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AHCJ member news: The latest on awards, new assignments and more

Members of AHCJ have been busy! Here’s the latest update on our members who have won awards, taken new jobs and have other news of interest.

Beryl Lieff Benderly is this year’s winner of the IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering the Public Understanding of the Profession (of engineering) for a cover story on biomedical engineering she did for Prism magazine, for which she is a contributing editor.

Sean Carr, formerly the Washington bureau manager for A.M. Best’s News Service, joined SNL Financial, a global news service, as a senior reporter covering insurance and financial services.

Robert Davis, president and editor-in-chief of Everwell, a health video website, has released his book, “Coffee Is Good for You,” with Penguin/Perigree.

Katherine Eban, an independent journalist who writes for Self, Vanity Fair and other national titles, has recently contracted with Fortune as a contributing writer. She will write four long-form investigative pieces each year, which will focus predominantly on pharmaceutical, medical or public health issues.

Allyn Gaestel, an independent journalist based in Philadelphia, was awarded a Kaiser Media Fellowship to work at The Philadelphia Inquirer over the summer.

Kenny Goldberg, a health reporter with KPBS news, won a Golden Mike award in the category of Best Light Feature from the Radio Television News Association of Southern California for his television piece on wheelchair dancing.

Tara Haelle, a graduate student at the University of Texas-Austin, began writing for DailyRX.com as a condition leader for prenatal, sleep and nutrition issues. She also launched a blog of health and science news for moms called Red Wine & Apple Sauce. She is on track to complete her master’s report for graduate school this spring, which will tellsthe stories of people affected by vaccine-preventable diseases through journalistic features and photographic portraits.

Harriet Hodgson, an independent journalist and author of 30 books, has been appointed as a forum editor for the Open to Hope Foundation.  Hodgson will respond to posts about the death of an adult child, something she has experienced.

Jodie Jackson Jr., reporter and blogger at the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, was awarded second place in the Missouri Associated Press Media Editors 2011 news writing contest. The award was in the community affairs/public interest category for “Patients in Peril?” He also received a 2011 Missouri Public Health Association media award for significant contributions to health education in the state.

Steve Jacob’s book, “Health Care in 2020,” was published in January. Jacob is an independent journalist from Culleyville, Texas.

Richard M. Kirkner has been named editor-in-chief of Optometry Times, an Advanstar publication. A 20-year veteran of health care media, Kirkner will work out of his Phoenixville, Pa., office and report to the Advanstar Medical Communications Group editorial headquarters in North Olmstead, Ohio.

Steven Z. Kussin, M.D., F.A.C.P., an independent journalist based in Clinton, N.Y., is the founder and director of The Shared Decision Center, a patient advocacy center dedicated to educating patients about alternative approaches to their medical problems. Kussin’s book, “Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now,” was also named amongst top 10 health titles of the year by Booklist.

Independent journalist Claudia Perry started a three-month training program with The Heartland Group in Chicago. She is working on a memoir about living with chronic conditions.

André Picard, longtime health reporter at Toronto’s Globe and Mail, was awarded the College of Family Physicians of Canada Lectureship Prize. It is the first time a non-physician has been honored. Picard donated the $15,000 cash portion of the award to Médecins Sans Frontières. In November, Picard also received the National Child Day Award from the Canadian Institute for Child Health for his “dedication to improving the health of children.”

Yanick Rice Lamb, associate publisher/editorial director of Heart and Soul magazine, participated in the Cancer Issues Fellowship sponsored by the National Press Foundation in December and the Knight Digital Media Center‘s workshop at the University of California, Berkeley, in January. She was recently accepted into April’s Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Reporting at Ohio State University. Rice Lamb was invited to join the National Advisory Council of the Center for Health Media and Policy at Hunter College.

Bryan Thompson, a health reporter at Kansas Public Radio, recently completed the National Public Radio/Kaiser Health News project, “Health Care In The States.” This workshop, which deepened the 24 participants’ understanding of issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act, included a week of intensive training in Washington and is followed by a four-month mentorship with editors from NPR and KHN.

San Francisco-based independent journalist Laurie Udesky published an article about dangerous prescription drugs in nursing homes for The Bay Citizen that also appeared in The New York Times.

Harriet Washington, an independent journalist from Albany, N.Y., published her book, “Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself and the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future,” with Doubleday in November.

Share your news

If you have news to share about a new job, fellowship, award or other accomplishment, please send us a note about it to info@healthjournalism.org to be featured in a future Covering Health post and in HealthBeat, AHCJ’s printed newsletter.

AHCJ members get new jobs, fellowships, awards and more

Constance Alexander, a freelance columnist in Murray, Ky., has been selected as a featured speaker on the roster of presenters approved by the Kentucky Humanities Council. This is the third time she has been selected as a statewide presenter. She has added “The Way Home: What the Dying Teach Us About Living & Life” to the list of programs she presents.

Beth Baker was hired as the features editor for BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. It’s a part-time position and she will continue to work as a freelance health and science writer.

A radio documentary by Karen Brown, a reporter/producer at WFCR Public Radio in Amherst, Mass., aired in July. “Living with Hypochondria: The Real Costs of Imagined Illness” is available for wider broadcast.

Gerri Shaftel Constant was nominated for four Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards this year. Winners will be announced Aug. 6.

Hannah Douglas is an intern at Illinois Times, which published her first piece on health reform in Illinois.

Susan FitzGerald, an independent journalist based in the Philadelphia area, is coauthor of a new parenting book, “Letting Go with Love and Confidence: Raising Responsible, Resilient Self-Sufficient Teens in the 21st Century” (Avery, August 2011). FitzGerald, who specializes in children’s health issues, wrote the book with Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., an adolescent medicine doctor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The seventh edition of “How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper,” by Robert A. Day and Barbara Gastel, M.D., M.P.H., was released last month. Gastel is professor of integrative biosciences/medical humanities at Texas A&M University.

Samantha Gluck is covering health care for a new health and wellness publication in the Cleveland/Akron area: Balanced Living Magazine.

David Gulliver is an investigative/enterprise reporter at The Bradenton Herald, a McClatchy paper on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Terri Hansen received two Native American Journalists Association 2011 Excellence in Journalism awards: Best Environmental Story in a daily/weekly (Indian Country Today Media Network), and Best Feature Story in a Monthly/Bi-Monthly (High Country News).

Harriet Hodgson participated in a panel about “Writing and Getting Your Book Published” at the national conference of The Compassionate Friends, an organization for parents who have lost a child and their families. Her latest book, “Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss,” will be released by Centering Corporation in Omaha, Neb.

Bob Mitchell, of King of Prussia, Pa., was named Editor at CMIO, a TriMed Media publication written for chief medical informatics officers

Kathryn O’Hara was recently elected to the Board of the World Federation of Science Journalists representing North America.

Richard Peck is writing his third “Top 10” article for Long-Term Living this year: Top 10 predictions for long-term care, following Top 10 Movements in LTC and Top 10 Most Influential in LTC. He has editing the magazine for 18 years been in geriatrics-related publishing for 27 years.

Stefan Pinto‘s first book, “Fat-to-Fit: 50 Easy Ways to Lose Weight” was published in March by Vook. It is available for the iPhone, iPad and iTouch and was released in June on the Barnes and Noble Nook. It will be available on the Amazon Kindle in August.

Kathleen Raven was chosen to be a participant in the Online News Association Student Newsroom at its 2011 conference in Boston in September. She will be one of 20 journalism students from across the country participating in live conference coverage.

Bob Roehr has received a National Press Foundation fellowship to the Journalist to Journalist training program and AIDS Vaccine Conference in September in Bangkok.

Lara Salahi was selected as a Society of Professional Journalist’s Diversity Leadership Fellow and she will speak at SPJ’s annual meeting in September about personal branding.

Gary Schwitzer, publisher of HealthNewsReview.org, spoke to the Evidence-Based Practice Centers of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to the European Health Journalism Conference in Coventry, England, to the NIH Medicine in the Media workshop at Dartmouth, and to the Tufts Web Strategies for Health Communication Workshop. The American College of Sports Medicine also publicly supported the 10 criteria used by HealthNewsReview.org to review health care news stories.

Kurt Ullman was awarded an APEX Award for Publication Excellence in the news writing category for an article in The Rheumatologist on the controversy surrounding the release of Colcrys as an FDA-approved form of colchicine, subsequent removal of all other manufacturers from the market, and 50 times increase in price.

Medicine in the Media

In July, Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin health reporter Jeff Hansel and independent journalist Erica Jorgensen attended the National Institutes of Health’s “Medicine in the Media” training at Dartmouth College. Gary Schwitzer, publisher of HealthNewsReview.org, was one of the speakers. About 50 journalists were chosen for the four-day educational series

Casey Medals

Three AHCJ members were among those honored by the Journalism Center on Children & Families in the 17th annual Casey Medals, which are awarded for exemplary journalism on the dilemmas of children and families.

Karen Garloch was part of the team at The Charlotte Observer who produced “Cradle of Secrets,” which was the winner in the Project/Series: Under 200,000 circulation category. The series looked at the cases of children whose deaths were attributed to sudden infant death syndrome and found that many infants in N.C. slept in unsafe settings and possibly suffocated.

Betty Ann Bowser and Bridget DeSimone contributed to a two-part series that received an honorable mention in the “Video Short Feature” category. In “Families Battle Obesity in Mississippi,” PBS NewsHour went to Mississippi to demonstrate two problems – a fatty everyday diet and a distinct preference for fatty foods – that help drive the obesity crisis.

The winners will receive a Casey Medal, as well as $1,000, at an October ceremony in Washington, D.C. The winners will compete for two additional $5,000 awards presented by the America’s Promise Alliance.

California Endowment Health Journalism Fellows

Three AHCJ members have been named National Health Journalism Fellows in the 2011 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship Program. The fellows attend six days of workshops, seminars and field trips that explore community health issues. They then continue their fellowship work on ambitious reporting projects over the next six months to a year.

Betsy Cliff is a health reporter at The Bulletin, a daily newspaper in Bend, Ore. She will investigate the causes and incidence of medical errors, particularly at rural hospitals.

Sheree Crute is an award-winning writer and editor who covers a broad range of health topics and specializes in consumer and multicultural health. She will look at whether the latest potentially life-saving discoveries from the world of medical research will have any lasting impact on the nation’s health disparities.

Shannon Muchmore is the health reporter for The Tulsa World. Her project will look at the lack of health care accessibility in Oklahoma.

AHCJ members among national contest winners

It’s awards season and we’re happy to report that AHCJ members are winning a number of national awards.  What’s listed below is a list of awards we’ve noticed. If you’ve recently won an award – or received a fellowship, published a book or changed jobs – please be sure to let us know (info@healthjournalism.org)  so we can share the news. And if you haven’t yet checked out the winners of AHCJ’s awards, be sure to do so.

National Headliner Awards

Full list of winners

American Society of Journalists and Authors 2010 Writing Awards

Full list of winners

Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards

  • Public service reporting
    Finalist: Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, ProPublica/Los Angeles Times
  • Environmental Reporting
    Charles Duhigg of The New York Times receives $10,000 and the Edward J. Meeman Award for the series “Toxic Waters,” an investigation of inadequacies in the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act that prompted wide-ranging overhauls in enforcement of the 1970s laws.

Full list of winners

2009 National Awards for Education Reporting

  • Small Media – Feature, News Feature or Issue Package
    Special Citations Beth Slovic, Willamette Week, “Cheerless

Full list of winners

Calif. organization names AHCJ members to staff

The new California HealthCare Foundation’s Center for Health Reporting has announced its editorial staff. The Center, a grant-funded organization led by Michael Parks, has hired five AHCJ members:

  • Editor-in-chief: David Westphal
  • Managing editor: Richard Kipling
  • Senior writer: Emily Bazar
  • Senior writer: John Gonzales
  • Senior writer: Deborah Schoch

The Center started as a pilot project in 2008 with “Sowing Hope,” a series in the Merced Sun-Star that Kipling and Schoch worked on. Since then, the organization has taken on several other projects.

Parks told me in 2008 that the California HealthCare Foundation decided to fund the pilot project because it believed coverage of health policy in the state was flagging. According to this week’s release, “The Center is funded by a three-year, $3.285 million grant from the California HealthCare Foundation, an Oakland-based independent, non-profit philanthropy whose mission is to improve the health and health care of all Californians.” Parks said he aims to complete at least 50 major projects during that period.


Keeping up with AHCJ members

The latest compilation of news about AHCJ members is now available. Be sure to see who changed jobs, won awards, received fellowships, published books and more.

Are you an AHCJ member with news you’d like to share? Send it to info@healthjournalism.org.

See previous posts about about AHCJ members.