Category Archives: Member news

Serving on AHCJ’s Board is so rewarding. Will you join us?

AHCJ board president

Felice Freyer, AHCJ board president (Photo courtesy of Paola Rodriguez)

Have you enjoyed learning and networking at AHCJ’s annual conferences or fellowship programs? Made use of our tip sheets, webinars, listserv — or otherwise found value and fun in being a member of AHCJ? Or have you had some thoughts on how we can improve what we do? 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, now is the time to consider volunteering to help govern this organization. I highly recommend it. 

The annual AHCJ Board of Directors election is under way, and professional category members have until June 15 to declare their candidacy. Every year, six of the twelve seats are up for grabs, and board members serve two-year terms. 

I’ve been a board member since 2009 and consider it among the most rewarding experiences of my professional life. (But it doesn’t feel just “professional” — because I’ve made so many good friends along the way.) Let me walk you through what’s involved. 

Why should you join the board?

For starters, because we need you. To keep this organization vital and responsive, we need new people and fresh ideas. 

Serving on the board will give you an opportunity to contribute to the continued success of AHCJ and work to elevate the quality of health care journalism.

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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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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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Announcing the Pia Christensen Conference Assistance Scholarship

Ernie and Pia

Pia Christensen with her horse Ernie. (Photo courtesy of the Christensen family.)

Due to overwhelming response, we have closed the application for the Pia Christensen Conference Assistance Scholarship for Health Journalism 2022.

As many of our members may know, AHCJ lost a friend and colleague, Pia Christensen, to cancer at age 50 in May 2021. Pia served as managing editor/online services for 15 years and was part of the Missouri School of Journalism staff for 20 years.

Pia was especially enthusiastic about AHCJ’s annual conference and would have been very supportive of any effort making it easier for people to attend. In the past, AHCJ has been able to offer a limited amount of travel assistance aside from our formal fellowship programs for those members who might need some help with costs.

This year, AHCJ will offer a conference assistance scholarship in Pia’s name to memorialize her contributions to AHCJ.

Conference Assistance Scholarships are available to help defray some — but not all — associated expenses for members interested in attending AHCJ events. If you need some financial assistance to attend one of our events, you may apply for a conference assistance scholarship. Please complete the form, including a brief statement of what type of assistance is needed and why, and submit it to AHCJ by noon CT on April 8, 2022.

If you have received a fellowship or are attending the event in some capacity that has already provided for some assistance (speaker, panelist, PitchFest editor, etc.), you are unlikely to be eligible to receive additional funding. If financial assistance is offered, we will confirm your acceptance and follow up with you by email.

Welcome AHCJ’s newest members

Image courtesy of Belinda Fewings via Unsplash.

Please welcome our newest members of AHCJ.

All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves. Continue reading