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Health Journalism 2020: Preliminary program

Panels and workshops were created from more than 200 suggestions made by AHCJ members, conference sponsors, outside organizations and nonmember journalists.

Sessions are often a merger of several ideas and are assigned to journalist organizers who then staff their panels with experts suggested by the local planning committee of journalists, national planning committee, conference sponsors, fellow journalists and through their own coverage experience or research.

Organizers are asked to take into account national reputation, local expertise and regional flavor, ethnic and gender diversity and communication skills. Our hope is that each conference offers attendees new sources for their stories.

Note: This is a preliminary schedule and subject to change as conference planning continues.
Click the arrows next to each day to expand the schedule.

Thursday, April 30

8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Field trips to area research and clinical sites.


9-11 a.m.

Medical studies


Understanding HIPAA and privacy in the digital age


Writing workshop


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

Pitch perfect: What writers know about pitching


How to measure opportunities for health in neighborhoods


12:30-1:45 p.m.

Lunch on your own


1:45- 3 p.m.

 Mock PitchFest: Perfecting your pitch


The more things change: Using online tools to understand health trends


3:15-4:15 p.m.

Swiss Army knife for journalists: Handling misinformation and advocacy language


Big data: Clarity from the chaos


4:30-5:15 p.m.

First-time attendee welcome


5:30-6:50 p.m.

Official conference welcome and kickoff session


7 p.m.

Welcome to Austin reception


Friday, May 1

The Exhibit Hall will be open all day for networking and finding new resources.

7-8:30 a.m.

Breakfast available


9-10:20 a.m.

The computational revolution in medicine


What’s ahead in improving access to affordable drugs


Expanding access to child psychiatry


Follow the money: How payment drives medical errors, mortality and mayhem


Oral health


The crucial health care questions for 2020 candidates



New approaches to assessing brain injury in the field


Restoring purpose: The antidote to clinician burnout


Loaded language: Unpacking hidden biases of common terms used in health care reporting


Immigrant health: Caught in the political landscape


Can employers use data to drive down hospital costs?




Noon-1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own


1:40-4 p.m.

Freelance PitchFest

Editors from some of the top magazines, newspapers and websites are coming to Austin to meet you! Bring your best ideas to the 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. Be sure to read the PitchFest etiquette rules. #AHCJpitchfest

1:40-3 p.m.

Shaping social determinants into a business model


Reporting on the changing landscape of hospice care


Surprise medical bills and the bipartisan push to eliminate them


Hope vs. hopelessness: Reporting on suicide


The future of the ACA


Real-world evidence in cancer research


3-4 p.m.

Exhibit crawl/Snack break


4:20-5:40 p.m.

New approaches to bring health to the homeless


Social factors that influence brain aging


What to watch out for in Medicaid


Climate change and public health


Gene therapies: The patient experience


5:50-6:50 p.m.

Membership meeting


Saturday, May 2

The Exhibit Hall will be open all day for networking and finding new resources.

7-8:30 a.m.

Breakfast available


9-10:20 a.m.

Adverse childhood experiences: Building community resilience


Is your state tackling this hard question: Who's going to mind the frail aging?


The role of social work in transforming health and health care


Freelance: Reporting in the field - in your community, another state or internationally


Mental health care and the criminal justice system


New frontiers in harm reduction


10:40 a.m.-noon

Violence and public health


Exploring the risk of harm to nurses on the job


The opioid epidemic driving HIV, STD increases


Incorporating images and sounds on the health beat


Why sex matters: How differences impact health care, research


Medical devices: From approval to removal


Noon-2 p.m.

Awards luncheon


2-3 p.m.

Exhibit crawl and dessert


3-4:20 p.m.

Frontiers in telemedicine


Continuing disparities in LGBTQ populations


The coming tropical storm: Texas at the forefront of new diseases


New payment models: Measuring value in health care


Cutting through the clouds to cover vaping


Helping the brain repair itself: Interventions based on brain-computer interfaces


4:40-6 p.m.

Monitoring the quality and safety of long-term care in your community


Writing about the many emerging angles of cannabis


Designing a future-focused medical school curriculum


Freelance: Reduce, reuse, recycle - how journalists can ethically reuse their content


Maternity care in the U.S.: High costs but low rankings


6:15-7:30 p.m.



Sunday, May 3

7:30-8:45 a.m.

Breakfast available


9-10:20 a.m.

Hospital quality


Interviewing patients for facts and feelings


Census 2020: The must-do health stories


10:40 a.m.-noon

Hospital finances


10:40 a.m.-noon

Freelance: Low pay, slow pay, no pay - a workshop on contracts