Tag Archives: health care system

CEO uses cookie to avoid speaking to reporters

This week’s equivalent of “Don’t touch my junk” just might be “I’m eating my cookie.”

That was the response given by Dr. Stephen Duckett, the then-CEO of Alberta Health Services, to reporters who were asking him about problems with Canada’s health care system.

Duckett was leaving a meeting on Nov. 19 about fixing the health care system when reporters asked what he thought about criticism of Alberta Health Services.

When asked why he won’t stop and talk, he exclaims, “I’m still eating my cookie!”

The reporters offered to wait until he finished his cookie so he could comment but he instead responded with apparent irritation that “the media are not prepared to go to the media scrum,” a scheduled event that was scheduled to take place about 30 minutes after this confrontation.

Duckett has since been fired and three board members have quit in the wake of his dismissal.

Fellowship supports reporting on health systems

The Association of Health Care Journalists is launching a fellowship program to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care systems and the U.S. health system as a whole. The AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health Performance, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, provides for training as well as field reporting assistance.

Logo:  AHCJ  Media Fellowships on Health PerformanceThe program for mid-career journalists is intended to give print, broadcast and online reporters an opportunity to learn about examples of high-performing health care systems, to focus on innovations in care delivery, and to explore a system or its significant parts to determine what makes that system effective or ineffective. Fellows will be able to examine providers of care, insurers, regulators and policymakers.

The Commonwealth Fund grant will cover the costs of fellows attending two customized seminars in New York, the annual conference of AHCJ, a regional health journalism workshop and up to $6,000 in individual field reporting and research support. Fellows also will receive mentor support and individual consultation on their projects.

“Too often, reporters are asked to write about their local health and health care systems without the benefit of being able to compare them with others around the country,” said Charles Ornstein, president of the AHCJ board of directors and a senior reporter at ProPublica. “Thanks to this generous grant, the fellowship attempts to remedy that by providing reporters with the resources and tools needed to provide the context necessary for their communities.”

Applications for the four 2010-2011 fellowships are being accepted until July 9.

For more information and to apply:
Press release
Understanding and applying for the fellowship
2010-2011 application form