5 will see the return of the popular how-to Sunday sessions, designed to help journalists use what they’ve learned during the conference.

In a special post-conference bonus, Health Journalism 2019 attendees can attend a collaborative offering of AHCJ and the Education Writers Association covering several topics examining the intersection of health and education. Registration is limited, but free for Health Journalism 2019 attendees and EWA 72nd National Seminar attendees. The workshop will take place at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace (202 E. Pratt Street), a 10-minute walk from the AHCJ conference hotel.

For more information and updates, go to the conference website. Pre-registration closes on April 5 at noon CT.

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