AHCJ awards 2023 Health Performance Reporting Fellowships

Photo grid of the eight HP fellows selected for 2023.

(Left to right from the top) Katia Riddle, Lauren Clason, Nada Hassanein, Ken Alltucker, Keren Landman, Penny Dickerson, Adrianna Rodriguez, and Karen Weintraub.

This year, the program will support eight fellows working on five projects at local and national media outlets.

​​The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded the 2023 Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance to eight mid-career journalists who will pursue five yearlong reporting projects examining health care systems and health equity.

The program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is in its 13th year. It’s designed to provide support and education for promising health care journalists working in resource-strapped newsrooms, providing mentorship they wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain; encouraging reporting on issues related to the performance of U.S. health care systems – either local, regional, or national; and fostering and nurturing a more diverse field of skilled health care journalists to inform public debate and problem solving in an area that touches all Americans.

This year’s program will support five projects:

  • LAUREN CLASON, health care reporter for CQ and Roll Call, will report on how federal aid sustained rural hospitals in the pandemic – and how communities are now grappling with their long term sustainability.

  • PENNY DICKERSON, innovation and entrepreneur reporter for the Jacksonville Business Journal, will focus on health equity in Jacksonville through the lens of poverty, place and privilege, showing challenges and collaborations by health systems, advocacy groups and nonprofits.

  • KEREN LANDMAN, senior reporter covering public health, emerging infectious diseases, the health workforce and health justice at Vox, will write about how one American Indian tribe turned the tide on a syphilis outbreak – and how government agencies can do more for other tribal communities facing similar issues.

  • KATIA RIDDLE, freelance reporter for National Public Radio, will examine potential solutions for removing health care barriers for unhoused people.

A project on how diabetes care and outcomes show what’s broken in our health care system — and possible solutions to make it better — will be produced by a four-person team:

  • KEN ALLTUCKER, enterprise news reporter focusing on consumer health for USA TODAY.

  • NADA HASSANEIN, national correspondent for USA TODAY, covering environmental and health inequities.

  • ADRIANNA RODRIGUEZ, bilingual health breaking news reporter who covers patient safety and other related news for USA TODAY.

  • KAREN WEINTRAUB, health reporter for USA TODAY, including infectious diseases, public health, cancer and genetics.

The fellowship covers the cost of attending seminars and AHCJ conferences and a $4,000 project allowance to defray the cost of field reporting, health data analysis and other project-related research. Each project includes a $2,500 award upon completion. Recipients will continue their jobs during the coming year while receiving customized training, mentoring and financial support for their projects.

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. With about 1,500 members across the U.S. and around the globe, its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The association and its sister organization, the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism provide training, resources and support for journalists.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. The Fund is based in New York City.