Tag Archives: Health Journalism 2013

Transplanted journalist offers tips on getting around Boston, things to see #ahcj13

Joe Rojas-Burke

About Joe Rojas-Burke

Joe Rojas-Burke is AHCJ’s core topic leader on the social determinants of health, working to help journalists broaden the frame of health coverage to include factors such as education, income, neighborhood and social network. Send questions or suggestions to joe@healthjournalism.org or @rojasburke.

A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

When I moved to Boston in September, I quickly learned how easy it is to get lost in the city’s crazy tangle of streets. The shortest path between points seldom takes a straight line. A “square” is any place where five or six roads collide. Streets just change names without warning.

But it wasn’t so intimidating once I realized that the dense packing of 18th and 19th Century buildings and paths makes it easy to get around Boston on foot. The T, Boston’s subway and light rail system, runs pretty smoothly most of the time, zipping people between neighborhoods.

So if your brain needs a break from sponging up health policy expertise at the AHCJ meeting, Boston shouldn’t disappoint.  I found tons of interesting stuff going on within walking distance of the conference hotel.  Much more is just a short T ride away.  Below is my short list, in order of distance from the Seaport Boston Hotel: Continue reading

Panel of primary-care providers at Health Journalism 2013 #ahcj13

Felice J. Freyer

About Felice J. Freyer

Felice J. Freyer is AHCJ's vice president and chair of the organization's Right to Know Committee. She is a health care reporter for The Boston Globe.

A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

If you’re looking for a thrilling health care story, the local primary care practice is probably not the first place you turn. Primary care is tough to write about, tough to illustrate: the day-to-day interactions in the exam room pale before the cool stuff like robot-assisted surgery or brain-mapping.

Yet there are few more vital – or rapidly changing – sectors in health care. Want to better manage chronic illness? Prevent hospital re-admissions? Promote electronic health records? The primary care provider has got to be at the center of any such efforts.

And what will happen when millions of people who obtain insurance under Obamacare start to look for primary-care doctors, already in short supply?

For a better grasp of these issues – and an infusion of enthusiasm – come to “The Future of Primary Care: Who Will Take Care of You?” at Health Journalism 2013. The panel, at 4:40 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, will feature four primary-care providers working on innovations that may surprise you.

Learn how one practice became a 365-day-a-year operation, based on teamwork, driven by data. Hear about a practice where providers don’t try to cram in 30 patients a day, but take as much time as they need with each. Find out about a trainee-led movement in medical schools around the country to promote primary care, change the way it’s taught, and encourage more doctors into the primary care workforce. Hear about what new skills primary care providers are learning to function in a changing environment.

You can expect to walk away with an armload of story ideas, and a new appreciation of the potential role for primary care in redesigning the health care system as a whole.

From the rowdy to the reverent: How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like a Bostonian #ahcj13

Tinker Ready

About Tinker Ready

Tinker Ready is a freelance health and science writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She blogs at Boston Health News and Nature Boston. She is a member of the local planning committee for Health Journalism 2013.

Photo by Tinker Ready

A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

You don’t have to wander too far in Boston to find a bit of Irish. The place is still full of Foleys, Sheas, Dooleys, Doyles, McGreevys and Murphys – to name of just a few of the 222 Irish pubs that come up on a Yelp search.

The Seaport area hosts two – including one in the lobby of the Westin. Like much of the neighborhood, they are new. So, expect a little pre-fab ambiance with your Guinness. For the real thing, or closer too it, you’ll have to wander a bit. The MBTA Red line out of South Station runs to Cambridge’s Central Square – home to The Field, The Phoenix Landing  and The Plough and Stars – or on to Davis Square to The Burren. (See the film “Next Stop Wonderland” for a preview of that pub.) Continue reading

Boston a great place for medical sightseeing #ahcj13

Chelsea Conaboy

About Chelsea Conaboy

Chelsea Conaboy is a health reporter for The Boston Globe and White Coat Notes, a Boston.com blog. She is a member of the local planning committee for Health Journalism 2013.

The conference schedule is packed with great speakers. But if you’re looking for some time away from the hotel, there are plenty of fascinating places to visit, from the Institute of Contemporary Art, a short walk from the hotel, to the beloved Fenway Park. Consider adding these stops to your sightseeing list and learn a bit about Boston’s rich medical history:

A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Longwood Medical Area

If you have any doubt about why Boston is considered a national hub of medical care, just take a stroll down Longwood Avenue. The street is lined with leading health care institutions, most affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and there’s more in the surrounding blocks:  Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and lots of research labs.

The sidewalks teem during the day with patients and doctors, researchers and administrators – a busy hive of medical care and invention. If you can handle the Boston weather, grab a cup of coffee and find a bench along the grassy Quad at the center of the Harvard Medical School buildings. Follow Longwood Avenue away from the medical school until you hit the Riverway, part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace. Continue reading

Doing the math: Why attending Health Journalism 2013 adds up for one freelancer #ahcj13

Joseph Burns

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.

A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

I’ve been looking forward to the AHCJ conference in Boston since the last one ended. I say this for three reasons.

First, my results from the Freelance PitchFest last year paid for my trip to Atlanta. I came away with one new publication that led to three assignments. The first assignment alone more than paid for my roundtrip airfare, the hotel, conference fee, and all expenses. My second and third assignments were clear profit, and I have an ongoing relationship with this new publication.

Second, I met a lot of great AHCJ members. One of those members helped me land an assignment with a second publication.

So, when I total it all up, my expenses last year were about $1,200, and my revenue since then from two new pubs is $7,000! That’s some significant ROI.

Third, I’m looking forward to the freelance sessions. The freelancers I met last year had terrific ideas about how to promote myself on the Web and with social media, how to pitch ideas that sell, and where to turn when I need advice. I learned how to use Twitter to my advantage for sources and article promotion. Continue reading

Conference panels delve into stories about aging #ahcj13

Kay Lazar

About Kay Lazar

Kay Lazar is a health/science reporter at The Boston Globe who specializes in public health, aging and sports medicine. She is an AHCJ member and will be on the panel “How to cover nursing homes with more depth and data” at Health Journalism 2013, coming March 14-17 to Boston.

The numbers are inescapable. By 2030, almost one in every five Americans will be 65 or older, yet many specialists say the United States is ill-prepared to handle this silver tsunami, particularly when it comes to health care.

A look at some of the issues, sessions and ideas to keep in mind for those planning to attend Health Journalism 2013, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Fear not.

Many of the organizers of Health Journalism 2013 in Boston, March 14–17, see the world through gray-colored glasses, which means the conference features several information-packed panels and workshops about senior care and related research.

As a health reporter who often writes about aging issues, I can tell you that readers seem to have an insatiable appetite for information on this topic; I field a lot of angst-ridden emails and calls, particularly about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and choosing the right nursing home.

This year’s conference delves into all of these, and then some. Friday’s panels include a session on the complications of coordinating senior care, (with eldercare specialists I have not yet had a chance to interview so I am excited about new sources!), and a session on end-of-life care –a topic few families seem to get around to discussing.

The end-of-life panel features Ellen Goodman, a former Boston Globe Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who co-founded The Conversation Project, a Boston-based enterprise that spurs end-of-life discussions and provides resources to ease the process.

Goodman is passionate about the subject – Globe stories about her new Project have been popular with readers – and if anyone can interject humor in this topic, it is Goodman. Continue reading