Career Development: Fellowships, Internships, Training & Grants

AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance

Logo: AHCJ Media Fellowships on Health Performance

See the list of past fellows.

A fellowship for supporting big reporting projects

Issues with the U.S. health care system are often obvious — from large swaths of uninsured residents and junk insurance plans, to high maternal mortality rates and preventable medical errors. But what is at the root of issues like these? What could an equitable health care system look like? 

We want you to dig in and find out. 

Through the AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, you can pursue a significant reporting project related to the U.S. health care system at the local, regional and/or national level. 

This fellowship allows mid-career journalists to maintain their regular employment while working on a major project over a 12-month calendar year. You’ll pursue the projects with the support of your newsrooms or arranged outlets, which commit to publish or air the work.

We believe that issues of health equity impact every facet of the health care system, which is why we’re specifically interested in projects focused on health equity. This might include racial disparities within a community, gaps in public health inclusion, unstable housing, insurance access, food insecurity, violence as a health issue, how health care institutions or systems are applying a racial equity lens to their policies and practices or otherwise addressing inequities or disparities, or other examinations of systemic problems that have become so apparent over the last few years.

Guidance is provided by AHCJ mentors through customized seminars on health care systems, conference calls and email consultations. The fellowship covers the cost of attending the seminars and the annual AHCJ conference, as well as a $4,000 project allowance to defray the cost of field reporting, health data analysis and other project-related research. In addition, you will receive a $2,500 fellowship award upon the successful completion of the project.

Application Deadline: 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 13.


Apply Here



Candidates should be U.S.-based, working journalists who qualify for AHCJ professional membership and have several years’ experience in health reporting. We value and celebrate diversity and the building of a more inclusive journalism landscape, and encourage journalists of all backgrounds and identities to apply.

Each employer (or freelancer’s intended outlet) will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation pledging to support the fellow to:

- Participate in the fellowship, including attendance at seminars, a conference and workshop.

- Travel as needed to complete the project.

- Provide adequate time for the fellow to report and write the project.

- Provide any editorial and technical support required to publish or air the work by Dec. 31, 2024.

- Allow AHCJ and The Commonwealth Fund to republish or otherwise make available the completed project as an educational tool, with appropriate credit given to the original outlet. 

- Include mention of the reporter’s fellowship support in the package or series.

What's covered

The fellowship provides:

- Seminar trips, including food, lodging and travel within the United States.

- A project allowance of up to $4,000 that can be tapped for field reporting trips, data purchases and other approved research expenses.

- Attendance at the AHCJ annual conference, including travel, lodging and registration.

- Attendance at your choice of a one-day AHCJ regional workshop, including travel, lodging and registration.

- One year's professional membership in AHCJ.

- A $2,500 fellowship award for the successful completion of the project before the end of the year.

Anticipated schedule

- January 2024: Fellowship orientation and Seminar 1 (New York City)

- June 2024: Health Journalism 2024 and Seminar 2 (Location to be announced)

- September 2024: Seminar 3 (New York City)

Application checklist

- A two- to three-page project proposal outlining your topic, why you think it’s a good story for your audience, reporting locations, potential sources and how the topic is revelatory as a subject (or novel in its approach).

- Cover letter introducing yourself, offering a snapshot of your proposed project and explaining why you are applying for the fellowship, the impact reporting on this project will have (quantitative and qualitative), and the primary audience/demographic for the project (who you’re serving).

- A current resume or CV.

- A letter of recommendation from your current employer that addresses the benefits of the fellowship to you and the news organization’s audience as well as the employer’s commitment to support the project as detailed in the Expectations section above, including scheduling sufficient time for you to pursue the project. Freelance applicants should submit a letter of recommendation from a client or assigning editor willing to provide an outlet for the final project.

- A work sample published or aired during the past 12 months. 

Questions? Contact Susan Cunningham at


2023 fellows

(Click names to see their projects.)

Lauren Clason, health care reporter, CQ Roll Call

Penny Dickerson, innovation and entrepreneur reporter, Jacksonville Business Journal

Keren Landman, senior reporter for health and science, Vox

Katia Riddle, freelance reporter, NPR

2022 fellows

(Click names to see their projects.)

Theodore Alcorn, independent journalist

Sarah Boden, health and science reporter for 90.5 WESA News, Pittsburgh’s NPR station

Arielle Dreher, health care reporter for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington

Emily Green, managing editor, The Lund Report.

Cecilia Hernandez-Cromwell, news director and anchor at Telemundo Noticiero Oklahoma

2021 fellows

(Click names to see their projects.)

Erin Durkin, health care correspondent, The National Journal (@ErinDurkin2)

Melba Newsome, independent journalist writing for The Charlotte Observer

Matthew Ong, associate editor, medical investigative reporter, The Cancer Letter (@mattobh)

Kristen Schorsch, reporter, WBEZ, Chicago Public Media (@kschorsch)

Farah Yousry, health equity reporter, WFYI Side Effects Public Media (@Farah_Yousrym)


2020 fellows

(Click names to see their projects.)

Carol Cruzan Morton, independent journalist writing for The Oregonian (@CarolMorton)

Nicholas Florko, Washington correspondent, Stat (@NicholasFlorko)

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia, public health reporter, KBIA (@sebastiansings)

Alice Ollstein, health care reporter, Politico (@AliceOllstein)

Luanne Rife, health reporter, The Roanoke Times (@LuanneRife)

Jocelyn Wiener, independent journalist writing for CalMatters (@jocelynwiener)

  • Wiener will examine the roots of California’s mental health crisis and explore possible solutions that may exist elsewhere.


2019 fellows

Read the press release. (Click names to see their projects.)

Erin Alberty, reporter, The Salt Lake Tribune (@erinalberty)

Max Blau, independent journalist writing for The (Macon, Ga.) Telegraph (@MaxBlau)

Blake Farmer, reporter, Nashville Public Radio (@flakebarmer)

Naseem Miller, reporter, Orlando Sentinel (@NaseemMiller)


2018 fellows

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Nick Budnick, reporter, Portland Tribune, Portland, Ore.

Kathleen Burge, independent journalist writing for CommonHealth/WBUR, Boston

Audrey Dutton, reporter, Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho

Benjamin Hardy, Arkansas Nonprofit News Network


2017 fellows

Read the press release. (Click names to see their projects.)

Jessica Bylander, senior editor, Health Affairs

Brenda Goodman, senior news writer, WebMD

Markian Hawryluk, health reporter, Bend (Ore.) Bulletin (now with Kaiser Health News)

Erin Mershon, Washington correspondent, Stat (now news editor)

Bram Sable-Smith, lead reporter, health & wealth desk, KBIA-Columbia, Mo. (now with Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)


2016 fellows

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Dan Diamond, author, Politico Pulse

Glenn Howatt, health care reporter, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Stephanie Innes, senior reporter, (Tucson) Arizona Daily Star (now with The Arizona Republic)

JoAnn Mar, producer, KALW-San Francisco

Misty Williams, health care policy reporter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (now editor of state news at AARP)

  • Williams examined access to mental health care for children in Georgia and what a lack of treatment means for families and the state.


2015 fellows

Read the press release. (Click names to see their projects.)

Rick Jurgens, reporter, Valley News (New Hampshire)

Sarah Kliff, senior editor, Vox

Beth Kutscher, finance reporter, Modern Healthcare (now managing editor at LinkedIn News)

Jayne O'Donnell, health care policy reporter, USA Today

David Wahlberg, health reporter, Wisconsin State Journal


2014 fellows

Read the press release. (Click names to see their projects.)

Karen Brown, reporter and producer, New England Public Radio

David Pittman, reporter, Politico

  • Pittman compared state Medicaid models and the impact of innovations aimed at improving health care quality while lowering costs.

  • State Medicaid ACOs Up but Struggles Mount

  • Arkansas’ struggle with telemedicine mirrors the nation’s | PDF of project

  • Medicaid agencies turn to 'big data' to tackle costs | PDF

  • States fail to track Medicaid EHR payments | PDF

Sarah Gantz, staff writer, Baltimore Business Journal (now with The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Michaela Gibson Morris, health care reporter, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Lola J. Butcher, independent journalist, Springfield, Mo.

2013 fellows

Read the press release. (Click names to see their projects.)

Alan Bavley, medical reporter, The Kansas City Star

Jeanne Erdmann, independent journalist, St. Louis

Noam Levey, national health care reporter, Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau

Rhiannon Meyers, reporter, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Lindy Washburn, senior writer, The Record/North Jersey Media Group


2012 fellows

Read the press release. (Click names to see their projects.)

John George, health care reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal

Margot Sanger-Katz, health care correspondent, National Journal (now with The New York Times)

  • Sanger-Katz produced a yearlong series of stories examining the growing pattern of hospital consolidation and its influence on health care costs and the future of health reform.

  • The New Goliaths: The 2010 health law was designed to lower costs. Instead, by encouraging hospitals to merge, it could boost the price of care.

  • Nothing to Smile About: The number of teeth in this country grows, even as the number of dentists shrinks. Guess who gets squeezed out.

  • In Praise of Price-Fixing: Americans face a constant (and often Sisyphean) struggle against health care inflation. Maryland found an answer.

  • The False Promise: Hospitals like Pittsburgh’s UPMC created enough jobs to end the recession. If they keep it up, they’ll wreck the economy.

Tammy Worth, independent journalist, Kansas City, Mo.


2011 fellows

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Yanick Rice Lamb, editor and writer, Heart & Soul Magazine

Marshall Allen, staff writer, Las Vegas Sun (now a reporter at ProPublica in New York)

Rosemary Hoban, reporter, North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC (now editor of North Carolina Health News)