AHCJ is built on the wisdom, experience and energy of its members. You can get involved in ways that help all of us get smarter about our work. It is what makes AHCJ a professional home for so many.
Here are some ways you can get more involved.
Electronic discussion list
Our list is one of our most popular features. Members ask questions – often on deadline – and get quick, helpful answers from colleagues. The list is moderated, so self-promoting posts and press releases are pruned out and verbal attacks stopped in their tracks. That means helpful conversation. You can ask questions or share your expertise with others asking questions. Assisting your peers as they try to complete stories is a great way of getting involved in the daily life of the organization. A searchable archive of the list is maintained so members can quickly see if their questions have been answered or if a topic has already been covered. More info...
Conferences and workshops
Attending one of AHCJ’s training events is a great way to build your skills and knowledge base while also meeting your peers and making new professional friendships. We also are always on the lookout for new sites to hold conferences and workshops. That means we need local members who can help point us to places with lots of health-related experts and help connect us with potential sponsors of events. We also look for local members to serve on programming committees to help us pinpoint the best of local resources.
AHCJ board committees always include non-board members and are a great way to get involved in helping the association move forward. The Membership Committee assists in outreach to potential members, reviewing certain applicants and seeking new benefits that enhance membership. The Freelance Committee works to assist independent journalists in the membership with resources, training and career development. The Right to Know Committee advocates for the free flow of information to the public and works on behalf of members seeking government records. The Contest Committee oversees the annual Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, establishing rules and procedures, selecting judges and making final determinations on entrant questions. More info...
AHCJ works with foundations and other funders to build fellowship programs aimed at career development for our members. Some of the fellowships support attendance to a single conference. Some fellowships are year-long experiences meant to build reporting expertise or to pursue a special reporting project. All are opportunities to build your network within AHCJ and learn to tap all the resources we offer. Fellowships expose you to more members within the organization, the inner workings of our training programs and place you in a good position to help other members in the future. More info...
The healthjournalism.org website is an amazing repository of resources for reporters and editors pursuing health stories. We often ask journalists who have just completed major stories or projects to provide a “how I did it” story or a tip sheet on pursuing certain topics. Freelancers can help other freelancers with tip sheets on building an independent business. All of this helps grow our resources and keeps the site current. Please consider agreeing to requests for help from our website editor, or even offer resources or suggestions for resources when you think of them.
Board of directors
The AHCJ board of directors is made up of 12 professional-category AHCJ members who have been elected to serve staggered two-year terms. Board members are responsible for association policies and statements and work with the executive director on training, financial and other efforts to achieve AHCJ’s strategic goals. They take on committee duties and contribute to association activities, including fundraising, advocacy, helping plan sessions at training events, membership outreach and writing/editing contributions.
This, in many ways, is the ultimate way to get involved in the association. Because board service represents a significant time commitment, we encourage members to first test the waters through some of the other avenues mentioned above. Most board members have been involved in other activities before running for the board. More info...