Covering a ‘twindemic:’ Flu, COVID-19 share at least one season

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.

A “twindemic” is what infectious disease experts are calling the possibility that both the COVID-19 and influenza viruses will sicken Americans this winter. How likely is that possibility and what are public health officials doing about it?

Experts, speaking at AHCJ’s Summit on Infectious Disease in November, discussed expectations about the coming flu season, how the health care system will handle the influx of both COVID-19 and flu patients, and how the flu, like COVID-19, disproportionately impacts Black, Latinx and other vulnerable communities. They also offer insights about what this year’s flu vaccination rates might mean for the anticipated COVID-19 vaccine in 2021. Continue reading

Finding data that can bolster your pandemic reporting

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.

Following the pandemic numbersEver since John Snow pieced together how cholera spread from a water pump in London in 1854, data has been key to learning how epidemics spread and what it will take to finish them off.

This recorded panel, from AHCJ’s Summit on Infectious Disease in November, features experts in biosecurity, vaccines and health disparities. Continue reading

Welcome AHCJ’s newest members

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.

welcome-matPlease welcome these new professional and student members to AHCJ.

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

COVID relief bill bans some surprise medical bills, but not all

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

us-capitolLeaders of both political parties in the U.S. House and Senate reached agreement Sunday to pass a $900 billion bill to stimulate the economy. That bill also included language supporting a long-sought plan to end surprise medical bills for some patients.

In addition, the bill will fund distribution of vaccines for the coronavirus and aid individuals and businesses struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic.

Members of the House and Senate passed the measure on Monday night as a deadline loomed to fund federal government operations through September. Continue reading

New resources for covering inequities in insurance, care during pandemic

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

COVID disparities

Photo: Elvert Barnes via Flickr

Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., is afraid of needles. Nevertheless, she agreed to receive her coronavirus vaccine on national television last Friday, along with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

Rice, who is dean of Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine, knows the history of racism in medical research and understands some Black Americans’ reluctance to get the vaccine. As CNN’s Nicquel Terry Ellis reported, Rice trusts the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and would not recommend it if she did not trust it. To emphasize the point, Rice noted that Black scientists and doctors played significant roles in developing the vaccine and reviewing Pfizer’s FDA application for approval. Continue reading

AHCJ names 2020 National Cancer Reporting Fellows

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.

Twelve journalists have been chosen for the 2020 class of the National Cancer Reporting Fellowship. The program is supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The fellows will spend three partial days online Jan. 12-14, 2021, with experts from the National Institutes of Health and other experts 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.

The 2020 fellowship class includes:

Continue reading