Health Journalism 2016: Program

Click red arrows to read descriptions of events and panels.

Thursday/Friday | Saturday/Sunday

Thursday, April 7

8 a.m.-
4 p.m.

Field trips to local research, clinical and educational sites
(Sign up in advance.)

Hotel’s East Foyer, Second Floor 

9-11 a.m.

Reporting on medical studies

Medical studies are usually full of jargon and impenetrable statistics, and they often don't tell the whole story. In this session, you'll learn from the team behind Health News Review how to identify hype in press releases and studies, and from the AHCJ medical studies core topic leader how to read clinical trials with confidence. We'll review statistics, and discuss how often studies are wrong.
  • Tara Haelle, AHCJ topic leader/medical studies; independent journalist, Peoria, Ill.
  • Kevin Lomangino, managing editor,
  • Ivan Oransky, M.D., vice president and global editorial director, MedPage Today; co-founder, Retraction Watch; distinguished writer in residence, New York University Arthur Carter Journalism Institute
  • Gary Schwitzer, publisher,

Rolling Stones

Writing workshop: Finding the beating heart

Too much journalism suffers from “notebook dump” as the reporter tries to share every fact, quote, study and source. The resulting articles are jam-packed with information, but dense and daunting to the reader. This lively workshop will offer strategies for finding the heart of a story — the central theme or focus — to create compelling reads that puts valuable information into context, flow and meaning. We’ll explore story centers and structures to support those centers.
  • Jacqui Banaszynski, Knight chair in editing, Missouri School of Journalism


Access denied: How to get the story anyway

We all know the roadblocks – human and other – that journalists encounter in reporting stories. But great journalism is published every day – proof that the obstacles aren’t insurmountable. Hear from a panel of experienced journalists on how to get around unhelpful public information officers, obstreperous government agencies and media managers who are keener on promotion than the public interest. Bring your best ideas and strategies to share with colleagues.
Some advance reading:
Boston Globe exposé by Kay Lazar
FOIA tipsheet by Fred Schulte
Medicare tipsheet
by Fred Schulte
  • Kay Lazar, health reporter, The Boston Globe

  • Fred Schulte, senior reporter, Center for Public Integrity

  • Madeline Vann, M.P.H., independent journalist

  • Moderator: Irene M. Wielawski, independent journalist; chair, AHCJ Right to Know Committee, Pound Ridge, N.Y.

BB King

11:15 a.m.-
12:30 p.m.

Science: Breaking down obesity

Your audience is hungry for stories about weight loss, but journalists must be careful: Between celebrity doctors, Internet marketing and late-night TV sales pitches, it’s easy to lead your audience astray. Our expert panel will give you the resources you need to find real, science-tested techniques and studies on diet, nutrition, obesity and weight loss. This panel will focus on the science, not public health policy, consumers can benefit from. You’ll come away from the session with the tools you need understand and whittle through an inbox on weight loss pitches and turn them into usable stories for your audience.
  • Bartolome Burguera, M.D., Ph.D., director of obesity programs, Cleveland Clinic
  • Carolyn E. Ievers-Landis, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital at University Hospitals Case Medical Center; licensed clinical psychologist
  • Moderator: Abe Aboraya, health reporter, WMFE-Orlando

Rolling Stones

Covering the spectrum of health stories on the local scene

This session will help you find and localize the health stories that matter to your community and cover them in an effective and meaningful way on the local scene, where limited resources and tight day-of deadlines are the norm. We discuss best practices and important local and national resources to use to improve your health reporting. Panelists have diverse backgrounds to help you cover different health topics, including patient stories, research, and the business of health. This panel can help television and print journalists alike.
  • Tracey Drury, reporter, Buffalo Business First
  • Patti Singer, clean living reporter, (Rochester, N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle
  • Moderator: Katie Gibas, weekend anchor and weekday reporter, Time Warner Cable News, Buffalo, N.Y.


1:45-3 p.m.


Freelance: Practical tools for building a thriving business (Part 1)

Journalism may be a labor of love but it’s also a livelihood. This panel of successful freelance writers will share their secrets, including how to build a niche, how to market yourself, and how to stay organized so you can balance a mix of assignments – and your personal life. Our panelists will discuss how to create a work flow that blends the bread-and-butter pieces you need to survive and the passion projects that will take your career to the next level. We will have some practical business (and even tax-related) tips as well as handouts with advice and helpful resources.
  • Eileen Beal, independent journalist, Cleveland
  • Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, independent journalist, New York
  • Linda Marsa, contributing editor, Discover
  • Moderator: Michele Cohen Marill, independent journalist, Atlanta

Rolling Stones

Rating health care providers: When journalists measure quality

A growing number of journalistic organizations, including Consumers’ Checkbook, Consumer Reports, ProPublica and U.S. News & World Report, publish ratings of hospitals, surgeons and other healthcare providers. These ratings are widely discussed – and frequently controversial. This session will cover (a) why quality ratings matter to patients, hospitals and taxpayers, (b) why ratings are hard to “get right,” (c) how ratings can promote health care transparency and accountability, and (d) how other reporters can use ratings in their high-impact, localized reporting.
  • Marshall Allen, reporter, ProPublica
  • Robert Krughoff, president, Consumers' Checkbook, Center for the Study of Services
  • Doris Peter, Ph.D., director, Health Ratings Center, Consumer Reports
  • Moderator: Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis, U.S. News and World Report


The maternal health gap: How the United States lags in infant and maternal mortality

Hear from an expert about a new report showing how the United States compares to other countries on infant and maternal mortality. It will be posted online and distributed during this session. The workshop will explore trends over time for causes of death in children in the United States, including the prevalence of prematurity and possible correlations of premature death, looking at immunization coverage, health insurance coverage and maternal education.
  • Nicholas Kassebaum, M.D., assistant professor, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington; anesthesia and pain medicine specialist, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital

BB King

4:15 p.m.


Freelance: Practical tools for building a thriving business (Part 2)

Experienced journalists will share their tips on managing clients and story flow, finances and time. This hands-on session will cover issues critical to a freelance business, such as projecting your revenue and tracking your income; balancing the flow of clients so that you’ll have a steady pipeline of work; and knowing how much to charge when asked your fee. Panelists will offer practical advice on lessons learned, including a self-assessment guide that will help you figure out what's working in your writing career, what needs to be improved, and how to take the necessary steps to bring your freelance career forward.
Download these resources for freelancers:
Freelance self-assessment
Business plan outline
Consulting business plan
  • Jeanne Erdmann, independent journalist, Wentzville, Mo.
  • Nicole J. Fauteux, principal, Propensity LLC
  • Katherine Reynolds Lewis, independent journalist, Potomac, Md.
  • Moderator: Bara L. Vaida, independent journalist, Washington, D.C.

Rolling Stones

Fact-checking ACA statements during an election year

The public has a hard enough time understanding anything to do with the Affordable Care Act. It doesn’t help when political candidates, from president down to city council, include half-truths or outright falsehoods in their campaign speeches or materials. Two national health journalists share tips on how to help set the record straight. They’ll provide some questionable zingers heard so far and offer suggestions of great go-to sources for quick reality checks about the facts.
  • Jayne O'Donnell, health care policy reporter, USA Today
  • Julie Rovner, Robin Toner distinguished fellow, Kaiser Health News


5:30 p.m.

Newcomer welcome

First-time conference attendees are invited to meet members of AHCJ's board of directors and learn how to make the most of the conference.


5:30 p.m.

Head across the street to the Global Center for Health Innovation for our kick-off session and opening reception.


6-7:30 p.m.

Roundtable: Covering the health angles of cities facing crises

The past few years have seen many U.S. cities in turmoil as they grapple with a range of challenges from shootings and protests and aging infrastructure and contamination. Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis and others must not only face such challenging circumstances but also the trickle-down effect on the health care and resident's well-being. How do urban areas focus on health amid concerns over police interactions with citizens and distrust of local government, while also recognizing the impact of race and socio-economic issues that have bubbled to the surface during an uneven economic recovery? Hear from city health leaders about their successes and challenges as well as strategies to target health during tumultuous times. Discover what the health stories may be if your city erupts, and leave prepared with angles to cover it.
  • Abdul El-Sayed, M.D., D.Phil., executive director and health officer, Detroit Health Department
  • Natoya Walker Minor, M.P.A., acting director, Cleveland Department of Public Health
  • Melba R. Moore, M.S., C.P.H.A., acting director/commissioner of health, City of St. Louis
  • Leana S. Wen, M.D., M.Sc., health commissioner, Baltimore
  • Moderator: Susan Heavey, AHCJ topic leader/social determinants; reporter, Reuters

David Bowie

7:30 p.m.

“Welcome to Cleveland” reception
Hosted by the
Global Center for Health Innovation

Join us for food, drinks and conversation to kick off Health Journalism 2016. Mingle with new members and catch up with old friends. Meet-up spots will be designated for conference fellows.

The Global Center for Health Innovation is a Cuyahoga County-owned showcase for the latest in health care innovation, technology, education and commerce. The state-of-the-art spaces surrounding the atrium comprise four themed floors:

1st floor – Health and Home

2nd floor – People, Patients and Caregivers

3rd floor – Clinical Spaces

4th floor – Health Care Information Technology

The Global Center has arranged to open these floors and the display rooms run by a variety of organizations to informal tours by our attendees this evening. Take a peek at some of these dynamic spaces and latest technology.

Feel free to wander the upper floors where we have placed tonight’s dessert tables. Also, bars on each floor will feature signature drinks. Use your AHCJ token for a beverage on the first floor and a Global Center token for a drink on one of these upper floors.


Friday, April 8

The Exhibit Hall will be open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. for networking, finding new resources and recharging your electronics.

7-8:15 a.m.


Breakfast buffet available
Sponsored by the
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation


8-8:50 a.m.


News briefing

David J. Shulkin, M.D., undersecretary of health for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs





9-10:20 a.m.


Localizing stories on organ transplantation

Transplants are unique among medical procedures in the developed world, because even with enough money, not everyone who needs one can get one. We’ll talk about how to investigate disparities in organ transplantation and the special issues facing patients and transplant centers in your area. We’ll show you how to find and compare national, regional, state, and center-specific data online. Learn how to cover new and emerging fields, including face transplants and uterus transplants.
  • Charles M. Miller, M.D., director of liver transplantation, Transplantation Center at Cleveland Clinic; President, American Society of Transplant Surgeons
  • Patricia A. Sheiner, M.D., director of transplantation, Hartford Hospital
  • David Wahlberg, health reporter, Wisconsin State Journal
  • Moderator: Nancy Lapid, editor in charge, Reuters Health

The Beatles

The health law at 6 - still having growing pains

Six years after passage, the Affordable Care Act remains as controversial as ever. How are state officials balancing their obligations to implement the law, with the political antagonism toward the law? What are the biggest challenges going into 2017 – particularly as exchange enrollment is lower than anticipated and the people signing up tend to be in poorer health? How does the uncertainty about the law’s fate shape state policymaking? And will we ever be able to move on? Join our panel of experts to explore these ongoing issues and generate stories in this combative election year.
  • Nathan Johnson, chief policy officer, Washington State Health Care Authority
  • Trish Riley, executive director, National Academy for State Health Policy
  • Brian Rosman, government relations and policy director, Health Care For All
  • Moderator: Joanne Kenen, health care editor, Politico/Politico Pro; AHCJ topic leader/health reform

Fleetwood Mac

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: Trends to watch in 2016 and beyond

Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, are among the hottest topics in health care and research today. This panel focuses on how health journalists can seek out the stories that aren't being told and look for new ways to tell the stories we only thought we knew. What exactly is it about exercise that may ward off Alzheimer's or relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's? What might the rise of biomarkers mean for preventing dementia – and can recent declines in dementia be sustained? What's the real promise of high-tech brain imaging before symptoms even arise? Which are the trials to watch – and how can patients get involved?
  • Alan Lerner, M.D., director of the Brain Health and Memory Center, University Hospitals Case Medical Center; professor of neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Stephen M. Rao, Ph.D., director, Schey Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Cleveland Clinic
  • Benjamin Walter, M.D., director of the Parkinson's and Movement Disorder Center, University Hospitals Case Medical Center; associate professor of neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Moderator: Charlotte Sutton, health and science editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Bruce Springsteen

Providing care as society sees a new gender spectrum

Health care providers working with patients who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender know their patients often are at high risk for disease such as HIV. That makes it especially important that the care they provide includes understanding the community the patients live in as well.
  • Sana Loue, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.S.A., M.A., vice dean, faculty development and diversity; professor, bioethics, psychiatry, global health, epidemiology and biostatistics, Case Western University Medical School
  • Vipul Shukla, M.S., medical student, University of Toledo
  • Cecile A. Unger, M.D., staff physician, Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Cleveland Clinic
  • Moderator: Mary Shedden, news director, WUSF Public Media

The Supremes

Freelance: Expand your success with multimedia storytelling

With so many great health journalists out there, it’s important to distinguish yourself in this ever-changing market. Stay competitive by learning how to pitch and produce packages that include print, web content, photo essays, video and audio. Learn how to package your story pitches for success. Hear from panelists who have expanded to add video and photography, and how it adds to the value of their pitches, as well as how it can expand the brand. The discussion will include how to get started, what gear you need, how to see story in a different way. We will also discuss the bottom line: Is it really profitable for your journalistic model?
  • Heidi de Marco, multimedia reporter and producer, Kaiser Health News
  • Katti Gray, independent journalist, Towson, Md.
  • Laurie Udesky, independent journalist, San Francisco
  • Moderator: Andrea King Collier, independent journalist, Lansing, Mich.

Eric Clapton

10:40 a.m.-

Defining a “good” death — and how to cover it

This panel will focus on the ethical, medical, patient and family issues journalists need to be covering when they are writing about dying, end-of-life care and a “good” death. We will discuss the changed landscape of dying, what it takes to achieve a “good” death, who chooses the “good” death option, the challenges family members and the health care system have with letting go, the language of death and dying and tips for covering what a “good” death is – and isn’t.
  • Barbara Daly, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Gertrude Perkins Oliva professor in oncology nursing, Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western University; clinical ethics director, University Hospitals of Cleveland
  • Ellen Rand, independent journalist, Teaneck, N.J.
  • Lisa Vigil Schattinger, M.S.N., R.N., chair, Ohio End of Life Options
  • Charles V. Wellman, M.D., chief medical officer, Hospice of the Western Reserve
  • Moderator: Eileen Beal, independent journalist, Cleveland

The Beatles

Medicine via smartphone: New ways to deliver health care

Health care is a growing use of today’s smartphones. Patients can video chat with doctors from their homes, while tracking, recording and sending vital medical information like blood sugar levels – not just the number of steps you’ve taken that day – to doctors. But with this technology comes serious questions reporters need to know about the viability, safety, effectiveness and regulation of the technology and how patients use it. This panel seeks to peel back the curtain to detail current uses and issues journalists should be asking as mobile technology continues to infiltrate our lives.
  • Marco Costa, M.D., Ph.D., director, Interventional Cardiovascular and Research and Innovation Centers; chief innovation officer, University Hospitals
  • Henry DePhillips, M.D., chief medical officer, Teladoc Inc.
  • Curtis L. Lowery, maternal-fetal medicine professor and chair, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Moderator: David Pittman, eHealth reporter, Politico Pro

Fleetwood Mac

Will innovative cancer care reach patients?

The recent advances in targeted therapy, immunotherapy and genomics are revolutionizing how cancer care will be delivered over the next few years. What does this mean for oncologists and patients and what therapeutic strategies are being developed to ensure effective long-term treatment? How can reporters separate facts from hype? The panel discussion will include how policy can affect treatment.
  • Brian Bolwell, M.D., chairman, Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic
  • Stanton L. Gerson, M.D., director, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Nicholas J. Petrelli , M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute, Christiana Care Health System
  • Moderator: Eric T. Rosenthal, special correspondent, MedPage Today

Bruce Springsteen

Covering safety net medical providers and their patients: Super-utilizers and their stories

Safety net hospitals, which serve high numbers of poor and uninsured patients, face increasing pressure in an era of payment reform and quality transparency. More frequently the institutions find they must expand beyond their walls to address social determinants, factors that impact how their patient populations use health care services. Panelists will discuss the new challenges they face as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and give insight to help you find safety net hospital stories in your community.
  • Pamela N. Crider, C.N.P., nurse practitioner, MetroHealth System
  • Beth Feldpush, Dr.P.H., senior vice president of policy and advocacy, America's Essential Hospitals
  • William Steiner M.D., Ph.D., president, Coordinated Care Organization, University Hospitals; assistant clinical professor of medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Moderator: Sabriya Rice, quality and safety beat reporter, Modern Healthcare Magazine

The Supremes

Covering the intersection of infrastructure and public health

This session will track the experience of the Flint water crisis through the eyes of a local church leader and a member of the Virginia Tech team that provided data to show how the city’s water supply became a pathway to poison. The discussion will expand to other infrastructure problems in older homes, considering how lead poisoning can be viewed as an issue of environmental equity, as well as the role media can and should play in reporting such stories.
  • Emily Garner, member, Flint Water Study team; graduate student, civil and environmental engineering, Virginia Tech
  • Jeffrey Hawkins, pastor, Prince of Peace Church, Flint, Mich.
  • Wornie Reed, Ph.D., director, Race and Social Policy Research Center; professor, sociology and Africana studies, Virginia Tech
  • Moderator: Kay Colby, producer, WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream, Cleveland

Eric Clapton

1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

During your lunch break, feel free to visit any areas of the Global Center for Health Innovation you may have missed on Thursday evening. The center has agreed to let our attendees wander the upper floors to visit the displays.

Also at noon, the center plans to unveil a CPR training kiosk in its atrium aimed at high-traffic public areas. These have just begun appearing in airports across the nation. You are welcome to check out and learn more about the hands-on display.


1:40-3 p.m.


The tyranny of geography: Place, race and the social determinants of health

By now we all know the statistics. Where we live, eat, play, work and go to school has a much larger overall impact on our health than any time we spend at a doctor’s office. In Cleveland, residents living in the city’s East Side Hough neighborhood have a life expectancy about 24 years shorter, on average, than their wealthier counterparts in a suburb only eight miles east. Yet despite efforts to change this reality, there’s evidence the problem is worsening in many areas, with income inequality deepening and health inequities rising. What are the biggest obstacles to progress, and how are those on the front lines —doctors, community health workers and residents — breaking them down?
  • Edward M. Barksdale Jr., M.D., surgeon-in-chief, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
  • Kate Fox Nagel, Dr.PH., M.P.H., chief administrative officer, Care Alliance Health Center
  • Delores Gray, community engagement coordinator/community advocate, Care Alliance Health Center
  • Sarah A. Redding, M.D. , M.P.H. , co-founder, Community Health Access Project
  • Moderator: Brie Zeltner, reporter, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer

The Beatles

Surprise medical bills, runaway drug prices and the emerging consumer protection agenda

Even as Obamacare continues to drive political debate, Americans are increasingly concerned about more basic health care issues: how much drugs costs, whether doctors are in-network, what health plan cover, even how to compare plans and understand out-of-pocket costs. We’ll look at this emerging part of the healthcare agenda, how government officials, health insurers and consumer advocates are taking it on and how reporters can smartly cover it.
  • Chuck Bell, programs director, Consumers Union
  • Peter Lee, executive director, Covered California
  • Marilyn Tavenner, president, America's Health Insurance Plans
  • Moderator: Noam Levey, national health care reporter, Los Angeles Times

Fleetwood Mac

Cybersecurity: Understanding the risk

Health care providers are increasingly under attack by cyber criminals – executives are reporting malware, botnets and other external threats every day. And aside from external attacks, health providers face internal abuse, errors and other security breaches. As nearly every aspect of health care becomes more digital, protecting patient records and the electronic infrastructure is paramount. This session will you gain better understanding the nature of the threats and how health care IT leaders are shoring up their defenses.
  • Lee Kim J.D., F.H.I.M.S.S., director, privacy and security, HIMSS North America
  • Brook Watts, M.D., chief quality officer, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
  • Moderator: Russ Mitchell, managing editor, California Healthline

Bruce Springsteen

Antibiotics in the food supply

Consumer demand for meat and poultry raised without antibiotics is soaring. Antibiotic-free chicken and turkey has become widely available, and pressure is mounting for pork and beef suppliers to follow suit. But what does the “antibiotics free” label really mean for consumer health? Are there some acceptable uses of antibiotics in commercial livestock production? And who’s setting the standards? This panel will bust through the marketing hype and give reporters a solid scientific grounding to report the issue in their own communities.
  • Jonathan Kaplan, director, Food and Agriculture Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Maryn McKenna, independent journalist, Atlanta
  • Laura Rogers, deputy director, Antibiotic Resistance Action Center, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University
  • Moderator: Mary Chris Jaklevic, independent journalist, Chicago

The Supremes

Improving diagnosis: The new quality frontier

The frequency and impact of diagnostic medical error is drawing unprecedented attention since the recent release of the Institute of Medicine’s groundbreaking report, "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care." In response, the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine has convened a coalition to bring much-needed attention to this challenge. SIDM and the coalition are driving action on the IOM report’s recommendations across the health care system. Dr. Mark Graber and Paul Epner from SIDM will provide an overview of the steps being taken to catalyze measureable action to improve diagnosis and the early results that have occurred. We’ll also hear from Dr. Lisa Sanders, who writes the popular Diagnosis column for the New York Times Magazine. She’s the author of "Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis."
  • Paul Epner, M.B.A, executive vice president, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine
  • Mark L. Graber, M.D., F.A.C.P., president, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine; senior fellow, RTI International; professor emeritus, SUNY Stony Brook, N.Y.
  • Lisa Sanders, M.D., associate professor, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Moderator: Carla K. Johnson, medical writer, The Associated Press

Eric Clapton

3:50 p.m.


Freelance PitchFest

Editors from some of the top magazines, newspapers and websites are coming to Cleveland to meet you! Bring your best ideas to the AHCJ Freelance PitchFest. This session has been created to give you an opportunity to sit down and discuss your ideas one-on-one with editors from selected publications. The sign-up period opens at 10 a.m. on March 14.
  • Elizabeth "Betsy" Agnvall, features editor, health, AARP Media
  • Aurora Aguilar, news editor, Modern Healthcare
  • Jessica Bylander, senior editor, Health Affairs
  • Sue Byrne, executive editor, with Scientific American
  • Lynya Floyd, health director, Family Circle
  • Denise Fulton, executive editor, Frontline Medical News
  • Lena Huang, editorial director, Genome
  • Tod Jones, managing editor, Costco Connection
  • Rich Kirkner, contributing editor, Healthegy News
  • Nancy Lapid, editor in charge, Reuters Health
  • Brendan Maher, features editor, Nature
  • Apoorva Mandavilli, editor-in-chief, Spectrum
  • Colleen Paretty, editorial director, WebMD
  • Peggy Peck, vice president and editor-in-chief, MedPage Today
  • Denise Schipani, features editor,
  • Lacy Schley, assistant editor, Discover
  • Allison Shelley, conference news editor, Medscape Medical News
  • Peter Wehrwein, editor, Managed Care
  • Coordinator: Jeanne Erdmann, independent journalist, Wentzville, Mo.

Led Zeppelin

3-4 p.m.


Dessert break and prize drawings
Sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts

Exhibit Hall

5:30 p.m.


How to understand and cover the opioid epidemic

More people in the United States die each year from drug overdoses, mostly from opioids, than traffic accidents. Why is this happening? What is being done to curb addiction? And how can journalists cover this difficult topic accurately and sensitively?
  • Christina M. Delos Reyes, M.D. , director, addiction psychiatry fellowship and associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; medical consultant, Center for Evidence-Based Practices at Case Western
  • Maia Szalavitz, independent journalist, New York
  • Leana S. Wen, M.D. M.Sc., commissioner of health, Baltimore
  • Moderator: Scott Hensley, host, NPR's Shots blog

The Beatles

From newsroom to classroom: The truth about teaching

Thinking about making the leap from practicing health journalism to teaching it? Three professional journalists tell how they teach (it’s harder than you think), and how to deal with the grind – grading rubrics, attendance records, etc. Done right, teaching is fun and rewarding, although not necessarily highly paid. If you're on the fence, this session will help you decide and prepare you for the first day of class.
  • Yanick R. Lamb, associate professor and chair, Howard University Department of Media, Journalism and Film
  • Joanne Silberner, artist in residence, Department of Communication, University of Washington
  • Moderator: Patricia Thomas, professor and Knight chair in health and medical journalism, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, Athens

Fleetwood Mac

Precision medicine: Getting beyond the hype

Ever since President Obama announced the "precision medicine initiative" in his 2015 State of the Union speech, hardly a week goes by without another claim that treatments can be matched to patients' individual forms of cancer or other disease. The panel will examine the research behind that claim in a discussion of the limits to and promise of precision medicine.
  • Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, Ph.D., associate director for bioinformatics, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; Associate Director for Translational Informatics, Institute for Computational Biology, Case Western Reserve University
  • Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D, chair and founding director, Genomic Medicine Institute; chair, Genomic Medicine Institute; director, Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare, Cleveland Clinic; professor and vice chair, Genetics and Genome Sciences, Case Western Reserve University
  • Rocio Moran, M.D., director of genetics and genomics, The MetroHealth System
  • Moderator: Sharon Begley, senior science writer, Stat

Bruce Springsteen

Medicare in flux: MACRA and the new payment models coming to your community

When Congress did away with the much-maligned Sustainable Growth Rate formula for paying physicians under Medicare, it put forth a law called MACRA that law will dramatically change the way Medicare pays doctors. It offers major incentives for doctors who participate in so-called alternative payment models like accountable care organizations or bundled payment programs. And doctors who choose to stick with fee-for-service payments will have to comply with an entirely new quality measurement system, MIPS. The Obama administration is in the midst of spelling out the specifics in new regulations, and this panel will explore what you need to know to cover the changes in your community.
  • Robert Berenson, M.D., senior fellow, Urban Institute; committee member, Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee
  • Robert Doherty, senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy, American College of Physicians
  • Ray Quintero, director of the department of government relations, American Osteopathic Association
  • Kevin Sears, executive director of market and network services, Cleveland Clinic
  • Moderator: Erin Mershon, health care reporter, CQ

The Supremes

Covering the concussion crisis: Research and real life

Since the autopsy of Steelers Hall of Famer Mike Webster more than a decade ago revealed brain damage attributed to repeated football collisions, the issue of concussions in the NFL has been plagued by controversy. It has been the topic of numerous research reports, news articles and even movies. Learn the nuances of the debate from NFL players, a doctor who is doing NIH-funded research and a journalist who has spent years covering the issue.
  • Dwayne Bray, senior coordinating producer, ESPN
  • Charles Bernick, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
  • Josh Cribbs, Free agent NFL return specialist and wide receiver
  • Steve Sanders, founder and executive director, Training Camp for Life
  • Moderator: Sarah J. Tribble, health reporter/producer, 90.3 WCPN and WVIZ/PBS ideastream

Eric Clapton

6:30 p.m.


Membership meeting
Come hear about AHCJ’s latest efforts and ask questions of your elected board.

The Supremes

Thursday/Friday | Saturday/Sunday