Tag Archives: Road to Boston

Boston a great place for medical sightseeing #ahcj13

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

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform. He welcomes questions and suggestions 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

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

Panel will explore how childhood experiences shape the brain #ahcj13

About Karen Brown

Karen Brown is a mental health writer whose work airs on New England Public Radio and other outlets. She is an AHCJ member and will be moderating a panel on this topic at Health Journalism 2013, coming March 14-17 to Boston.

The notion that what happens to you when you’re young can stay with you for years is a compelling one, but it’s not new.

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.

Sigmund Freud became a cultural icon for his theories on early experience and the future psyche. Literature has long weaved childhood memories into adult relationships and mental wellbeing. So have movies. (See: “The Three Faces of Eve,” “Prince of Tides,” “Mystic River”….) The concept simply resonates – both as a psychological construct, and as a metaphorical one.

So why have a conference session now on this seemingly classic idea?

Neuroscience – that’s why. The discipline of brain research has exploded in recent years – largely as a result of beautiful new imaging methods and advanced genetic technology. Scientists can compare the brains of very young children with those same brains years later. They can compare the brains of people who underwent certain childhood experiences (good or bad) with those who didn’t. Or they can seek answers about humans through brain research on animals. All this helps find connections between trauma and brain structure, between genetic make-up and resilience – with a farther-off goal of developing helpful therapies. I think it also feeds into one of the most enduring questions of psychology: which qualities are innate, and which ones are molded by time, development, and experience. Continue reading