AHCJ’s new patient safety core topic leader is veteran health care reporter

Mary Chris Jaklevic

Mary Chris Jaklevic, a Chicago-based independent health care journalist with nearly 30 years of experience, has joined AHCJ as its new patient safety core topic leader.

The former AHCJ board member will build upon the solid patient safety content produced by Kerry Dooley Young, who served in the role from May 2021-October 2022.

Jaklevic, who grew up near Detroit and moved to Chicago in 1994, has covered health care finance, clinical care and medical research for both expert and consumer audiences. She says her awareness of patient safety issues expanded when she worked at Healthnewsreview.org, where she and her team discovered that only 37% of news stories adequately addressed the harms of medical interventions such as drugs and devices. That’s when she decided to focus more of her reporting on this important topic.

Jaklevic’s stories have been published in the Chicago Tribune, the NPR Shots blog, NBC, The New York Times, JAMA Medical News, Medscape Medical News and Undark. She was a journalism instructor at Northwestern University from 2004-2007 and an AHCJ board member from 2005-2009.

She says she looks forward to learning more about — and helping members better understand —how the rise of information technology, virtual care, remote monitoring and workforce shortages affect patient safety.

“As the patient safety topic leader, I want to inspire journalists to consider patient safety in a more comprehensive and nuanced fashion and help them to enliven their coverage with patient stories,” Jaklevic said.

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