AHCJ representatives held a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., last week to press for government openness at the state and federal levels.
AHCJ President Charles Ornstein and board member Felice Freyer (chair of the organization’s Right to Know Committee) met with representatives of the Health and Human Services Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as 12 newly appointed state health directors organized by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
The federal officials professed a commitment to openness, within limits, and promise to look into specific requests to further that goal. The state health officials, who heard a panel presentation about working effectively with reporters, were receptive and eager to talk with AHCJ about building relationships at the state level.
Freyer will moderate a panel on this topic, “Right to know: Getting information from government agencies,” at Health Journalism 2011. The panel features Peter Ashkenaz, director of communications, FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs; Lisa Chedekel, senior writer and co-founder, Connecticut Health I-Team; Lucy A. Dalglish, executive director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; and Lilian Peake, M.D., M.P.H., director, Thomas Jefferson Health District, Virginia Department of Health.
- Reporter runs into wall requesting public records from FDA
- AHCJ asks FDA to re-evaluate embargo policy
- Health officials, journalists agree information is key in public health crisis
- Journalists, officials discuss information released in public health emergencies
- Committee works to improve access to experts, officials
- Health journalists cite uneven disclosure of H1N1 deaths across country
- Major journalism groups demand agency end newsgathering constraints
- AHCJ objects to federal agencies’ handling of story embargo
- AHCJ calls on new administration to improve access to federal experts