AHCJ announces 2022 recipients of Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism

AHCJ is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2022 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

Now in its 19th year, the contest recognizes the best of print, broadcast and online health care journalism. The 2022 contest drew 429 entries in 14 categories; there were 14 first-place winners.

“We are excited by the high level of engagement and interest in our contest, from such a broad swath of talented journalists,” said Carrie Feibel, AHCJ board member and chair of AHCJ’s Contest Committee. “It’s inspiring to see the diversity of stories. It’s a testament to the growth and importance of the health beat.”

The winners of the audio reporting (large division) category, Dorey Scheimer, Meghna Chakrabarti and Tim Skoog of WBUR’s On Point, tackled artificial intelligence and the future of American health care. In audio reporting (small division), first place went to reporters Rosemary Westwood, Eve Abrams and Patrick Madden of WWNO/WRKF-FM, for their podcast exploring the Mississippi case that led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The Seattle Times reporter Hannah Rose Furfaro took first place in the beat reporting category for her work covering proactive approaches to mental health in Washington state.

Staff at the Wall Street Journal won first place in the business category for their coverage of nonprofit medical institutions and the federal benefits they receive in exchange for services provided to local communities. 

In the lead up to the launch of the 2022 contest, the AHCJ contest committee worked to simplify the entry process to make it less time-consuming and more straightforward.

“This year we had an accelerated contest timeline and earlier deadlines, but the contest still drew more than 400 entries, the same as last year,” said Christine Herman, AHCJ board member and contest committee co-chair. “We are eager to further streamline and improve the AHCJ contest and welcome feedback and suggestions for how to do that.”

In the consumer/feature category, ProPublica’s Duaa Eldeib won the large division for her reporting on stillbirths in the U.S. In the small division, Kristen Hwang of CalMatters claimed first place with a story on rising congenital syphilis rates accompanied by dwindling public health funding. 

For the health policy category, Ava Kofman, ProPublica and The New Yorker won first place in the large division for her coverage of the perils of the little-regulated hospice care industry. Guy Boulton of Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel was selected as the winner of the small division for coverage of the funding disconnect between health care and social services. 

Cynthia Dizikes and Matthias Gafni of the San Francisco Chronicle claimed first place in the investigative (large division) category for their reporting on child deaths at the John Muir health system. Molly Castle Work of the Post Bulletin won the small division for reporting on the contentious relationship between the Mayo Clinic and patients eligible for charity care.

In the public health category (large division), Matt Richtel of The New York Times won first place for coverage of the science behind the teen mental health crisis. In the small division, Ted Alcorn won first place for stories on the growing rate of alcohol-related deaths in New Mexico, published by New Mexico In Depth.

The fellows and faculty of the Global Reporting Program at the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism, Writing and Media took first place in the student reporting category for their in-depth coverage of aging in the U.S.

Charlotte Huff of Health Affairs was named winner of the trade publications category for coverage of the Utah health system’s work to stem the tide of deaths by suicide.

Entries were judged by 70 volunteers who are current or retired journalists or journalism professors.

All prizes will be presented during the Health Journalism 2023 awards luncheon on March 11 in St. Louis. First-place winners will receive $500 and complimentary lodging for two nights and registration for one person at the annual conference.

Check out the complete list of winners here.

Oversight and support for the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism come from the AHCJ Contest Committee, co-chaired by AHCJ board members Carrie Feibel and Christine Herman. The committee also includes board members Joyce Frieden, Sebastián Martínez Valdivia, and Sabriya Rice and member volunteers Pauline Arrillaga and Jonathan Rockoff. AHCJ members interested in serving on the committee can contact us at contest@healthjournalism.org.

Special thanks to AHCJ staff member Tina England for the organizational excellence and administrative care she brings to the year-round management of contest operations.

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