Tag Archives: AHCJ news

Nonprofit news publisher named AHCJ’s executive director

Kelsey Ryan, founder of The Beacon, will head AHCJ.

AHCJ has named Kelsey Ryan, the founder and publisher of a nonprofit online news network and a former health care reporter, as the organization’s executive director.

Chosen after a national search, Ryan replaces Andrew Smiley, who resigned in January. She will start on Sept. 6.

“Kelsey brings the exact mix of skills that we were looking for,” said Felice J. Freyer, AHCJ board president and chair of the search committee. “She has proven ability in running a nonprofit and raising money — and she also has worked as a journalist and shares our commitment to journalistic ethics.”

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AHCJ plans Health Journalism 2021 in Austin; still time to submit ideas

Update: AHCJ’s annual conference rescheduled for October

Health Journalism 2021We’ve got a lot to talk about.

Health Journalism 2021 in Austin, Texas, will be AHCJ’s first annual conference after the COVID-19 outbreak, but the need for stories covering all the angles of this pandemic will still be going strong. And even more stories – related and unrelated – are yet to be explored in the months ahead.

The conference will be June 24-27 at the Hilton Austin. Continue reading

President’s Corner: Health care too vast a beat without generosity of peers 

From the Spring 2014 issue of HealthBeat. 

Rhiannon Meyers

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJRhiannon Meyers

If you didn’t get to hear Rhiannon Meyers describe her diabetes project at Health Journalism 2014 in Denver, you missed her take on a real catty whompus state of affairs, as they say in Texas.

Diabetes is so rampant in Corpus Christi, Rhiannon said, that the Dartmouth Atlas ranked the city No. 1 in the nation for below-the-knee amputations. A national magazine even dubbed the town “Corpulent Christi” for its Texas-sized waist lines. Rhiannon, an investigative reporter covering health care part time at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, proposed a yearlong project for 2013 that was chosen for support by AHCJ’s Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance.

The fellowship – which includes travel and research support, mentoring and other resources – enabled Rhiannon to steep herself in issues surrounding diabetes, both locally and nationally. She learned what questions to ask and where to go for data. “AHCJ helped me bust out of the local silo,” she said. “I heard more from readers during that series than I have in my entire career.”

Stories like this are why AHCJ exists. We are all about reporters learning from one another, sharing ideas and techniques and resources, and then supporting stellar work. Health care is too vast and complicated to cover alone, especially when reporters like Rhiannon have to spread their time across multiple beats.

So what is AHCJ doing now that matters to its members?  Continue reading

Dates, location of Health Journalism 2014 announced

Health Journalism 2014Health Journalism 2014, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists, will take place in Denver next year, AHCJ has announced.

The conference, which has drawn between 600 and 800 attendees in each of the past three years, will take place March 27-30, 2014, at the Grand Hyatt Denver. The hotel is located just a block from Denver’s popular 16th Street pedestrian mall and features views of the vibrant downtown and the majestic Rocky Mountains.

A local planning committee is being formed by co-chairs Michael Booth ofThe Denver Post and Eric Whitney of Colorado Public Radio. It will be made up of area journalists from print, broadcast and online outlets.

“The local journalists will provide some guidance on local and regional issues, as well as help pinpoint area experts worth including,” said Len Bruzzese, AHCJ executive director. Continue reading

Graham to lead AHCJ’s resources on aging

Veteran health care journalist Judith Graham will be AHCJ’s topic leader in building new resources for journalists covering aging.

Judith Graham

Judith Graham

Graham, who was at the Chicago Tribune for 14 years, will write tip sheets and background briefs, recognize important reporting on the issue, ask other journalists to share their experience on the topic and she will curate lists of resources for journalists.

She will encourage and review suggestions from AHCJ members on what resources they need to cover this increasingly important beat.

We’ve asked Graham to introduce herself:

I’m a long-time journalist who started writing about health care finance and policy in the mid-1980s when this was a new beat, with only a handful of reporters tracking it closely across the country. Over dozens of years, I’ve reported on Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, chronic care, patient safety, public health, efforts to improve health care quality, end of life care, and the business of health care, among other topics.

Understanding aging is both a personal and professional passion of mine. On the personal front, my mother had multiple sclerosis for 63 years and very early in life, I came to understand how the health care system fails people with long-term chronic illnesses. As a caregiver, I dealt for years with problems that frail, older people experience – finding transportation to medical appointments, uncoordinated medical care, securing reliable home health assistance, debilitating isolation, dealing with insurance hassles, and more.

For the past year, I’ve authored a monthly column on aging for the Tribune Co. newspapers, which was distributed widely across the country. Also, I’ve hosted more than half a dozen hour-long Web chats on aging issues and written extensively about these topics on my blog, Triage (now discontinued), and in the news pages of the Chicago Tribune, where I was a senior health and medicine reporter until recently.

Please feel free to contact me via email (judith@healthjournalism.org) with questions or suggestions about how to improve this site. I’m eager to make it as useful to you as possible.