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Planning begins for Health Journalism 2022 — April 28-May 1 in Austin

04/28/22 - 05/01/22     Austin, TX


Photo by Randy von Liski via Flickr.

You’ve heard it before, but we really mean it this time: Health Journalism 2022 is happening (come hell or high water). The dates are April 28-May 1. The place is the Hilton Austin.

We’ve learned to live with the uncertainties of a pandemic, and we know our members have, too. As previously announced, we will require proof of full vaccination. Masking and some social distancing are likely to be part of the mix.

The gathering — AHCJ’s first since the pandemic began in the U.S. in March of 2020 —will, as always, spotlight the latest topics and challenges in health policy, public health, medical education, consumer health and the business of health care. You can expect some panels to look back at what’s been learned from the pandemic. But the three and a half days will also look forward with workshops, panels and talks on:

  • the future of public health and pandemics;

  • how research in medical science has been affected by the pandemic in some positive ways;

  • how social inequities highlighted by COVID-19 are being addressed in novel ways;

  • new abortion laws and their likely impact on women’s reproductive health;  

  • innovations in mental health, telehealth, neighborhood-based health care and other subjects.  

As always, the program is being designed to help inform and improve your work as a health care reporter, editor or producer. 

To that end, field trips hosted by the St. David’s Foundation will give you a close look at what Austin is doing for people who are unhoused to achieve the ambitious goal of ending homelessness in the city. Dell Medical School and the University of Texas-Austin will host visits to the research “Vislab,” home to one of the world’s largest high-resolution tiled displays that gives researchers an unparalleled perspective on the human body, and other innovation spaces.  

While the field trips are happening, the conference site will be busy with skill-adding workshops on writing, building a freelance business, understanding medical research and exploring health data. 

When the field trip buses return and the workshops wrap up, first-time conference attendees will be welcomed to a newcomer session where they can meet members of AHCJ’s board of directors and learn how to make the most of the conference. This will be followed by an official conference welcome for all attendees, a kickoff plenary session and a Welcome to Austin Reception. 

Health Journalism 2022 will mark its second and third days with several tracks of panels led by journalists and featuring world-class speakers. The conference Exhibit Hall will open on Friday, offering a chance to network, win prizes and enjoy some food. Before heading out that evening, you can attend the AHCJ annual membership meeting. 

Another popular conference feature – PitchFest – will give attendees a chance to pitch story ideas to editors and walk away with assignments. The event is just one of several events designed especially for AHCJ’s growing number of freelance journalists. 

The final day of the conference will feature the always-popular “how-to” sessions designed to help journalists use what they’ve learned during the conference. Learn how to cover local hospitals, dig further into health-related data and more. 

The conference will include a salute to the latest winners of the annual Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. The awards luncheon, as well as receptions and breakfasts, are included in the registration fee. 

So join us in Austin and catch up with your colleagues in health care journalism. It’s been a long two years. Hope to see you!

Call for ideas

AHCJ is gathering ideas for conference workshops and panels. Please submit suggestions before March 19.

Click here for your opportunity to submit ideas for consideration.