Author Archives: Erica Tricarico

About Erica Tricarico

Managing Editor Erica Tricarico is a graduate of Howard University and the master’s program in journalism at CUNY. Tricarico comes to AHCJ from MJH Life Sciences in Cranbury, N.J., where she managed an editorial team producing content on animal care. Before that, she was a freelance health care reporter for Everyday Health.

Tune into Facebook Live at 12:15 p.m. Friday to hear FDA Commissioner Califf

Robert Califf, M.D., M.A.C.C.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf will speak and take questions on Friday, April 29 at 12:15 p.m. CST, at AHCJ’s annual conference in Austin. His appearance will be streamed live on AHCJ’s Facebook page.

Califf will talk about the health threat posed by misinformation and disinformation, lessons from the pandemic, e-cigarettes, pain management without addiction, and the pressures on the drug approval process, among other topics. His remarks will be followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by Kerry Dooley Young, AHCJ’s core topic leader on patient safety.

Califf, who was confirmed earlier this year as the 25th commissioner of the FDA, served as the agency’s commissioner at the end of the Obama administration. Dooley Young says Califf returned to the FDA at a critical time.

“Congress is in the midst of work on a new set of FDA user-free laws, which gives lawmakers a chance to try to shape agency policy,” she said.

“Califf is facing demands from members of Congress to both speed new drugs to market and to step up the pace of the research used to confirm benefits in cases of conditional approvals granted on promising, but limited evidence.”

Califf has had an extensive career as a physician, researcher, and leader in science and medicine and is a nationally recognized expert in cardiovascular medicine, health outcomes research, health care quality, and clinical research. He is also a leader in the growing field of translational research, which is key to ensuring that advances in science translate into medical care.

To watch Califf’s speech online, visit AHCJ’s Facebook page at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, April 29.

Stay tuned on social media and our conference app, Whova, for more important updates and details.

12 journalists to travel to Atlanta campus for first in- person CDC fellowship since 2019

Twelve journalists have been selected for the AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellowship, the first time since 2019 the two organizations have been able to offer the training in person at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chamblee Campus in Atlanta.

The multi-day training was held virtually in May 2021 with 12 journalists participating.

With support from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, this year’s fellows will spend three days — June 6-8 — learning from experts and touring CDC’s vast facility.

The fellowship program will include presentations, a tour of the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, roundtable discussions on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts and vaccine safety, among other topics.

The AHCJ-CDC fellows are:

  • Jeannie Baumann, senior reporter, Bloomberg Industry Group
  • Jeffrey Bendix, senior editor, Medical Economics
  • Karen Blum, independent journalist, core topic leader/ health IT, AHCJ
  • Amanda D’Ambrosio, enterprise and investigative writer, MedPage Today
  • Pam Kaufman, executive editor, Everyday Health
  • Lindsey Leake, health, welfare and social justice reporter; TCPalm/Treasure Coast newspapers
  • Ashley Lyles, associate editor, Neurology Today, Wolters Kluwer
  • Gillian Mohney, breaking news editor, Healthline
  • Shaena Montanari, investigative health reporter, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Emily Mullin, health reporter, Pittsburg Post-Gazette
  • Neha Pathak, lead medical editor, WebMD
  • Michele Skalicky, reporter/morning edition host, KSMU-FM

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What AHCJ is doing to make HJ22 safe (and well worth the trip)

With just a few days left before early-bird registration ends, AHCJ’s staff have been finalizing conference planning at Health Journalism 2022, which takes place April 28-May 1 at the Hilton Austin. Health and safety are top of mind.

Travis County, where Austin is located, was at a relatively low level 2 on a risk scale of 5 on Friday, March 25, even as spring break and the festival season brought many visitors through the city.

Members who haven’t registered yet have until April 8, but the early bird discount ends on Monday, March 28, at 11:59 a.m. CST.

Still on the fence about traveling to Austin? Here’s what you should know about what’s being done to offer a safe, valuable and fun conference.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at Health Journalism 2022, AHCJ is implementing several safety protocols in addition to those established by the Hilton Austin. Continue reading

AHCJ announces winners of 2021 health journalism contest 

The winners of the 2021 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism were announced Friday by AHCJ.

Now in its 18th year, the contest recognizes the best of print, broadcast and online health care journalism. The 2021 contest drew 439 entries in 14 categories; there were 14 first-place winners.

“We were thrilled to see so many journalists continuing to produce sterling work in 2021, which was the grueling second year of the pandemic,” said Tony Leys, a Des Moines Register reporter and AHCJ board member.

“Many pieces focused on COVID-19 concerns, but reporters also kept digging into the countless other vital areas of health care coverage.”

A new audio category this year highlighted great health care reporting for radio and podcasts. Dan Gorenstein, founder and executive editor of Tradeoffs, and Blake Farmer, a health care reporter for WPLN News and Nashville Public Radio, received top honors for their radio pieces.

Gorenstein’s project, which won the large-division award, shed light on how America’s largest health insurance companies moonlight “as obscure middlemen, managing billions of dollars in health care spending for many of the country’s biggest employers.” His radio story includes anecdotes that illustrate what can go wrong when employers outsource important spending to third-party administrators.

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AHCJ partners with NAJA to launch 3-part webinar series

AHCJ is proud to announce that it is partnering with the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) to launch a webinar series, Health Care Reporting 101, designed to help build health care reporting fundamentals.

The first webinar in the three-part series will be held at 2 p.m. CST on Thursday, March 24. The one-hour webinar, “Health equity: For whom does the system work?” will focus on how the U.S. health care system works for people or doesn’t, depending on where people live and other social determinants of health, according to a NAJA release.

AHCJ Health Equity and Health Reform Core Topic leaders Margarita Martín-Hidalgo Birnbaum and Joseph Burns will lead the discussion via Zoom. Katherine Reed, AHCJ’s interim executive director and director of education and content, will moderate the Q&A.

Participants are asked to register for the free event. After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with details about how to join.

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