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National Library of Medicine Announces 2016 Association of Health Care Journalists–NLM Journalism Fellows

The 2016 Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ)-National Library of Medicine (NLM) Fellows class features seven reporters and editors representing diverse media backgrounds, NLM announced today.

The 2016 AHCJ-NLM Fellows are:

  • Rachel Bluth (@RachelHBluth), reporter, Kaiser Health News
  • Shannon Firth (@shannonfirth), Washington reporter, MedPage Today
  • Julio Ochoa (@julioochoa), editor, WUSF-Health News Florida 
  • David Wahlberg (@davidkwahlberg), health/medical reporter, Wisconsin State Journal
  • Leigh Ann Winick (@LeighAnnWinick), medical producer, CBS News
  • Paula Andalo (@paula_andalo), senior managing editor, HolaDoctor
  • Laura Beil (@LJBeil), independent journalist, Dallas

Now in its eighth year, the program brings journalists selected by AHCJ to NLM for four days of training to better use some of NLM's health information resources, such as PubMed, PubMed Health, Genetics Home Reference, TOXMAP, ClinicalTrials.gov, and MedlinePlus. This year’s Fellows class will be at NLM Sept. 26-30.

“The key to good health is getting the very best health information,” said NLM Director Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD. “Certainly health care journalists play a key role in informing the public about health and medicine. I’m gratified that this talented group will get an in-depth look at NLM information services, to help them do their important work more effectively.”

The 2016 AHCJ-NLM Fellows also will receive briefings about health care issues, such as a health disparities research update, as well as consumer health resources provided by the National Cancer Institute. For the third year, the Fellows will meet with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, to learn more about comparative clinical effectiveness research.

"The range of news media backgrounds stands out in the 2016 class," said Rob Logan PhD, who coordinates the AHCJ-NLM Fellows for NLM. "Internet-based and legacy media are well represented, as are health news websites, blogs, newspapers, and broadcast news. NLM is proud that the program's alumni have integrated health informatics resources into their health news reporting and editing," Dr. Logan added. “For example, Christine Gorman, health/medicine editor at Scientific American, started a blog to help consumer use the Internet to find health information after her 2013 AHCJ-NLM Journalism Fellowship.”

"We are excited to be working with the National Library of Medicine again on these fellowships," said AHCJ Executive Director Len Bruzzese. The fellows always walk away with a tremendous set of tools for writing better stories—and the skills to use them."

AHCJ is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. With more than 1,500 members, AHCJ’s mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The association and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism are based at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world's largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.

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