Author Archives: Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

AHCJ selects second class of International Health Study Fellows

The Association of Health Care Journalists has awarded its AHCJ International Health Study Fellowships to four journalists who intend to pursue significant projects in the first half of 2020. The program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is meant to help veteran U.S.-based journalists compare elements of the U.S. health system with those of other countries.

The program for mid-career journalists is intended to give print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to study how one element of the U.S. health care system is handled in another country and to report on the differences. Fellows will interview patients, health care providers and policymakers in the United States and abroad.

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Board returns officers to new two-year terms

Felice J. Freyer

Ivan Oransky

The AHCJ board of directors has voted to retain the officers who have served the past two years. The same officers will serve a new two-year term of 2019-2021.

Ivan Oransky, M.D., vice president, editorial at Medscape and Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, returns as president.

Gideon Gil

Julie Appleby

Felice J. Freyer of The Boston Globe returns as vice president; Gideon Gil of Stat returns as treasurer; and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News returns as secretary.

Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer remains immediate past president, having served two two-year terms chairing the board.

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2019 AHCJ-CDC fellows announced

The Association of Health Care Journalists has announced the selection of a new class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. The 12 journalists – supported through a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust – will spend a week studying public health issues at the  Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The AHCJ-directed fellowship program will include presentations, roundtable discussions and tours on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, chronic diseases, vaccines, foodborne disease, influenza, opioids, e-cigarettes and other topics.

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Veteran journalist to lead patient safety topic area

Cheryl Clark

Cheryl Clark, a journalist based in San Diego, will lead AHCJ’s newest 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 healthjournalism.org will feature a glossary, a more lengthy explanation of key concepts, shared wisdom from other reporters, story ideas and more.

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ProPublica wants to give you tips on hospital billing practices

Health journalists across the country have been reading ProPublica’s accounts of the lengths to which hospitals pursue low-income patients for payment.

Earlier this year, ProPublica revealed that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., had filed thousands of lawsuits against patients, including its own employees.

In the latest dispatch about medical debt, ProPublica reports that “thousands of people are jailed each year for failing to appear in court for unpaid bills,” citing a court in Coffeyville, Kan., “where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.”

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Fellows chosen for 2019 National Cancer Reporting Fellowships

Ten journalists have been chosen for the 2019 class of the National Cancer Reporting Fellowships. AHCJ will be presenting the fellowships with expertise from the National Cancer Institute and others. The program is being supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The fellows will spend four days on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to increase their understanding of and ability to report accurately on complex scientific findings, provide insight into the work of cancer researchers and to better localize cancer-related stories.

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