Tag Archives: #ahcj13

#ahcj13 speakers featured in news about Boston Marathon bombings

If you attended Health Journalism 2013, you heard from plenty of Boston-based medical professionals, some of whom are in the news now talking about the Boston Marathon bombings. You might remember hearing from:

Ron Medzon, M.D., led AHCJ members through the SIM lab part of one of the field trips and talked with attendees about doctors and nurses communicating with patients and families about medical errors. Medzon, emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center, was on duty when victims of the bombing began arriving. He talked about the experience with Robin Young of WBUR-Boston.

Paul Summergrad, M.D., chair of psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center, spoke about mental disorders at the conference, offers advice on how to care for the emotional wounds of the bombing in several articles:

And John Halamka, M.D., the chief information officer at, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, talked about communication and technology in the wake of the bombings in “Social media key in enabling quick provider response to Boston bombings,” by  Dan Bowman for FieceHealthIT. At the conference, he spoke about electronic health records.

Have you seen other panel speakers quoted in the news? If so, please let us know by posting links to the stories in the comments section.

Update: AHCJ member Naseem S. Miller, of Internal Medicine News Digital Network, interviewed Medzon and a doctor who was in the medical tent at the finish line about their experiences.

Update: AHCJ member Leana Wen writes on NPR’s Shots blog about treating patients in the aftermath of the bombing while wondering if the next patient she saw was going to be her husband.

Hospital inspection reports one key to writing about quality of care #ahcj13

For journalists wanting to learn more about how to track hospital quality through inspection reports, Charles Ornstein, a senior reporter at ProPublica, and Paul Dreyer, a former senior regulator with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health who now consults with hospitals, gave a presentation at Health Journalism 2013 about how reporters can get that information.

As an example, Ornstein reminded attendees that actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn children had received an overdose of Heparin at a hospital. The Quaids felt the hospital had tried to cover up the incident, but an inspection report uncovered the truth about what had happened.

“It’s a lesson to hospitals to be honest with families,” Ornstein said. “And journalists are the conduit for that.” Continue reading

Snapshots from #ahcj13 | Eric Jankiewicz

Eric Jankiewicz is leaning toward a career as a health or science reporter. That’s his area of focus as a student at City University of New York.

I caught up with him after a session called “What you need to know about clinical trials but were afraid to ask.” He said that session was indicative of what he’s appreciated most about all of the sessions he’s attended.

“I think I like the blend of the panelists being very very professional – like science-kind-of-guy, and then having a reporter there as an intermediary between the scientists and the audience.” He explained, “It kind of makes it easier to understand. It takes really really dense topics and makes them interesting for a 22-year-old.”

Researchers share work on regeneration, reconstruction #ahcj13

In a Health Journalism 2013 panel focused on research taking place in regenerative medicine, Dany Adams, Ph.D., an associate research fellow at Tufts University, described her research with African frogs.

Through her research with bioelectricity, or electrical signals, she has proven that African clawed frogs can regenerate tails. She added that this particular species of frogs was a good candidate for the research, as the regeneration happens with a minimum risk of infection. What was most surprising when it came to the tail regeneration in the African clawed frogs is that the muscle, skeleton and spinal cord regenerated on their own, without the need of any additional therapies. She also shared that children can re-grow finger tips before the age of 10.

Adams said the possible implications for human benefits are great and implored journalists to cover such research so the public and legislators, who decide on funding for the continuation of such research, know about it. Continue reading

Government officials, researcher make case for policy influencing healthy behavior #ahcj13

Well-structured, comprehensive health policy can change behaviors according to panelists Susan Kansagra, Manish Sethi and Giridhar Mallya. They have been working to address different health issues – gun violence, smoking, and obesity – and shared their strategies at Health Journalism 2013.

Giridhar Mallya, director of policy and planning at Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, helped launch a campaign to combat obesity there and, after decades of rising obesity rates, the city is seeing declines. The key, Mallya said, was in treating the issue as an environmental disease rather than in individual problem, and that meant altering the environment to give people a chance at being healthy.

“Changing the context is really the sweet spot of public health,” Mallya said. “Change the context so people can default to healthy decisions.” Continue reading