Why even U.S.-based reporters should learn about malaria

Bara Vaida

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.

Photo: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAn Anopheles stephensi mosquito obtains a blood meal from a human host through its pointed proboscis.

While malaria isn’t a current threat to most people living in mainland U.S., scientists highlighted their concern about the disease’s spread within urban African communities in the July 2019 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emerging Infectious Diseases publication.

This matters because the number of malaria cases could explode if it spreads to Africa cities, and the disease, in turn, would spread globally. Continue reading

Simple language helps convey health information

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Ed Yourdon via Flickr

As I was scanning posters during last spring’s American Society on Aging’s conference, I spotted one presentation that stopped me in my tracks. It wasn’t about a novel piece of research or a study which made overarching claims about a new drug or program.

Rather, it was a simple, straightforward demonstration from Alzheimer’s Los Angeles on the importance of communicating with family caregivers in plain language. Continue reading

Fellows on Women’s Health named for 2019

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.

Seven journalists have been selected for the Association of Health Care Journalists’ inaugural Fellowship on Women’s Health, to be held in Washington, D.C., in early November.

The fellowship program was created in collaboration with the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health to increase understanding of – and the ability to report more clearly on – health issues often unique to women.

The fellowship is aimed at boosting the ability of consumer and trade journalists to report more accurately, seek out more in-depth stories and to make better use of often-underutilized resources in their efforts to inform the public. The inaugural class of fellows were selected from dozens of qualified applicants:

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Leading medical journal commits to greater diversity. Will others follow?

Tara Haelle

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.

One of the oldest and most influential medical journals in the world is The Lancet. Based in the UK, the Lancet Group publishes 18 journals and remains a leader across all nearly medical fields. So the publisher’s recently announced commitment to greater diversity in its publications and panels is no small thing.

Six months after publishing a special-themed issue on women and research that noted the systemic gender bias in science, the Lancet Group has announced its promise to walk the walk with a Diversity Pledge and No All-Male Panel Policy. (Disclosure: I reported on the Lancet Group’s announcement for MDEdge.) Continue reading

Elder abuse commonly committed by relatives, study indicates

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Heather B. via Flickr

Relatives, not strangers, may be the people most likely to take advantage of older adults, according to a new study by University of Southern California researchers. Their analysis found that family members were allegedly most likely at fault across all abuse types, except for sexual abuse and self-neglect.

The experts at the USC’s Keck School of Medicine identified the most common types of elder abuse reported and the alleged offenders. Continue reading

Covering a controversial study: How to dig deep on a deadline

Tara Haelle

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.

From the moment I saw the study — and editorial and editor’s note — among JAMA’s embargoed studies, I knew it would be a doozy. Certain topics arouse controversy simply by their existence, and water fluoridation is very high on that list.

So when I was assigned to write about the JAMA Pediatrics study (Reminder: AHCJ members get free access to the JAMA Network.)  finding a link between prenatal fluoride exposure and reduced IQ in preschoolers, two things went through my mind: One, this is going to be covered horribly by some outlets and likely create unnecessary anxiety among parents, especially pregnant women (who have enough to worry about when it comes to do’s and don’ts). Two, I need to be one of those who gets it right. Continue reading