AHCJ welcomes first-ever environmental health core topic leader

Elizabeth Aguilera

AHCJ recently welcomed Elizabeth Aguilera, a California-based independent health reporter, as the organization’s first environmental health core topic leader.

“We’re excited to have a new focus area on environmental health,” said Kelsey Ryan, AHCJ’s executive director.

“Health care is a nuanced and diverse subject and these core topics — ranging from aging to mental health to health equity and now environment — show that diversity.”

Aguilera, a California native, recently worked for CalMatters, where she covered health care policy, the health and welfare of children and youth, and co-hosted a politics podcast leading up to the 2021 elections. She also reported for Southern California Public Radio/KPCC 89.3 where she produced stories about community health. There, her reporting on lead-tainted soil on school campuses near a former lead battery recycling plant spurred district action. 

Earlier in her career, Aguilera wrote about immigration and demographics for the San Diego Union-Tribune where her coverage of sex trafficking between Mexico and the United States won a “Best of the West” award. Aguilera also worked at the Denver Post, where she was named a finalist for the Livingston Award for her reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

“I want to write about environmental health to spotlight the challenges for vulnerable communities and highlight the work being done to push back and demand healthier air, water, and soil,” Aguilera said. 

“I’m excited about digging deeper into environmental health to find incredible reporting on the issue and offer ideas and insight for our members who want to write about this important challenge.”

The work of AHCJ’s environmental health core topic leader is supported by funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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