Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams to host a ‘fireside chat’ at HJ23

Dr. Jerome Adams

COLUMBIA — Dr. Jerome Adams who served under President Donald J. Trump from September 2017 until January 2021 as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States, will speak at the Association of Health Care Journalists’ annual conference in St. Louis in March.

Adams’ “fireside chat” at noon Friday at the Union Station Hotel will focus on “What COVID can teach us about our nation’s health, and ourselves,” moderated by AHCJ Executive Director Kelsey Ryan.

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Why journalists should follow bird flu closely in coming months

Photo by Italo Melo via pexels.

As you look for infectious disease stories (other than COVID-19), consider getting up to speed on avian flu, which could worsen this spring as birds migrate north with warming weather.

While the present bird flu virus hasn’t yet demonstrated the ability to spread among humans, it is extremely contagious among wild birds and chickens that lay eggs, playing a role in the rising price of eggs. And like all contagious viruses, there is a possibility that a genetic shift in the pathogen could make it dangerous for people at some point in the future. 

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Author Tracy Kidder and physician to the homeless Jim O’Connell to keynote HJ23

Tracy Kidder (courtesy of author)

COLUMBIA — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder and Boston physician Jim O’Connell, the subject of Kidder’s new book, will keynote the Association of Health Care Journalists’ annual conference on March 9 in St. Louis.

Kidder chronicled the life of global health pioneer Paul Farmer in the 2003 bestseller “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” He won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1982 for “The Soul of a New Machine.” He has written more than 10 books.

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A niche mental health newsroom eyes expansion   

Mind Site News website screenshot

MindSiteNews.org is one of the nation’s only news organization exclusively covering mental health.

Launched in September 2021, it’s an outgrowth of a smaller, state-focused website at California’s Steinberg Institute that veteran health and mental health journalist and AHCJ award-winner Rob Waters was running at the time.

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Why race equity plans matter and how to report on them

Photo via Canva

Dallas is among cities, counties and other local governments that have recently adopted race equity plans. In the 2022-2023 goals and metrics report, city officials have said they want to track their goals, which include tracking air quality in certain areas and upgrading water and sewer lines in neighborhoods that haven’t seen investment for decades. There’s a line in there about improving the health of the city’s Black and Hispanic residents, who represent more than 60% of the population of the country’s ninth-largest city and are more likely than their white peers to have preventable chronic diseases. 

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