Author Archives: Erica Tricarico

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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.

AHCJ welcomes first-ever environmental health core topic leader

Elizabeth Aguilera

AHCJ recently welcomed Elizabeth Aguilera, a California-based independent health reporter, as the organization’s first environmental health core topic leader.

“We’re excited to have a new focus area on environmental health,” said Kelsey Ryan, AHCJ’s executive director.

“Health care is a nuanced and diverse subject and these core topics — ranging from aging to mental health to health equity and now environment — show that diversity.”

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AHCJ’s new patient safety core topic leader is veteran health care reporter

Mary Chris Jaklevic

Mary Chris Jaklevic, a Chicago-based independent health care journalist with nearly 30 years of experience, has joined AHCJ as its new patient safety core topic leader.

The former AHCJ board member will build upon the solid patient safety content produced by Kerry Dooley Young, who served in the role from May 2021-October 2022.

Jaklevic, who grew up near Detroit and moved to Chicago in 1994, has covered health care finance, clinical care and medical research for both expert and consumer audiences. She says her awareness of patient safety issues expanded when she worked at, where she and her team discovered that only 37% of news stories adequately addressed the harms of medical interventions such as drugs and devices. That’s when she decided to focus more of her reporting on this important topic.

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Trauma surgeon Dr. Jessica Beard to speak at Fall Summit in Chicago

Jessica Beard

Coverage of gun violence influences how people understand and respond to this public health issue. Close-ended coverage of individual shootings, for example, can retraumatize firearm injury survivors, making them feel exploited and dehumanized, says Jessica H. Beard, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., a public health researcher and a trauma surgeon at Temple University Hospital, one of the busiest trauma centers in the world.

Beard, director of research for the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting and a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow, will talk about how journalists can improve their coverage of and help prevent gun violence on Thursday, Oct. 27 at Reporting on Violence as a Public Health Issue: An AHCJ Summit in Chicago. Registration for virtual attendance at the summit is still open.

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Start digging: AHCJ’s website is back online

Photo via, a site AHCJ launched in 2018 to provide free, searchable financial information on nonprofit hospitals across the United States, is back online after a year-long hiatus.

“ was designed to give the most useful parts of the IRS Form 990 to journalists with a few clicks,” said Karl Stark, a former AHCJ board president who worked with Jeff Porter, former director of education, to help build the site in 2018.

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Registration opens Monday for Chicago summit on violence as a public health issue

Approximately 45,222 Americans died from gun-related injuries in 2020, the highest recorded number in U.S. history, according to recent CDC data. Firearms were involved in 79% of all homicides and 53% of all suicides.

The suicide rate increased most for American Indian/Alaska Native people while the homicide rate grew most for Black people.

In spite of the risk that guns pose to households, one in five American families bought a handgun during the pandemic, according to University of Chicago NORC research.

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