AHCJ’s annual conference rescheduled for October

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

With safety as a top consideration, AHCJ has changed the dates for the world’s premier health journalism conference.

Health Journalism 2021 is scheduled for Oct. 28-31 in Austin, Texas. The downtown Hilton Austin will serve as the main conference site.

“We have been working closely with the hotel in Austin to secure these new dates for Health Journalism 2021,” said AHCJ Executive Director Andrew Smiley. “There are a lot of details that go into hosting our annual conference, and the safety of our members, speakers and other attendees will remain top of mind as we get closer to the fall.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic will be a main topic of panels and workshops for the conference, it also will be central for conference planners in their efforts to maintain sensible precautions.

“As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, all of our planning around in-person meetings and events will have a focus on safety and distancing procedures,” Smiley said. “Planning any event this far in advance remains a fluid situation and our goal is to best serve our members. We are committed to staying nimble in our approach to the conference and will be prepared to introduce virtual components or further alter the dates as needed.”

The conference will feature sessions on the latest topics in medical science, health policy, public health, medical education, consumer health and the business of health care. Sessions focus on the special needs of reporters, editors and producers as they attempt to cover these topics for their audiences. The conference will also include recognition of the winners of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

While trying to retain many of the topics that were planned in the canceled 2020 gathering, AHCJ has reopened its portal to submit additional ideas for conference sessions. You can find the link here: healthjournalism.org/hj21. The deadline for session ideas is March 19.

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