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

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.

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 healthjournalism.org 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

Run for a spot on AHCJ’s board of directors

About Andrew Smiley

Andrew Smiley is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He is an assistant professor of professional practice at the Missouri School of Journalism. Smiley comes to AHCJ from a sports broadcasting background, including nearly a decade at the Golf Channel/NBC Sports and a decade at ESPN, where he won an Emmy.

Candidacy statements for AHCJ’s annual board elections will be accepted starting June 1.

Each year, members in AHCJ’s professional category elect members for the association board of directors. (Associate and allied members cannot run for election or cast ballots.)

Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms, although incumbent board members are allowed to run for re-election.

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

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.

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 healthjournalism.org. 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

AHCJ mourns loss of healthjournalism.org editor Pia Christensen

Pia ChristensenPia Christensen, AHCJ’s longtime website editor, died May 4, 2021, from cancer at her home in Loomis, Calif. Christensen, 50, served as managing editor/online services for the past 15 years and as part of the Missouri School of Journalism staff for the past 20 years.

“We’ve experienced a terrible loss in our AHCJ family,” said Senior Adviser Len Bruzzese, who hired Pia at Investigative Reporters and Editors in 2001 and then “stole her away” to AHCJ in 2006. “It’s a loss to an organization that needed her, to a membership that adored her, and especially to a staff who worked with her, laughed with her and shared so many daily ups and downs with her.” Continue reading

More resources on variants for your COVID-19 reporting toolbox

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Back in January, Bara Vaida, the AHCJ core topic leader for infectious disease, wrote a helpful post on resources for tracking COVID-19 variants. But in the age of COVID, data moves fast enough to give us constant whiplashes, and so much has changed since then. The most significant change is that the number of variants of concern — a term that not yet defined at the time of Vaida’s post — has grown to at least five:

  • 1.1.7 (UK)
  • 1.351 (South Africa)
  • 1 (Brazil)
  • 1.427 and B.1.429 (California)

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