Author Archives: Jeff Porter

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About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

Goodbye to the big/little organization that makes a huge difference

Jeff Porter (left) with 1972 Olympic runner Jeff Galloway during the Health Journalism 2012 conference in Atlanta.

Jeff Porter (left) with 1972 Olympic runner Jeff Galloway during the Health Journalism 2012 conference in Atlanta.

Monday will be my final day as AHCJ’s director of education, as announced some weeks ago. I plan to help my able successor, Katherine Reed, but my time for day-to-day operations will close.

My retirement marks 20 years of work in the nonprofit world in bringing resources and training to journalists. Before that, I spent 21 years in the newspaper business, covering or editing almost everything newspapers cover.

During my newspaper career, I had a near-deadly stroke that gave me some perspective on what’s important: other people.

My background is small-town Arkansas. I’m the son of a schoolteacher and a telephone company worker. I didn’t comprehend until years later how fortunate I was to have a rather idyllic childhood. I have strong feelings about cornbread recipes and a passion for distance running. To this day, my wife Laura and I go back to our hometown, try to spoil our grandsons there and drive by the house where I grew up. Continue reading

Agriculture secretary will headline Rural Health Journalism Workshop 

Tom Vilsack

Tom Vilsack

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be a featured speaker for AHCJ’s Rural Health Journalism Workshop June 21-23. Journalists attending the virtual event can submit questions during the live session or can click here to send in a question beforehand.

As head of the Department of Agriculture, Vilsack leads efforts to improve food and nutrition security, a constant concern in rural areas.

In a recent White House press conference, he linked food and nutrition security to a quarter of the country’s workforce impacted by the food and agriculture industry, educational achievement and poverty reduction. “And certainly,” he said, “we’ve seen the impact of that during the course of the pandemic.” Continue reading

New AHCJ core topic leader will provide help covering health IT

Karen Blum

Karen Blum

Karen Blum is the new AHCJ core topic leader for health information technology. A health care and science journalist in the Baltimore area, she will write blog posts, tip sheets, articles and gather resources to help colleagues cover the changing world of health IT. 

While she will officially begin that post on May 17, she’s already written an upcoming post about next week’s health IT conference. 

Blum has written health IT stories for publications such as Pharmacy Practice News, Clinical Oncology News, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, General Surgery News and Infectious Disease Special Edition. Continue reading

AHCJ’s new patient safety core topic leader to bring resources to colleagues

Kerry Dooley Young

Kerry Dooley Young

Kerry Dooley Young, an independent journalist based in Washington, D.C., will lead AHCJ’s core topic on patient safety.

She will be guiding AHCJ members to the resources they need to cover the many aspects of patient safety through blog posts, tip sheets, articles and other material. The core topic area of features a glossary, a more lengthy explanation of key concepts, shared wisdom from other reporters, story ideas and more.

She will write tip sheets and background briefs, ask other journalists to share their experiences, host webcasts and curate lists of resources for journalists. Her blog posts for Covering Health will recognize important reporting on patient safety topics, including overtreatment. Continue reading

AHCJ’s new Freelance Center leader to expand services, resources

Barbara Mantel

Barbara Mantel

Barbara Mantel, an independent, award-winning journalist based in New York, will lead AHCJ’s efforts to expand its resources and services for freelance journalists.

As AHCJ’s freelance community correspondent, Mantel will be writing about issues of concern to independent journalists, such as finding assignments, running a business, ethical guidelines, negotiating contracts and much more.

She will work with our freelance members to build out the existing Freelance Center at That will include updated and new market guides, tip sheets and “How I Did It” stories from other freelancers. The effort is being supported through a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Continue reading