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AHCJ Member Benefits: Immediate stories

Several of our members have reported that they got story ideas and sources directly from attending AHCJ events or conferences. See a sampling. If you have stories that were generated from an AHCJ event, please let us know by e-mailing us at

Reports from Health Journalism 2007

Many stories were written in March 2007 following news briefings at Health Journalism 2007 by Mark D. Smith of the California HealthCare Foundation and Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. They included an article in the Los Angeles Times about few minorities in the state using hospice care, stories in the Deseret Morning News (Utah), the Central Valley Business Times (Calif.), a mention in The Wall Street Journal's health blog and more. Other stories generated by the conference included an article from Reuters about health experts advising television shows, a story in the St. Louis American about diabetes and one in The Bakersfield Californian about medicine on television. Health reporter Emily Hagedorn of The Bakersfield Californian also blogged from the conference about medicine and television, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's presentation on health care reform and the field trip to City of Hope hospital. 

Family ties for children of sperm donors

Joy Robertson, an anchor and reporter at KOLR-Springfield, Mo., did a three-part series about sperm donation, including some of the ethical issues and donor kids building bonds with their half siblings. Robertson, who was a 2007 AHCJ-Missouri Health Journalism Fellow at Health Journalism 2007, says the whole story came out of her attendance at the conference - she even filmed parts of it at the conference. To see the series, visit the KOLR Web site and look for the "Family Ties" series.

Deadly infections on the rise

AHCJ member Maryn McKenna wrote about community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) in the February 2007 issue of Self magazine. That article came about when McKenna met Self editor at Health Journalism 2006. McKenna is now writing a book about MRSA.

Scoop on hospice report

Attendees of the first meeting of the Chicago chapter of AHCJ got a scoop on April 23, 2007, when the featured speaker, HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson, gave first word of a report on Medicare-funded hospices by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An OIG staff member gave a summary, highlighting findings on Illinois hospices - all in advance of the report's official release. AHCJ board member Carla K. Johnson of The Associated Press wrote a story published on April 25 about the report.