Should you cover animal research? Check out these tips first

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Most journalists know — or quickly learn — that animal studies are problematic and usually best left uncovered if writing about general health and medical findings for a broad consumer audience. In fact, simply the way animal are bred and used in research can be problematic.

Aside from the controversy over use of animals in research and debates on the usefulness and relevance of that research, the fact remains that humans aren’t mice, or rats or horses or pigs or even chimpanzees. What happens in animals therefore cannot ever be directly translated to human anatomy and physiology. Continue reading

Webcast to focus on the value of ‘value-based’ care

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

In a blog post last summer, we asked what appeared to be a simple question: Is value-based care a fad? It turns out that while the question may be simple, the answer is a bit more complicated.

After the blog post ran, we heard from the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Austin. The school has a department devoted to teaching value-based care to its medical students. AHCJ will host a webcast at noon ET on Tuesday, June 25, for members featuring two of the school’s professors — Elizabeth Teisberg, Ph.D., and Scott Wallace — who will answer questions about value-based care and explain what students in this program are learning. Continue reading

AHCJ members return incumbents to board of directors

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len Bruzzese is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He also is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and served for nearly 20 years in daily journalism.

Six incumbents were returned to the Association of Health Care Journalism’s board of directors for a term starting July 1, 2019.

Incumbents beginning a new two-year term are Jeanne Erdmann, a Missouri-based freelancer; Felice Freyer, The Boston Globe; Gideon Gil, Stat; Marlene Harris-Taylor, WVIZ/PBS Ideastream; Maryn McKenna, an Atlanta-based freelancer; and Karl Stark, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Continue reading 

White paper calls for more attention to endodontic oral care

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Lorenia via Flickr

A survey of dozens of dental organizations from Brazil to Vanuatu reveals that patients around the globe dread root canal treatments.

A new white paper from the Geneva-based FDI World Dental Federation aims to dispel the fear surrounding such procedures and highlight the tooth-saving potential of endodontics; which is the care and treatment of the soft tissues within and around the teeth. Continue reading

Another twist in the HSA debate – do they encourage more spending?

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

Photo: mgstanton via Flickr

For quite a few years, many conservatives have argued that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) should play a key role in market-oriented health reform. HSAs, the advocates say, enable people to have financial “skin in the game” and have the potential to encourage them to shop more smartly for health care services, bringing down spending. The counterargument is that they encouraged people to stint on health care, particularly preventive care. Continue reading

New tip sheet expands on HealthNewsReview.org criteria

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

The first AHCJ conference I ever attended was in 2011 in Philadelphia. I had only recently learned about the organization and knew very little about it. I’d signed up for a field trip, but I had brought my 8-month-old with me and was up late the night before, so overslept and missed it.

When I actually got to the conference (my aunt watched my son), I caught the second half of a Thursday workshop with Ivan Oransky, M.D., (now AHCJ’s president) and Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org on how to understand and responsibly report on medical studies. It was the session I would eventually end up leading myself years later. Continue reading