Author Archives: John Andrew "Andy'' Miller

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About John Andrew "Andy'' Miller

Andy Miller is editor and CEO of Georgia Health News, a nonprofit health news organization. He has been a health care journalist for 29 years and is a longtime AHCJ member.

Longtime AHCJ member Judi Kanne combined knowledge and compassion in her work

Judi Kanne

Judi Kanne

Judi Kanne regularly gathered compelling story ideas from her many conversations, travels and meetings, then dug into subjects with the knowledge of a nurse and the passion of a journalist.

Combining both careers, her articles covered a fascinating range of topics: health literacy, essential oils, hospital laundry, paramedics and eating disorders. Some of her stories covered surprising medical breakthroughs, while others revealed the human side of healing.

Always, Judi dealt with editors and interviewees with a cheerfulness and warmth that came naturally to her. She made instant friends of the people she met.

Health care journalist, nurse, beloved wife and mother, Judith Leah Leonard Kanne died last week of Lewy body dementia at her metro Atlanta home. She was 78. Continue reading

Second open-enrollment period discussed at Atlanta chapter event

The Atlanta chapter of AHCJ and the Alliance for Health Reform sponsored a Dec. 2 event focused on the second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act.

The panel discussed the state of navigator assistance, narrow networks and slower-than-expected enrollment since the insurance exchanges opened Nov. 15. About 25 AHCJ members and invited guests gathered for the event.

Joining me on the panel were Trey Sivley, a division director in the office of Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner; Lisa Stein of Seedco, which runs a navigator program in Georgia and three other states; and Dorian Martindale of Whitefoord, a federally qualified health center in Atlanta.

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Atlanta chapter learns the latest about e-cigarettes

A $2 billion market, sultry Jenny McCarthy ads, lounges dedicated to “vaping.”

Members of the Atlanta AHCJ chapter heard about these and other e-cigarette trends on May 21 from Michael Eriksen, Sc.D., dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, and Sonya Collins, an Atlanta freelancer who won a 2013 Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for her article on e-cigarettes.

 Their riveting talk touched on the rapid growth and youthful appeal of e-cigarettes.

Collins spoke about her experience in interviewing users at a vaping lounge. Many have started on e-cigarettes to quit their tobacco habit, she said.

Eriksen, who is leading research at Georgia State on the e-cigarette phenomenon, discussed the lack of regulation on these nicotine-laden products. E-cigarettes are less damaging to health than regular cigarettes, but the long-term effects are unknown, he said.

Big Tobacco has entered the market, Eriksen noted, and the billion-dollar industry is expected to grow exponentially. He foresees eventual regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes.

Studying the trend has been a fascinating experience, said Eriksen, who is a former director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the CDC.

AHCJ fellows meet with Atlanta chapter

The Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists held a social gathering Dec. 10 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, gathering with the 2013-14 Regional Health Journalism Fellows, who were in town for their visit to the CDC.

Twelve local health journalists and guests shared stories about the Affordable Care Act with fellows from states that, unlike Georgia, are running their own insurance exchanges and are expanding their Medicaid programs under the ACA. Continue reading

Atlanta chapter hears from CDC about global health efforts

Members of the Atlanta chapter of AHCJ heard a fascinating talk about the CDC’s global reach from Ron Ballard, associate director for laboratory science for the agency’s Center for Global Health.

Ballard, who has traveled extensively in coordinating international lab activities for the CDC, told about 20 journalists at a Sept. 10 meeting that the agency is working in dozens of  countries on activities ranging from disease detection and immunizations to programs fighting HIV/AIDS. Continue reading