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Health Journalism 2011: Detailed schedule

Health Journalism 2011
Conference Home
Conference Hotel
Especially for freelancers
Freelance PitchFest
Get a mentor
Field Trips
2011 Exhibitors
Getting there
Share a room or ride


Choice of field trips or workshops. You must sign up in advance for these events

7:30 a.m. Check in and registration opens

7:45 a.m.

Field trip buses load
Read about the three field trips.

10 a.m.

Workshop: Mapping and charting health in your area
(Ballroom BC)
Data can drive stories – in the form of maps, data or charts. This workshop session will give attendees a tutorial on how to use AHCJ’s expanding data collection – with tricks to filter, sort and analyze their way to story ideas. Also on the agenda: How health journalists can use a free tool through AHCJ – online, interactive mapping to visualize key elements in the health of a community. Beyond those resources, you can continue to follow along to explore and make the most of top online data tools.
• Frank Bass, reporter/analyst, Bloomberg
• Jeff Porter, special projects director, Association of Health Care Journalists


Box lunch for pre-registered workshop attendees

12:40 p.m.

Workshop: What are your criteria in reporting on health care research?
(Ballroom BC)
What do you think needs to be included in stories about research on new treatments, tests, products and procedures? The project has put its stake in the ground that there are 10 criteria that deserve attention. They may not be perfect, but if they’re not, what criteria do you use? In this interactive workshop, you’ll look at some studies, dismantle some stories and decide – perhaps in ways you never have before – what’s essential. Whether fairly new to the beat or just uncertain about how to evaluate evidence, journalists of any skill and experience level will learn from this opportunity.
• Harold Demonaco, director,  Innovation Support Center, Massachusetts General Hospital
• Gary Schwitzer, publisher,

3 p.m.

Workshop: Adding multimedia elements to your story or project
(Ballroom BC)
Increasingly in the digital age, a solid story or project has to resonate in three distinctly different formats: print, audio/visual and online. But how do journalists effectively navigate these different formats? This workshop will offer tips for developing a strategy, organizing your project for three lenses and enhancing your story through the Web. The instructors will even offer simple ways to integrate video, audio and interactive elements to drive page views.
• Karen McAllister, audience editor,
• Kelley Weiss, broadcast reporter, California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting
• James Wilkerson, data editor, Des Moines Register

5:30 p.m.

Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Newsmaker Briefing
Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Berwick oversees programs that provide care to nearly one in three Americans and he formerly headed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  
(Ballroom DE)

7 p.m.

Welcome to Philadelphia reception
(Ballroom BC)
Sponsored by The Philadelphia Inquirer


7:30 a.m.

Check in and registration opens
(Ballroom foyer)
Pick up your conference registration packet by 1 p.m. Friday to be registered for great prizes to be given away at the afternoon break.

Exhibit Hall open
(Hamilton Room)
Join us in the exhibitor hall for a chance to win some great prizes and to see what our exhibitors have to offer. 

7:30-9:30 a.m.

Breakfast buffet available in the Exhibit Hall (Hamilton Room)
Sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center

8:40 a.m.

Understanding nanotechnology’s role in fighting cancer
(Ballroom B)
Nanotechnology is an emerging technology for cancer therapeutics but it’s not going to be the magic bullet, and reporting about it should be balanced and not exploitive of its potential risks or benefits. This panel of experts representing the research, clinical, social and ethical perspectives will help reporters learn how to approach and think about the subject so coverage is responsible and provides appropriate context.
• Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., president and CEO, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
• Jan Jaeger, R.N., Ph.D., director, research projects; Center for Bioethics, Penn Medicine
• Steven Kenneth Libutti, M.D., F.A.C.S., director, Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cancer Care
• Moderator: Eric T. Rosenthal, special correspondent, Oncology Times

Localizing national health investigations
(Ballroom A)
Newsrooms with large staffs and big budgets can devote months or even years to major projects. During this session, three award-winning journalists will discuss how you can localize major national investigations and achieve significant local impact. Our discussion will center primarily on radiation errors/ harm, Medicare spending/fraud and dialysis center quality, but our panelists will give tips on how even small newsrooms can craft meaningful investigative work.
• Walt Bogdanich, investigative desk assistant editor, The New York Times
• Robin Fields, senior editor, ProPublica
• Maurice Tamman, news editor, The Wall Street Journal
• Moderator: Charles Ornstein, senior reporter, ProPublica

Health insurance: Changes that are coming fast
(Ballroom C)
Changing insurance practices is the crux of the health law. This panel will explore what insurers will be doing to minimize their risks, how they will sell their products, what the new policies look like and the regulations that will protect consumers in this new marketplace. A must-see panel for anyone who wants to interpret health reform for their audiences.
• Jack Burke, F.S.A., M.A.A.A., principal and consulting actuary, Milliman
• Karen Pollitz, director, Office of Consumer Support, CMS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight
• Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, Robert L. Willett Family Professor, Washington and Lee University School of Law
• Moderator: Trudy Lieberman, contributing editor, Columbia Journalism Review

Health IT/EMR challenges: Working out the bugs
(Bromley Room)
The Obama administration is in the process of rolling out $20 billion in stimulus funds to spur universal adoption of electronic medical records – a story with many moving parts as federally mandated deadlines approach. David Blumenthal, the administration’s outgoing health IT coordinator, will give a progress report on the national effort while health care providers in two very different settings – frontier rural and inner city – share insights from the front lines of clinical practice.
• David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Allen L. Gee, M.D., P.hD., F.A.A.N., member, Wyoming Governor's Health Information Exchange Task Force, neurologist, Frontier Neurosciences
Judy Klickstein, senior vice president information technology & strategic planning, Cambridge Health Alliance
• Moderator: Irene Wielawski, independent journalist, Pound Ridge, N.Y.

10:20 a.m.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health

Newsmaker Briefing
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health

Collins oversees the 27 institutes and centers of NIH and led the effort to successfully map the human genome. (Ballroom D)

11:30 a.m.

Lunch on your own

1 p.m.

Spotting fraud in scientific research
(Ballroom C)
While there’s debate over whether scientific fraud is on the rise, there’s no debate about the fact that such fraud always makes for a good – and important – story. Hear from journalists who have ferreted out major cases of fraud that became international front-page stories. Follow them down the rabbit holes of retractions and investigations, and get tips on where to find evidence and develop sources.
• John Dahlberg, Ph.D., director, Division of Investigative Oversight, HHS Office of Research Integrity
• Brian Deer, independent journalist, United Kingdom
• Adam Marcus, managing editor, Anesthesiology News; blogger, Retraction Watch
• Moderator: Ivan Oransky, M.D., executive editor, Reuters Health; blogger, Retraction Watch and Embargo Watch

Educating the 21st century doctor
(Bromley Room)
As the delivery of health care continues to change and evolve, so too is the manner in which the next generation of doctors is being taught. The panel will feature leaders from three prestigious medical schools discussing innovations in clinical skills education, including the greater use of technology; the incorporation of interprofessional team training into health-care education; and what is being done to train medical students to become more compassionate physicians.
• Christine A. Arenson, M.D., division director, Geriatric Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals; co-director, Jefferson Medical College InterProfessional Education Center
• Paul Gross, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center
• Dennis H. Novack, M.D., professor of medicine and associate dean of medical education, Drexel University/Drexel University College of Medicine
• Moderator: John George, health care reporter, Philadelphia Business Journal

Tapping into the e-patient phenomenon
(Ballroom A)
It’s never been easier to find patients to speak about their diseases and treatments. Online patient communities such as Inspire and PatientsLikeMe provide a ready pool of articulate patients willing to do interviews. How can reporters tap into these patient communities? How can patient anecdotes be used responsibly by journalists? What are the pitfalls to avoid?
• Dan Childs, coordinating producer, health section,
• Pamela McGhee, P.M.P., president and owner, McGhee Enterprises
• John Novack, director of communications, Inspire
• Moderator: Carla K. Johnson, medical writer, The Associated Press

Health reform: Repeal, replace or implement?
(Ballroom B)
As the Affordable Care Act moves into its second year on the books, its requirements continue to be debated by Congress, examined by the courts and fought by some states. Meanwhile, other states are moving forward to create new marketplaces for people to buy insurance, review premium rate increases and take other actions to implement the law. Still, polls show many Americans mistakenly think the law has already been repealed – or are not sure. This panel will bring together reporters covering the issue to explain what is going on in Congress, the courts and the states. How does all this affect what’s going on in your state? The panel will provide tips on what to watch for and how to cover the rollout of the biggest change to insurance and the health system since Medicare.
• Kenneth Jost, Supreme Court editor, CQ Press, and associate editor, CQ Researcher
• Sarah Kliff, health care reporter, Politico
• Noam Levey, health policy reporter, Los Angeles Times
• Moderator: Julie Appleby, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News

Freelance: What editors wish writers knew
(Ballroom D)
It’s the goal of every writer who works outside a news organization: Having an editor seek you out. What are the behaviors and best practices that make editors want to work with certain writers? This panel of three distinguished editors – from a national magazine, a major website and a leading publishing house – explain what you should know before approaching them.
• Sara Austin, features director (news and health), Self
• Linda Dahlstrom, senior health editor,
• Amanda Moon, senior editor, Scientific American Books, FSG
• Moderator: Maryn McKenna, independent journalist, Minneapolis/Atlanta

2:20 p.m.

Dessert break and prize drawings in the Exhibit Hall
(Hamilton Room)
Stop by the Exhibit Hall during the afternoon break for a dessert break, prize drawings and some resource materials. AHCJ is giving away some great prizes, but you must be present to win. You are automatically entered if you picked up your conference registration packet by 1 p.m. Friday. Prizes include an Amazon Kindle, a Sony digital audio recorder and a Flip HD video camera.

3 p.m.

Right to know: Getting information from government agencies
(Bromley Room)
Every reporter needs information from the federal, state or local government – and nearly everyone has tales of frustration, delayed responses and missed deadlines. This panel aims to help you do a better job at getting your questions answered and gaining access to experts and records. Speakers representing government and journalism will explain how the system works and how you can most successfully interact with government agencies.
• Peter Ashkenaz, director of communications, FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs
• Lisa Chedekel, senior writer and co-founder, Connecticut Health I-Team
• Lucy A. Dalglish, executive director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
• Lilian Peake, M.D., M.P.H., director, Thomas Jefferson Health District, Virginia Department of Health
• Moderator: Felice Freyer, reporter, The Providence Journal

Antibiotics: The food animal-human connection
(Ballroom A)
Antibiotic resistance is becoming increasingly serious with some bacteria now responding only to one or two drugs, or to none at all. What’s driving the increase? Antibiotics are unquestionably overused in human medicine – but 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States each year are given to farm animals, not to humans, and many researchers feel agricultural use has an underappreciated impact on human health.
• Aqeel Ahmad, Ph.D., research entomologist, Agronomic and Environmental Assessment Sciences Center, Monsanto Company - V2B
• Gail Hansen, D.V.M., M.P.H., senior officer, Human Health and Industrial Farming, Pew Health Group
• Tom Laskawy, contributing writer, Grist Magazine
• Moderator: Maryn McKenna, independent journalist

Efforts to revive the drug delivery pipeline
(Ballroom B)
Why is drug discovery and development so difficult? The answer is complicated and controversial. Amid failure and frustration, the world’s biggest drugmakers are eliminating research and development programs. After all, the low-hanging fruit has been picked. And costs are high, although this remains the subject of debate. Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health believes the time has come to open a drug development center. Get in on the conversation with three panelists who know what it’s like to try to bring a drug from the lab to the medicine cabinet
• James Barrett, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Drexel University/Drexel University College of Medicine
• Virginia Man-Yee Lee, Ph.D., John H. Ware 3rd Endowed Professor in Alzheimer's Research, Penn Medicine
• Darryle Schoepp, Ph.D., senior vice president and franchise head, Neuroscience, Merck Research Laboratories
• Moderator: Ed Silverman, editor, Pharmalot

Autism spectrum disorders: Early intervention and treatment
(Ballroom C)
With about 1 in 100 American schoolchildren diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, the condition is a hot, controversial topic that has been in the news repeatedly over the past few years. There are an extraordinary number of treatments aimed at children with autism, many of them risky and unproven. Most are promoted as backed by science, often with long lists of references from medical journals. Which are dubious? Which are potentially dangerous? What evidence-based treatments are available for autism? How do parents wade through these questions, and what resources are out there to help them?
• Susan E. Levy, M.D., medical director, Regional Autism Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
• David Mandell, Sc.D., associate director, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, Penn Medicine
• Alison Singer, president, Autism Science Foundation
• Moderator: Trine Tsouderos, science and medical reporter, Chicago Tribune

3-6 p.m.

Freelance PitchFest
(Ballroom D)
Editors from magazines, newspapers, websites are coming to meet AHCJ's freelance members! This session has been created to give you an opportunity to sit down and discuss your ideas one-on-one with editors from selected outlets. Bring your best ideas and be prepared to sell your work. You will be able to sign up for appointments online in advance and some appointments will be reserved for on-site registration.
Participating editors:
• David Corcoran, assistant science editor, The New York Times
• Linda Dahlstrom, senior health editor,
• Daniel DeNoon, senior medical writer, WebMD Online
• Deborah Flapan, director, Medscape Medical News, Medscape from WebMD
• Nicole Nader Gabor, senior editor,
• Peggy Girshman, editor, Kaiser Health News
• Christine Gorman, articles director, Scientific American
• Kathy LaTour, editor at large, CURE Magazine
• Brendan Maher, features editor, Nature
• Anna Maltby, associate editor, health, Self
• Amanda Moon, senior editor, Scientific American Books, FSG
• Peter Moore, editor, Men's Health Magazine
• Marcy O'Koon Moss, editor in chief, Arthritis Today
• Ivan Oransky, M.D., executive editor, Reuters Health
• Luba Ostashevsky, editor, Macmillan Science
• Colleen Paretty, executive editor, WebMD Magazine
• Susan Raihofer, literary agent, David Black Literary Agency
• Chris Seper, president and co-founder, MedCity Media
• Organizer: Jeanne Erdmann, independent journalist, Wentzville, Mo.

4:40 p.m.

Going mobile: The new telemedicine
(Bromley Room)
Mobile devices are on the cusp of transforming personal health. But, as tech companies unleash new devices and apps for smart phones, significant safety, privacy and regulatory challenges remain. Industry experts talk about cutting-edge mobile health technologies and challenges in winning federal approval for them. We’ll also hear the clinical perspective.
• Mohit Kaushal, M.D., M.B.A., executive vice president of business development and chief strategy officer, West Wireless Institute
• Joseph Kim, M.D., M.P.H., vice president of medical affairs and technology, Medical Communications Media Inc.
• Hemang Patel, market development manager, Microsoft Corp., Healthcare and Life Sciences
Moderator: Eric Whitney, health reporter, Colorado Public Radio

Is enough being done about health care-associated infections?
(Ballroom A)
About 1.7 million people suffer hospital-acquired infections in the United States every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, leading to about 100,000 deaths. Hospital officials insist they’re doing all they can do, but ask anyone whether doctors or nurses consistently wash their hands and the answer is “no.” So are hospital officials doing enough to protect patients? Experts, including a patient who suffered a potentially lethal infection, offer advice on covering the crisis.
• P.J. Brennan, professor of medicine, Penn Medicine
• William M. Marella, M.B.A., director, Patient Safety Reporting Programs, ECRI Institute
• Kerry O'Connell , patient safety advocate, Denver
• Moderator: Marshall Allen, health care reporter, Las Vegas Sun

Future of nursing: Blueprint for health care reform
(Ballroom B)
Nursing is poised to be a key component in the United States’ efforts to transform its health care system for seamless, affordable, quality care. One potential roadmap to change is the Campaign for Action, a guide to implement recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The expert panelists will explain how the future of nursing will likely make significant changes in health care, and what journalists need to know to cover the story.
• Patricia Gerrity, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., professor, associate dean for community programs, Division of Graduate Nursing, Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions
• Susan B. Hassmiller, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., senior advisor for nursing and director, Initiative on the Future of Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
• David Knowlton, chair, The Leapfrog Group; president and chief executive officer, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
• Moderator: Barbara Glickstein, R.N., M.P.H., M.S., co-director, Center for Health, Media & Policy, Hunter College, City University of New York

Exploring the frontiers of brain science
(Ballroom C)
The brain: Where physical and mental meet. This panel will feature research experts in the brain’s inner workings – and problems that can profoundly affect those inner workings – from different angles and approaches. Learn how researchers are finding ways to explore and to scan the human brain, latest findings on what’s been uncovered, and a glimpse into what discoveries and stories may lie ahead.
• Lorraine Iacovitti, Ph.D., associate director and laboratory head, Farber Institute for Neurosciences, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
• Andrew Newberg, M.D., director of research, Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College
• Barry Waterhouse, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy; vice dean, biomedical graduate and postgraduate studies, Drexel University/Drexel University College of Medicine
Moderator: David Whelan, health reporter, Forbes Magazine

6:45 p.m.

Salute to Health Journalism reception
(Ballroom D)
Sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


7:30 a.m.

Breakfast buffet available
(Hamilton Room)

Exhibit Hall open
(Hamilton Room)

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Freelancer drop-in: Running your business
(Reynolds Room)
Interested freelancers are invited to a breakfast buffet and an informal networking session focused on business issues faced by independent journalists.
Moderator: Lisa Zamosky, independent journalist, Los Angeles

8:40 a.m.

What we've learned from the Massachusetts experiment
(Bromley Room)
Massachusetts got a jump on the nation by adopting health reform two years before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. The act incorporates several aspects of the Massachusetts law, notably the individual mandate provision now facing legal challenge and insurance exchanges. The session will explore what’s worked and what hasn’t as Massachusetts strives to achieve universal health care coverage, and to what degree these lessons illuminate the road ahead for other states.
• Karen Brown, reporter/producer, WFCR Public Radio
• Robert I. Field, J.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., Professor of Law, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University Professor of Health Management and Policy, Drexel University School of Public Health
• Rob Restuccia, executive director, Community Catalyst
• Moderator: Irene Wielawski, independent journalist, Pound Ridge, N.Y.

Hospital to home: Tomorrow's transitional care models
(Ballroom A)
Among other things, the Affordable Care Act mandates hospital hand-offs – “transitions” in policy speak – that reduce readmissions, make better use of community-based health care resources and lower health care costs. This session explains the key players in transitional care, the services they are expected to provide, the challenges they face because of the high degree of integration all transitional care models require, and the huge role family caregivers are expected to play.
• Kathleen Kelly, M.P.A., executive director, Family Caregiver Alliance
• Mary Naylor, Ph.D, F.A.A.N., R.N., Marian S. Ware professor in Gerontology, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
• Emily Saltz, executive director, Elder Resources
• Dorie Seavey, Ph.D., director of policy research, PHI
• Moderator: Eileen Beal, independent journalist, Cleveland

From pee-wees to pros: Head injuries in sports
(Ballroom B)
Why do some athletes suffer lasting damage from sports head injuries while others seem to brush off the hits with no lasting effect? Or do they? Repeat hits to the head and concussions put athletes at great risk for damage long after the score is forgotten. High-profile cases of Alzheimer’s-like chronic traumatic encephalopathy and suicide have made headlines in recent months. The issues – assessing head injuries on the field, safe and “smart” helmets, compliance and returning to play, and educating parents, players, coaches and fans – will be the focus of this panel.
•  Matt Grady, M.D., pediatric sports medicine specialist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
• Jack Jallo, M.D., Ph.D., director, Division of Neurotrauma and Critical Care, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
• Margot Putukian, M.D., team physician and director of athletic medicine, Princeton University
• Moderator: Nancy Albritton, enterprise editor/East region, The Associated Press

Translational medicine: From bench to bedside
(Ballroom E)
Translational research has a simple goal: to have scientists and physicians work together to discover better ways to fight diseases. In cancer, for example, this kind of partnership can enable researchers to have their hands on a steady supply of fresh cancerous tissue to study. At the same time, doctors get input on the types of cancer their patients have. Across the United States, a trend has developed of M.D.s and Ph.D.s joining forces to find better treatments for diseases. The goal is to bring the best treatments from the bench to the bedside.
• Bruce Boman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P., associate scientist, Center for Translational Cancer Research, Christiana Care Health Services
• Arthur M. Feldman, M.D., faculty, Center for Translational Medicine; chair, department of medicine, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital
• Brian Wigdahl, Ph.D., professor and chair, Microbiology and Immunology; director, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease, Drexel University/Drexel University College of Medicine
• Moderator: Hiran Ratnayake, health reporter, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal

10:20 a.m.

Advance care planning: Explaining, not scaring
(Bromley Room)
“Death panel” rhetoric has it backward: The latest research and clinical approaches in advance planning focus on how to help patients make more informed medical decisions. This panel explores the changes and challenges: How are patient values and beliefs about medical interventions influencing later decisions? Can you really ask people to make “end-of-life” treatment decisions in advance? What are alternative models to advance directives? What reforms are under way, and what else is needed?
• Rosemary Gibson, author, Arlington, Va.
• Susan Parks, M.D., director, Palliative Care Service, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
• Rebecca Sudore, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco; staff physician, San Francisco VA Medical Center
Moderator: Jordan Rau, correspondent, Kaiser Health News

Clinical trials: Intersection of ethical, practical and financial
(Ballroom A)
Serious questions continue to be raised about the way clinical trials of drugs and medical devices are conducted. Among the concerns are financial conflicts of interest involving doctors who take part in those trials. Our panelists will talk about specific clinical trials in which such conflicts existed as well as other issues about medical research in the United States.
• Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., professor, Center for Bioethics; professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School; professor, Department of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts
• Robert Helms, former professional test subject
• Jason Karlawish, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Penn Medicine
• Moderator: John Fauber, medical reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Lessons of war: Advances in medical science and technique
(Ballroom B)
While the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have claimed thousands of American lives, physicians, nurses, and other health care providers treating wounded soldiers have learned much to advance medical science and treatment that will benefit future patients and improve trauma care. Find out how, from new surgical techniques to better prosthetic devices, those treating soldiers have contributed to the body of science.
• D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D., research assistant professor of neurosurgery, Penn Medicine
• Jay M. Uomoto, Ph.D., interim deputy director, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
• Michael S. Weingarten, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S., professor of surgery, chief of vascular surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine
• Moderator: Mark Taylor, independent journalist, Chicago

Developing HIV vaccine: Understanding the issues
(Ballroom E)
A preventive vaccine is crucial to containing and eventually ending the HIV pandemic. However, 30 years after reports of the first cases, many would argue that we are no closer to that elusive goal. This panel will discuss the scientific, organizational and funding issues that must be addressed to move the field forward.
• Steven D. Douglas, M.D., professor and associate chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
• Jeffrey Jacobson, M.D., professor of medicine; chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Drexel University/Drexel University College of Medicine
• Roger J. Pomerantz, M.D., senior vice president, Merck Research Laboratories
• Moderator: Bob Roehr, independent journalist, Washington, D.C.

The intersection of highway safety and health
(Cook Room)
Motor vehicle accidents claim more lives than any other kind of transportation accident. And distracted driving has joined alcohol and speeding as leading factors in fatal and serious injury crashes. Yet at any point during the day, an estimated 11 percent of drivers are talking on a cell phone. Are hands-free cell phones safe for drivers? Then there’s the problem of commercial drivers and companies with repeated safety violations. Are the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations on passenger and commercial transportation being followed? With highway safety laws largely left up to the states, the regulation of highway safety is a hodgepodge.
• Jacob Nelson, director of traffic safety policy & research, American Automobile Association
• Robin Schwartz, reporter, Carnegie-Knight News21/Center for Public Integrity
• Jennifer Smith, president, FocusDriven
Moderator: Andy Miller, editor, Georgia Health News

11:45 a.m.

G. Michael Lemole, M.D.

Awards luncheon, featuring keynote speaker G. Michael Lemole, M.D., and presentations of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism
(Ballroom CD)
Lemole, a neurosurgeon, treated Rep. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in Tucson on Jan. 8. He supervised her care until she was released to a Houston rehabilitation hospital on Jan. 21. Read more ...

1:40 p.m.

Freelance: Libel, contracts and reporter protections
(Bromley Room)
The rap of a process server on Amy Wallace’s front door signaled the beginning of every journalist’s nightmare. Wallace was being sued by an individual mentioned in her Oct. 19, 2009, article in Wired: “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endanger Us All.” Wallace will be joined by media lawyer Gayle Sproul to discuss the process, experience and politics of being sued and how journalists can protect themselves.
• Gayle Sproul, Esq., Levine Sullivan Koch & Schultz, LLP
• Amy Wallace, independent journalist, Los Angeles
• Moderator: Irene Wielawski, independent journalist, Pound Ridge, N.Y.

Gene therapy: From bust to boom?
(Ballroom A)
Gene therapy was a hot area for research until the 1999 death of Jesse Gelsinger at the University of Pennsylvania. After the field seemed to languish for a decade, researchers have scored several recent successes, causing some to hype the field once again. Not so fast, says James Wilson, who led the Penn research and now lectures medical students on the case. While he sees progress, Wilson believes reporters should avoid repeating the unbridled enthusiasm of the 1990s.
• Katherine A. High, M.D., director, Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
• Amber Salzman, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Cardiokine
• James A. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Penn Medicine
• Moderator: Karl Stark, health & science editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Award-winning health reporting
This year’s winners in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism will discuss their work and offer tips on producing winning work of your own.

Reporting on public polling
(Ballroom E)
Every day, polling data come across journalists’ desks and screens. And every day, the challenge is to make good news decisions about how to report – or not report – poll results. Panelists will help you sort through the ins and outs of public polling so you can make better use of that information. Get tips on effectively evaluating polling methods, and interpreting and writing about poll results.
• James A. Barnes, political correspondent, National Journal; consultant, CNN
• Claudia Deane, associate director of public opinion and survey research, Kaiser Family Foundation, and representing American Association for Public Opinion Research
• Moderator: Julie Appleby, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News

3 p.m.

Snack break and prize drawings in the Exhibit Hall
(Hamilton Room)

4 p.m.

What you need to know about accountable care organizations 
(Bromley Room)
What’s the story about accountable care organizations? ACOs have been billed as the latest and greatest way of organizing the health system to save money and improve care. Other billings have been less enthusiastic. Find out whether the hype is deserved and what questions to ask policymakers, doctors and hospital execs promoting ACOs before they’ve proven their worth.
• Lawton R. Burns, Ph.D., James Joo-Jin Kim Professor of Health Care Management, department chair, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
• Jenny Gold, reporter, Kaiser Health News
• Steven M. Lieberman, president, Lieberman Consulting; visiting scholar, Brookings Institution
• Katherine A. Schneider, M.D., senior vice president, health engagement, AtlantiCare
• Moderator: Phil Galewitz, correspondent, Kaiser Health News

Neighborhood indicators for infant and child health
(Ballroom A)
Where people grow up – the safety of the neighborhood, access to good food and health care, and the role models around them – shape their childhood and their future health. But how much? This panel will take on that question, from research to mapping. One researcher discusses his work mapping minute-to-minute gun violence and how it is reshaping the boundaries of neighborhood influence on health, while a pediatrician shares his perspective on grappling with food insecurity and traumatic stress in the second-hungriest congressional district in the country.
• Jennifer Culhane, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, Penn Medicine
• Dan Taylor, D.O., pediatrician and advocacy director, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
• Douglas Wiebe, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Penn Medicine
• Moderator: Chelsea Conaboy, health reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Investigating health professionals
(Ballroom B)
Dangerous doctors. Drug-abusing nurses. Health professionals with criminal records, lengthy malpractice records and histories of abusing patients continue to treat patients throughout the country. Without effective oversight of health professionals, the safety of patients is at risk. But patients don’t know the questions to ask and state officials complain that budget cutbacks have neutered their staffs. This panel will give you ideas on how to assess your state’s regulation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and others. If these journalists are any guide, your stories can lead to major changes.
• Tracy Weber, senior reporter, ProPublica
• Jeremy Kohler, investigative reporter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
• Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D., director, Health Research Group, Public Citizen
• Moderator: Charles Ornstein, senior reporter, ProPublica

Can the FDA ensure food safety?
(Ballroom E)
Eggs, spinach, salsa – no, they’re not ingredients for Taco Bell’s breakfast burrito, but the subject of huge safety-related recalls in the past five years across the country. Those multimillion dollar problems led to the passage of a bill giving the FDA more power over food producers, but budget cuts may hinder enforcement. Panelists will look at the agency’s legal and logistical ability to control and trace food-borne illnesses, the delicate diplomacy of food import safety, the bill’s allies and opponents, the politics of recalls, and whether zero-tolerance is a realistic policy when policing food contamination – and how those issues lend themselves to local story angles in every market.
• Scott Faber, J.D., vice president, federal affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association
• Erik D. Olson, J.D., director, Food and Consumer Product Safety Programs, The Pew Charitable Trusts
• Michael Taylor, J.D., deputy commissioner for food, Food and Drug Administration
• Moderator: Alicia Mundy, reporter, The Wall Street Journal

5:40 p.m.

Membership Meeting
(Bromley Room)
Come hear about the latest efforts of AHCJ from your elected board.


8 a.m.

Breakfast buffet available

"How-to Sunday" sessions

9 a.m.

Freelance: Spotting under-tapped markets
(Ballroom A)
Steady work, steady money, long lead-time, responsive editors, assigned stories. Sound like freelance heaven? Well, look no further than trades, nonprofits and medical journals. Writing for these publications provides a good income and a variety of work with fewer edits and headaches. They can also provide an outlet for many of your pet stories, such as policy work, that consumer magazines may not publish. Panelists will tell you how to find these publications and discuss the advantages and the downsides of such work.
• Phyllis Maguire, executive editor, Today's Hospitalist
• Marcy O'Koon Moss, editor in chief, Arthritis Today
• Michael Posey, editor, Pharmacy Today
Moderator: Jeanne Erdmann, independent journalist, Wentzville, Mo.

Using evidence-based medicine resources
(Ballroom B)
The session outlines when a health reporter should use evidence- based resources and provides recommended evidence-based resources. The session will include three of the National Library of Medicine’s services – PubMed,, and Attendees will get practical guidance from practical experience of the ECRI Institute’s Evidence-based Practice Center’s standards of thoroughness and objectivity.
• Robert A. Logan, Ph.D., communication research scientist, National Library of Medicine
• Karen Schoelles, M.D., S.M., F.A.C.P., director, ECRI Institute Evidence-based Practice Center

Assessing hospital quality
(Ballroom D)
A conference staple, this panel will fill you in on the latest tools to assess hospital quality. These include AHCJ’s neatly organized data sets, new websites and even news applications. AHCJ’s president co-teaches this workshop with one of the nation’s pre-eminent experts on hospital quality. They will share tips, cautions and story suggestions. You will leave this session with a long list of ideas that you can begin writing as soon as you get back home.
• Ashish Jha, associate professor of health policy and management, Harvard University.
• Charles Ornstein, senior reporter, ProPublica

10:40 a.m.

Deciphering the language of hospital finances
(Ballroom D)
More than one-third of all U.S. health costs are spent at hospitals. And these growing monoliths often rank among the biggest employers in town. Yet they face huge fiscal challenges. Many reporters fear to tread this beat. So this session will explore practical ways to learn about your hospital’s finances, including how to get and interpret key documents and find independent sources. Even if you know nothing about finances, we will present at least five steps to find good stories.
• Thomas Getzen, Ph.D., professor of risk, insurance and health management, Fox School of Business, Temple University
• Karl Stark, health & science editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Best practices in blogging and social media
(Ballroom B)
Blogging is dead: Long live blogging! After all these years, some still carp that blogging and journalism don’t mix. Others claim it doesn’t matter anyway because blogging is dying, as Facebook and Twitter claim more of people’s time online. Poppycock! Blogging is alive and well, as some leading practitioners of the blogging art will show. Learn how to blog better and use social media to spread the word about your work.
• Ivan Oransky, M.D., executive editor, Reuters Health; blogger, Retraction Watch and Embargo Watch
• Katie Hobson, health blog writer, The Wall Street Journal
• Chris Seper, president, MedCity Media
• Moderator: Scott Hensley, health blog writer and editor, National Public Radio

Broadcasting health: Images and sounds that tell the story
(Ballroom A)
Opportunities and special challenges abound when telling health stories through video and audio. Learn about engaging audiences with clear, rich (but not dumbed-down) explanations of complex topics. Investigative reports that burst screening myths, network radio and television pieces that sing, recording while respecting privacy, how one network harnesses legions of doctors and medical centers to create TV and web content; for broadcasters, getting the facts is just the first step.
• Jeff Baillon, investigative reporter, KMSP-Minneapolis/St. Paul
• Kate Concannon, co-editor in chief, Indie Edit
• Roger Sergel, managing editor medical unit, ABC News
• Kelley Weiss, broadcast reporter, California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting
• Moderator: Andrew Holtz, independent journalist, Portland, Ore.


Conference ends