Sessions planned for Health Journalism 2008

Wednesday, March 26

4-7 p.m.

Early-bird check-in and registration opens in the Crystal Ballroom Foyer on the lobby level of the north tower.

Thursday, March 27

7 a.m.

Check-in and registration opens in the Crystal Ballroom Foyer on the lobby level of the north tower.

8 a.m.

Buses begin loading for field trips

Choose from our two outstanding field trips:
One trip will visit Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center while the other group visits the HHS Emergency operations center and the Family Health and Birth Center/ Developing Families Center before both groups meet up for tours of the NIH Clinical Center and the National Library of Medicine.

Advance sign up is required and seats are limited.

8:20 a.m.

Buses leave for field trip

1-4:30 p.m.

Special workshop on mapping health
AHCJ in partnership with ESRI

Visualizing health data can enhance reporting and enlighten readers and audiences. The use of GIS (geographic information systems) tools are becoming necessary on the Web and in newsrooms worldwide.

This workshop is full.

  • Brad Heath, reporter, USA Today
  • Chris Kinabrew, M.P.H., M.S.W., public health specialist, ESRI Inc.

4:30 p.m.

Field trip buses return

5-6:15 p.m.

Newsmaker Briefing

A candid conversation with actor Dennis Quaid, whose twins were recently the victims of a medical error.

6 p.m.

Check-in and registration closes for the day.

6:30-7:45 p.m.

Founders roundtable: The evolution and future of health journalism

  • Penny Duckham, executive director, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Andrew Holtz, M.P.H., independent journalist, Portland, Ore.
  • Duncan Moore, independent journalist, Chicago
  • Joanne Silberner, health policy correspondent, National Public Radio
  • Melinda Voss, M.P.H., public relations director, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System
  • Irene Wielawski, independent journalist, Pound Ridge, N.Y.
  • Moderator: Mark Taylor, independent journalist, Chicago

7:45 p.m.

Commemorative reception
Sponsored by Kaiser Family Foundation

Friday, March 28

7:30 a.m.

Breakfast available in exhibit hall

Hall hosts dozens of exhibitors sharing useful resources for journalists, handouts from panel sessions, valuable reprints, food and even a cybercafé.

Check-in and registration opens in the Crystal Ballroom Foyer on the lobby level of the north tower.

8 a.m.

Breakfast with the experts sessions
(choose one of several quick presentations)

Hospital quality briefing
The Hospital Quality Alliance and HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt will make a major announcement Friday at Health Journalism 2008. To help you put the material in context, we have added two breakfast briefings in the morning at which officials will discuss the announcement and what it means for consumers. The comments from the briefing are EMBARGOED until 3 p.m. Eastern time to coincide with the secretary's address. The breakfast briefings are for conference registrants only. (The secretary's 3 p.m. press conference is open to credentialed press.)

  • Rich Umbdenstock, American Hospital Association president/CEO and HQA chairman
  • Herb Kuhn, Centers from Medicare & Medicaid Services deputy administrator
  • Gerry Shea, AFL-CIO assistant to the president of governmental affairs
  • Carolyn Clancy, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality director

Computer-aided vision - the next generation

  • Presenter: Max Riesenhuber, Ph.D, assistant professor, Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University Medical Center

Exploring the sociological issues around breast cancer

  • Presenter: Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D., assistant professor, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University

New transplant frontier: Small intestine

  • Presenter: Thomas Fishbein, M.D., Georgetown University Hospital

8:45 a.m.

Breakfast with the experts sessions
(choose second of several repeated presentations)

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Economics of health 101

  • Joy Drass, M.D., president, Georgetown University Hospital
  • Paul Fronstin, senior research associate, Employee Benefit Research Institute
  • Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D., president, Center for Health System Change
  • Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., senior fellow, Project Hope
  • Moderator: Bob Rosenblatt, independent journalist, Annandale, Va.

What health systems of other developed nations can teach us

  • John Appleby, chief economist, King's Fund London
  • André Picard, public health reporter, The (Toronto) Globe and Mail
  • Victor Rodwin, Ph.D., professor of health policy and management, New York University
  • Paul Thewissen, counselor, Health, Welfare & Sport at the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington D.C.
  • Moderator: Jonathan Cohn, senior editor, New Republic

Clinical research into vaccines for cancer and other diseases

  • John L. Marshall, M.D., division chief, associate professor of medicine and chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Georgetown University Hospital; associate director, clinical research, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Richard Schlegel, M.D., Ph.D., chairman and professor, Department of Pathology, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Melinda Wharton, M.D., M.P.H., Centers for Disease Control
  • Moderator: Steve Sternberg, reporter, USA Today

Community ... the health story

  • Christine Herbes-Sommers, senior series producer, PBS series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
  • Llewellyn Smith, co-executive producer Unnatural Causes
  • A.H. Strelnick, director, Institute for Community & Collaborative Health, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Moderator: Andrew Holtz, M.P.H., independent journalist, Portland, Ore.

11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Flattening federal research funding: The local angle

  • Peter Cariani, Ph.D., consultant, former NIH-funded researcher
  • Howard K. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health sciences, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Jane Scott, Sc.D., director, Office of Research Training and Career Development, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Moderator: Ivan Oransky, M.D., managing editor for online, Scientific American

Violence and mental illness: How strong is the link?

  • Harvey Rosenthal, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Jeffrey Swanson, Ph.D., professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University School of Medicine
  • E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., founder and president, Treatment Advocacy Center
  • Moderator: Aaron Levin, senior staff writer, American Psychiatric Association

How to cover local nursing homes and other long-term care

  • Charles Bell, programs director, Consumers Union
  • Lisa Chedekel, reporter, The Hartford Courant
  • Charles Duhigg, reporter, The New York Times
  • Charlene Harrington, Ph.D., R.N., professor of sociology and nursing, University of California, San Francisco
  • Moderator: Trudy Lieberman, director, Health and Medicine Reporting Program, City University of New York

Under pressure: FDA oversight, funding, effectiveness

  • Gail H. Cassell, Ph.D., vice president, scientific affairs, Eli Lilly
  • Michael Taylor, professor of health policy, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Service
  • Susan Winckler, chief of staff, FDA
  • Moderator: Jill Wechsler, Washington editor, Pharmaceutical Executive

12:30-2 p.m.

Friday luncheon
Sponsored by The Commonwealth Fund

Roundtable session
Election 2008: Which way health reform?

  • Karen Davis, president, The Commonwealth Fund
  • David Himmelstein, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Tom Miller, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Julie Barnes, deputy director, health policy program, The New America Foundation
  • Moderator: Julie Appleby, reporter, USA Today

2:15-3:15 p.m.

Press briefing
Michael Leavitt, secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

3:30-4:45 p.m.

How will retiring boomers affect the national health agenda?

  • Jennie Chin Hansen, R.N., M.S., F.A.A.N., president-elect, AARP
  • Daniel Perry, executive director, Alliance for Aging Research
  • Joshua M. Wiener, Ph.D., senior fellow and program director, Aging, Disability and Long-Term Care, RTI International
  • Moderator: David Gulliver, reporter, (Sarasota, Fla.) Herald-Tribune

Mandatory reporting of health care infections: Why now or why not?

  • Carmela Coyle, senior vice president, policy, American Hospital Association
  • Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., CEO and chair, Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths
  • Carole Moss, executive director, Nile's Project
  • Chesley Richards, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director, Division of Health Care Quality Promotion, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Moderator: Maryn McKenna, independent journalist, Minneapolis

Teaching the public what to expect in a good doctor

  • Sir Donald Irvine, C.B.E., M.D., F.R.C.G.P., FMedSci, former president, General Medical Council, United Kingdom
  • Ridgely Ochs, staff writer, Newsday
  • Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., F.C.C.M., professor, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Medicine and director of the Quality and Safety Research Group
  • Moderator: Theo Francis, staff writer, The Wall Street Journal

Freelance PitchFest for writers and editors
(continues until 6:15)

  • Sara Austin, features director (health & news), Self
  • David Corcoran, assistant science editor, The New York Times
  • Tami Dennis, health section editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Julian Kesner, senior editor, Prevention
  • Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D., senior food & nutrition editor, Health magazine
  • Marilyn Milloy, features editor, AARP: The Magazine
  • Glenn O'Neal, assignment editor (health, medicine), USA Today
  • Ivan Oransky, M.D., managing editor for online, Scientific American
  • Julia Sommerfeld, senior health editor, MSNBC
  • Frances Stead Sellers, health editor, The Washington Post
  • Sean Swint, executive editor, WebMD
  • Coordinator: Sheree Crute, independent journalist, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Big pharma and medicine: Understanding the relationship

  • Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., director,
  • Daniel J. Carlat, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • John S. McInnes, M.D., J.D., associate, Arnold & Porter
  • Moderator: Karl Stark, pharmaceutical reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

5-6:15 p.m.

Obesity interventions: Science, policy, environment

  • Eric Finkelstein, Ph.D., M.H.A., director, Public Health Economics Program, RTI International
  • Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., director, Center for Obesity Research & Education, Temple University
  • James Marks, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Zofia Zukowska, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Physiology & Biophysics; director, Stress Physiology and Research Center; Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Moderator: Kelley Weiss, health care reporter, Capital Public Radio, Sacramento

The medical system's looming military-related demands

  • Gerald Cross, M.D., principal deputy under secretary for health, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Alan I. Faden, M.D., professor of neuroscience, neurology and pharmacology, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Kelly Kennedy, medical reporter, Military Times
  • Jose Ramos, veteran, appointee, President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors
  • Moderator: Lisa Richwine, reporter, Reuters

Current controversies in transplantation

  • Scott D. Halpern, M.D., Ph.D., instructor, pulmonary & critical care medicine senior fellow, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Lynt Johnson, M.D., chief, Division of Transplant Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital
  • Robert Montgomery, M.D., D.Phil., associate professor of surgery and chief of Division of Transplantation, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Mark Stegall, M.D., chairman of the UNOS kidney committee and surgeon at Mayo Clinic
  • Moderator: Laura Meckler, reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Freelance: Pitchfest for writers and editors (continued)

Bringing home the globe: Pitching and covering international health stories

  • Christie Aschwanden, independent journalist, Colorado
  • Rachel Jones, project director, Internews Gulu
  • David Kohn, health and science reporter, The (Baltimore) Sun
  • Ann Peters, development director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
  • John Schidlovsky, director, International Reporting Project
  • Moderator: Andrew Holtz, M.P.H., independent journalist, Portland, Ore.

6 p.m.

Check-in and registration closes for the day.

Saturday, March 29

7:30 a.m.

Breakfast available in exhibit hall

Hall hosts dozens of exhibitors sharing useful resources for journalists, handouts from panel sessions, valuable reprints, food and even a cybercafé.

Check-in and registration opens in the Crystal Ballroom Foyer on the lobby level of the north tower.

8-9 a.m.

Newsmaker briefing: Public health blueprint for tackling climate change

  • Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director, American Public Health Association
  • Edward Maibach, Ph.D., Center of Excellence in Climate Change Communication Research at George Mason University
  • David Satcher, M.D., director, Satcher Health Leadership Institute; director, Center of Excellence on Health Disparities; Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health, Morehouse School of Medicine

9:15-10:30 a.m.

The intersection of global climate change and health

  • Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director, American Public Health Association
  • Kristie Ebi, M.P.H, Ph.D., consultant
  • Howard Frumkin, M.D., Dr.P.H., director, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Moderator: Bette Hileman, independent journalist, Jeffersonton, Va.

Life after cancer: Survivorship planning

  • Diane Balma, vice president of public policy, Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Priscilla A. Furth, M.D., professor. Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University
  • Kenneth Miller, M.D., Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Aziza Shad, M.D., chief, pediatric hematology, Georgetown University Hospital
  • Moderator: Meredith Matthews, senior editor, Current Health 2

Medical tourism: Trend or aberration

  • David Boucher, assistant vice president for health care services, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
  • Wouter Hoeberechts, chief executive officer,WorldMed Assist
  • Julius A. Karash, health care and business reporter, The Kansas City Star
  • David Kibbe, M.D., senior adviser, American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Moderator: Jim Gutman, vice president and executive editor, Atlantic Information Services Inc.

Tapping the best of Washington from outside the Beltway

  • Mason Essif, senior vice president, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
  • Jill Gerber, press secretary, Committee on Finance, Ranking Member, Sen. Grassley
  • Ed Howard, executive vice president, Alliance for Health Reform
  • Karen Migdail, chief press officer, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Mark Taylor, independent journalist, Chicago
  • Julie Zawisza, assistant commissioner for public affairs, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Moderator: Joanne Silberner, health policy correspondent, National Public Radio


Efforts to improve health care through nursing innovations

  • Connie Burgess, M.S., R.N., managing partner, Health InterConnexions
  • Joyce Johnson, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.A.A., F.A.A.N., vice president of operations, Georgetown University Hospital
  • Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N., F.N.A.P., F.A.A.N., dean and distinguished foundation professor in nursing, Arizona State University
  • Eileen Sullivan-Marx, Ph.D., C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., associate dean for practice and community affairs, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
  • Moderator: Diana Mason, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., editor-in-chief, American Journal of Nursing

Future of employee health benefits

  • Linda Dillman, president, benefits and risk management, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
  • Mary Kay Henry, international executive vice president, Service Employees International Union
  • Mary Nell Lehnhard, senior vice president, office of policy and representation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
  • Andrea O'Brien, Esq., partner, Venable LLP
  • Andrew Webber, chief executive officer, National Business Coalition on Health
  • Moderator: Tim Race, health care business editor, The New York Times

Freelance: Finding success through the trades

  • David Bronstein, editorial director, Hospital Group, McMahon Publishing
  • Mary Jo Dales, editorial director, International Medical News Group
  • Lisa Gill, independent journalist
  • Pat McNees, independent journalist, Bethesda, Md.
  • Moderator: Jeanne Erdmann, independent journalist, Wentzville, Mo.

Tracking health lobbying and election dollars

  • Dan Boston, executive vice president, Health Policy Source Inc.
  • M. Asif Ismail, project director, Center for Public Integrity
  • Paul Singer, senior staff writer, Roll Call
  • Moderator: Jonathan Cohn, senior editor, New Republic

12:15-2:15 p.m.

Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism luncheon

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards, will be the keynote speaker.

2:30-3:45 p.m.

Lies, damned lies and medical statistics: How to interpret the evidence

  • Barnett Kramer, M.D., director, Office of Disease Prevention, National Institutes of Health
  • Jeanne Lenzer, independent journalist, Kingston, N.Y.
  • Moderator: Shannon Brownlee, Schwartz Senior Fellow, New America Foundation

U.S. roles in global health: Which direction?

  • Scott F. Dowell, M.D., M.P.H., chief, Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response Branch, Coordinating Office for Global Health, CDC
  • Daniel Epstein, information specialist, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas
  • Rachel Wilson, M.P.H., director of policy and advocacy, PATH
  • Moderator: Jim Simon, assistant managing editor, The Seattle Times

Making broadcast stories sizzle

  • Instructor: Deborah Potter, executive director, NewsLab

Interpreting health information technology for reporters

  • Robert M. Kolodner, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Karen Linscott, COO, Leapfrog Group
  • Rod Piechowski, senior associate director of policy, American Hospital Association
  • P. Jon White, M.D., health IT director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Moderator: Phil Galewitz, health writer, The Palm Beach Post

4-5:15 p.m.

The annual award winners

  • Moderator: Charles Ornstein, investigative reporter, Los Angeles Times

Keeping public health coverage fresh

  • Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., executive director, Trust for America's Health
  • Lauran Neergaard, medical writer, The Associated Press
  • David Wahlberg, health/medicine reporter, Wisconsin State Journal
  • Moderator: Carla Johnson, staff writer, The Associated Press

How valid are ratings of doctors, hospitals and health plans?

  • Robert Berenson, senior fellow, Urban Institute
  • Richard Goldberg, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer, Georgetown University Hospital
  • Margaret (Peggy) O’Kane, president, National Committee for Quality Assurance
  • Joe Martin, director, Communications and Education Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council
  • Moderator: Trudy Lieberman, director, Health and Medicine Reporting Program, City University of New York

Getting quotes despite government refusals to comment

  • Seth Borenstein, science writer, The Associated Press
  • Carol Ann Campbell, medical reporter, The Star-Ledger
  • Kathryn Foxhall, independent journalist, Hyattsville, Md.
  • Moderator: Eric T. Rosenthal, special correspondent, Oncology Times

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Membership meeting

6 p.m.

Check-in and registration closes for the day.

7 p.m.

Open reception for AHCJ members
Hosted by The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships
Please RSVP for this event

Sunday, March 30

8 a.m.

Breakfast available in exhibit hall

Hall hosts dozens of exhibitors sharing useful resources for journalists, handouts from panel sessions, valuable reprints, food and even a cybercafé.

9-10:15 a.m.

Pros and cons of genetic risk profiling

  • Jennifer Davis, daughter of breast cancer patient
  • Susan Davis, breast cancer patient
  • William G. Feero, M.D., Ph.D., senior adviser to the director for genomic medicine, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
  • Kevin T. FitzGerald, S.J., Ph.D., Dr. David Lauler Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Kelly Vogel, vice president for federal affairs, America's Health Insurance Plans
  • Moderator: Rebecca Adams, senior writer, Congressional Quarterly

Multimedia tools for telling stories

  • Amy Eisman, director of writing programs, American University School of Communications
  • Scott Hensley, editor and contributor, The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog
  • Joy Robertson, anchor and reporter, KOLR-Springfield, Mo.
  • Moderator: Pia Christensen, managing editor/online services, Association of Health Care Journalists

A road map for covering your local hospital's quality

  • Instructor: Charles Ornstein, investigative reporter, Los Angeles Times

10:30-11:45 a.m.

Regulations for your own good: Science and politics

  • Michael Jacobson, executive director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Peter G. Shields, M.D., professor of medicine and oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Mitchell Zeller, vice president for policy and strategic communications, Pinney Associates
  • Moderator: Mary Chris Jaklevic, independent journalist, Chicago

Ripping the cover off hospital finances

  • Instructor: Gita B. Budd, principal, ECG Management Consultants
  • Instructor: Karl Stark, pharmaceutical reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

New developments in autism research

  • Dan E. Arking, Ph.D., assistant professor, McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, director, Center for Autism & Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Moderator: Carla K. Johnson, staff writer, The Associated Press


Conference ends


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