AHCJ mentorship program expanding, seeks participants


mentorship logoWhen Lola Ravid arrived in St. Louis in March for the Association of Health Care Journalists’ annual conference, she hoped for one-on-one guidance on health journalism basics. 

Ravid, a registered nurse, recently started a freelance business. Through AHCJ’s new mentoring program, she was matched with an experienced journalist with KFF Health News, Bram Sable-Smith. 

“He provided helpful guidance throughout the conference and as I prepared for PitchFest,” Ravid said.

AHCJ’s mentorship program launched in March 2023 with the mentor-mentee match breakfast in St. Louis. The goal: to connect less-experienced health reporters with journalists who could give career advice. The first matching breakfast had 18 participants. 

Now, the program is looking for more mentees and mentors to sign up and to expand the program.

Sign up to be a mentor or mentee.

The need for mentorship in health journalism is critical, said Andrea Waner, director of engagement for AHCJ. 

“As part of our recent strategic planning process, we learned that early career journalists need more support than ever, especially as newsrooms shrink and people have less in-house mentorship than in the past,” Waner said. “And it’s super helpful for people starting out in freelancing to also get pointers on how to set themselves up for success.”

Mentor and newly elected AHCJ board member Michele Cohen Marill said she enjoys mentoring a post-doctoral research fellow at Columbia University.

“The breakfast was just the introduction,” said Marill, who talks at least once a month to her mentee.

Several other specialty journalism organizations offer mentorship programs, and AHCJ has offered limited mentorship opportunities in the past affiliated with specific fellowship programs. But the new mentorship program is available to all AHCJ members. 

Questions about the program? Send an email to info@healthjournalism.org.


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Deborah Schoch