Atlanta Chapter

To get involved with the Atlanta chapter, contact Sonya Collins at



Past events

Artificial intelligence and your health

Please join the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists for a panel discussion on the use of AI in health care.

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. social, 7 p.m. discussion)

WHERE: The Berthold Building – Co-Working Space

741 Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
(Two doors down from the corner of Ponce de Leon Ave.)
Free parking available behind the building. Access code will be given upon RSVP.

Meet the speakers

Munmun De Choudhury is an assistant professor of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech where she directs the Social Dynamics and Wellbeing Lab. Dr. De Choudhury’s research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning, social media, and health. She is best known for laying the foundation of a new line of research focusing on assessing and improving personal and societal mental health from online social interactions. Her work has been extensively covered in popular press like the New York Times and the NPR.

James C. Cox is Noah Langdale Jr. Chair in Economics, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, and Director of the Experimental Economics Center in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He is an experimental and behavioral economist who does both basic science and applied research in many topic areas. His presentation for the panel will be on use of AI to develop a clinical decision support system for hospital discharge decision making.

Elizabeth Mynatt is a Regents’ and Distinguished Professor in the College of Computing and the Executive Director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology. She leads the NCI-funded MyPath project, creating an application that provides breast cancer patients with personalized recommendations during their cancer journey. Mynatt co-leads the Emory-Georgia Tech program to empower people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). She is a principal researcher in the Aware Home Research Initiative; investigating the design of future home technologies, especially those that enable older adults to continue living independently as opposed to moving to an institutional care setting.

Light snacks and drinks will be served. Join us!


Innovative approaches to antibiotic resistance

Please join the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists for a panel discussion on innovative approaches to antibiotic resistance.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 19, 7-9 p.m. (7 p.m. social, 7:30 p.m. discussion)

WHERE: Fado Irish Pub, 933 Peachtree St, Atlanta 30309.
Just 2 blocks from Midtown MARTA station or …
Parking options:
Metropolis Parking Deck, entrance on 8th Street. Fado validates the first hour.
Metered street parking

Featured speakers:

• Michael Bell, M.D., deputy director of Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an expert in drug-resistant pathogens and hospital-acquired infections whose career has focused on investigating and preventing transmission of health care-associated illnesses for hospital patients and staff alike.

• Maryn McKenna, journalist, Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, instructor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Georgia, and author of the new Amazon bestseller Big Chicken: How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. Her work focuses on global health, public health, emerging infections and food policy.
• Cassandra Quave, PhD, Assistant Professor in both the Department of Dermatology, Emory School of Medicine and the Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory College of Arts and Sciences; Curator, Emory University Herbarium. Her lab focuses on drug discovery efforts from natural products to improve treatment options for multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections.

• Joshua Weitz, PhD, Professor, School of Biological Sciences; Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences. The Weitz Group at Georgia Tech, which includes physicists, computational biologists, mathematicians, and bioinformaticians, is interested in the structure and dynamics of complex biological systems with a mission is to understand how viruses transform human health and the fate of our planet.

Join us! The first round is on AHCJ! RSVP

March 22, 2017: Health care reform under the Trump administration 

The Trump administration has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But what might a replacement look like? What impact could potential features of a new policy have?

Join the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists for a panel discussion, "Health care reform under the Trump administration," Wednesday, March 22, at 7pm.

Panelists include David Howard, Ph.D., associate professor of health policy and management at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health; and Karen Minyard, Ph.D., director of Georgia State University's Georgia Health Policy Center at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Enjoy your first drink on AHCJ!

Date: Wednesday, March 22
7:00-9:00 pm (7:00 social, 7:30 discussion)
 Ri-Ra Irish Pub, 1080 Peachtree St NE #1, Atlanta 30308*

*Entrance is on Crescent Ave at 12th Street. Ri Ra validates parking in the deck on Crescent between 11th and 12th.

RSVP: Please RSVP to Sonya Collins at

Vaccine hesitancy and outreach, June 17, 2015

Vaccine refusers represent only a small percentage of people who may not get vaccines for themselves or their children. Many people who don't get vaccines are simply hesitant to do so. This panel discussion will cover vaccine hesitancy and outreach. Panelists will discuss who the vaccine hesitant are; the barriers and concerns that prevent them from getting vaccines; and efforts to improve vaccine rates. Speakers will discuss research and initiatives related to vaccine communication as well as innovative venues for vaccines and efforts to expand scope of practice for non-physician health care providers to administer vaccines. 


Glen Nowak is director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. He is also currently serving as a visiting senior communications specialist with the National Vaccine Program Office in Washington, D.C. He is the former Associate Director for Communications for CDC's National Immunization Program.

Mona Majmudar, Pharm.D., is the district immunization trainer for Walgreens. She has received national recognition for her efforts to get immunizations out to low-income families and children. She has formed partnerships with other non-physician provider groups in order to overcome the barriers created by pharmacists' limited scope of practice in the state of Georgia.

This event will be at Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta on June 17: 7 p.m. social, 7:30 p.m. program

Dec. 2, 2014

The Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform hosted a special event focusing on the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment, entitled "ACA enrollment round II: Do consumers have the help they need?"

The Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period runs through mid-February, and millions of people are already looking for help to find the best insurance fit. While many who signed up last year are expected to shop around for different health plans, millions more may become first time buyers. This briefing explored the availability and usefulness of in-person assistance programs (navigators, assisters and brokers) that are intended to help individuals search and apply for coverage. After last year’s enrollment difficulties, panelists looked at the challenges of this second round, with a particular focus on the help available to consumers.

  • Trey Sivley, division director in Georgia’s Division of Insurance and Financial Oversight Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, will address differences in the enrollment process from the first to the second enrollment cycle.

  • Lisa Stein, vice president of work and family supports at Seedco, a navigator program in Atlanta, will discuss the help available to Georgians enrolling or reenrolling for coverage, and also barriers to enrollment.

  • Cathy Bowden, information management coordinator at The Georgia Association for Primary Health Care, will address the role of primary care medical providers in getting information to consumers. 

  • Andy Miller, editor and CEO at Georgia Health News, will provide an overview of enrollment in Georgia and talk about what stories reporters should pay attention to moving forward.

For a complete transcript, see ACA enrollment round II: Do consumers have the help they need?

May 21, 2014

The chapter heard about e-cigarettes from Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.

The School of Public Health at Georgia State is one of 14 U.S. institutions conducting FDA-funded research on electronic cigarettes, and Eriksen discussed the science, the FDA regulations, and other issues related to e-cigarettes.

Dec. 10, 2013

The Atlanta chapter gathered to greet the 2013-14 Regional Health Journalism Fellows, who will be in town visiting the CDC as part of the fellowship program.

The event will be Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, The Club Room. Please RSVP to Andy Miller,, by Dec. 6.

Sept. 10: Atlanta chapter: The CDC and global health with Ron Ballard

The Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists will meet Tuesday evening, Sept. 10, at Ri Ra Irish Pub (1080 Peachtree St NE, Suite 1, at the corner of Crescent and 12th) in Midtown to hear about the CDC's role in global health.

We'll hear from Ron Ballard, Ph.D., who is associate director for laboratory science at the CDC Center for Global Health Leadership.

Mar. 5: State health law implementation — Race to the starting line

Please join the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform for a special event on Tuesday, March 5. Health insurance expert Bill Custer, Medicaid expert Tim Jost and Grady Memorial Hospital CEO John Haupert will address the complex issues that Georgia faces this year leading up to major 2014 health law changes.

Dec. 3, 2012: CDC response to meningitis outbreak

The CDC's John Jernigan, M.D., M.S., clinical team lead on the Multistate Meningitis Outbreak and director of the CDC's Office of Health Associated Infections Prevention Research and Evaluation will talk about the agency’s response to the multistate fungal meningitis outbreak.

Sept. 25: Dr. Otis Brawley

Many of you had the pleasure of hearing Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, speak at Health Journalism 2012. He has been invited back to talk to our Atlanta chapter about various health topics.

The venue will be the Ri Ra Irish Pub on Crescent Avenue in Atlanta. (1080 Peachtree St NE, Suite 1, located at the corner of Crescent and 12th, Atlanta, GA 30309).

This will be a fun event, and guaranteed to be thought provoking as well.

Nov. 15: Implementing health reform in the states

7:30 p.m. (refreshments available at 7 p.m. )
Emory Conference Center Hotel

Sponsored by AHCJ, Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The health care overhaul law passed by Congress in 2010 sets out national goals and requirements. But many of the key decisions implementing the law are left to the states.  

For example, states have a lot of leeway in how they set up health insurance exchanges, where individuals and small business will be able to buy coverage starting in 2014. Florida and Louisiana have said they will refuse to set up exchanges, meaning the federal government will organize exchanges in those states. Other states are planning their exchanges, even while asking courts to toss out the law entirely.  

Still other states are working to change their health care systems in ways that go beyond the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Vermont, for example, wants the Obama Administration’s approval to put in place a Canadian-style single-payer system. Oregon wants to allow public employees to enroll in Medicaid.

What’s happening in Georgia and other states to implement exchanges and other aspects of the health reform law? How are states coping with the law’s Medicaid expansion in a time of budget deficits? As they plan for reform, how are states addressing tough issues such as health care for undocumented immigrants and cutbacks in mental health services? How do states go about getting waivers from the reform law, and how many might take advantage of that option?  

This briefing will help you better answer these questions for your readers, viewers and listeners.

Deborah Chollet, senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. – an expert on individual health coverage and current or former director for health reform projects in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington State, Wyoming and other states. 

William Custer, associate professor of health administration and director of the Center for Health Services Research at Georgia State University – a close observer of health reform implementation in Georgia. 

Kevin Sack, health policy reporter for The New York Times who has written extensively on the health reform law as it plays out across the country.

Moderator: Ed Howard, executive vice president of the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy group in Washington, D.C.

Dec. 7, 2011

The Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists will gather to greet two visiting groups of journalists on Tuesday, Dec. 7th.

The social gathering will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the lobby area outside the Club Room at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. That's the same site as our previous meeting. There's free parking in the garage underneath the hotel.

The two journalism groups are the Midwest Health Journalism Fellows and the AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. Len Bruzzese and Ev Ruch-Graham from our national office will also attend.

Some come and find out the latest in health journalism and network with your colleagues. And grab a holiday spirit or two.

Aug. 23

AHCJ's Atlanta chapter gathered to celebrate the beginning of the end of a torrid summer (global warming, anyone?). The group's social meeting coincided with the CDC Influenza Workshop for journalists and those attending the CDC workshop were invited to the event.

Dec. 16, 2010 

The Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists is having a social gathering to welcome 10 fellow health journalists from across the country who are in town for a fellowship program at the CDC. Our visitors include newspaper, magazine and freelance journalists.
For the local folks, we'll buy the first drink. Call it an early Christmas present.
The meeting will be at Famous Pub in the Toco Hills shopping center, which is roughly a mile north of the CDC.

So come out and get into the holiday spirits at 7 p.m.

Sept. 24

The Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists is having an impromptu meeting this week on the hottest domestic topic in years: health care reform.

We're piggybacking off a just-announced town hall forum that will be held Thursday, 6-8:30 p.m. at Atlanta's Hyatt Regency Hotel, 265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta. The forum is sponsored by Aetna Inc.

If you can't make the start of the town hall, drop by later on. And plan to meet up afterward in the hotel bar in the lobby, the Parasol, to chat about health care and other issues.The town hall event is free and open to the public.

The forum features some heavyweights, including Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. surgeon general and director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute and Center of Excellence on Health Disparities at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Also on the panel:

  • Dr. Sheila Robinson, a cardiologist and president of the Georgia State Medical Association
  • Dr. Kenneth Thorpe, professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health
  • Dr. Rhonda Medows, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health
  • Mohit Ghose, head of public affairs for Aetna
  • Moderated by CNN anchor Tony Harris

Questions? Contact Andy Miller at andymill111@yahoo.comor 404-386-8290.

July 22 -CDC flu expert


A leading CDC expert on influenza, Dr. Nancy Cox, will address the Atlanta chapter. It promises to be an illuminating look at swine flu and its effects on global health.

So come out, shake off the midsummer blahs and enjoy a great evening of infectious talk with your fellow health journalists.

The meeting will be at Front Page News on Moreland Avenue in Little Five Points, which has free parking.

Emory professors address two meetings

The Atlanta chapter met in October and November, both times at the group's regular haunt, Manuel's Tavern.

The Oct. 22 meeting included guest speaker Arthur Kellermann, M.D., an Emory University professor who is a widely quoted expert on such topics as emergency medicine and gun-related injuries. About 20 people attended.

The Nov. 19 meeting featured Dr. James Curran, who was a leader in the CDC's investigation of the emerging HIV epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s and is now dean of Emory's school of public health.

More about Kellermann:

Kellermann is one of the nation's leading experts on emergency medicine, ambulatory health policy and injury prevention. He'll speak informally about health issues affecting Georgians such as Grady Hospital, trauma care and health services for the uninsured.

Kellermann is the associate dean for health policy at Emory University's School of Medicine. A member of the Institute of Medicine, he was the founding director of the Emory University Center for Injury Control and Professor and Chairman of Emory's Department of Emergency Medicine. In 2006-08 he was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C.

Kellermann is the author of numerous papers on injury prevention, emergency cardiac care, and health services for the poor and uninsured. He is a thoughtful and engaging speaker.

Gathering leads to chapter planning

"Don't drink alone, Scarlett. People always find out, and it ruins the reputation."
— Rhett Butler to Scarlett O'Hara, in "Gone With the Wind"

Heeding Rhett Butler's sage words, a group of health journalists met in Atlanta to imbibe and form an AHCJ chapter.

Thirteen journalists attended the Aug. 13 gathering at Manuel's, a locally infamous hangout of journalists, politicians and other ne'er-do-wells. Among the attendees were journalists from CNN, WebMD, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other media organizations, as well as several freelancers.

Five journalists agreed to serve on a steering committee to plan future get-togethers and get the chapter off the ground - Andy Miller, Dan DeNoon, Phil Graitcer, Susanna Capelouto and Mike Stobbe. The group is planning its next meeting.

For more information and to get involved with the Atlanta chapter, contact Andy Miller at or 404-526-5301.