Sunday, August 23, 2015

Free workshop on health coverage in Louisville Sept. 21; free lodging available to registrants who need to come the night before

Journalists covering health issues in Kentucky, from drug abuse to health reform, have a chance to immerse themselves in the subject at a free one-day workshop in Louisville on Sept. 21.

The workshop is sponsored by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which is also offering free hotel lodging to registrants whose distance from Louisville would make it inconvenient for them to get there by 9 a.m. EDT, when the workshop will begin.

The workshop is designed to help journalists cover health in ways that your readers, viewers and listeners will appreciate. It will feature a collection of America’s and Kentucky’s top health experts and health journalists. The program should yield terrific stories at the same time it helps you see how to make health coverage a more central part of what your newsroom does every day. The speakers will be:
  • Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, to talk about the opiate epidemic nationwide, why it's even worse in Kentucky, and specific stories you could and should be doing but probably aren’t.
  • Bill Wagner, head of Louisville's Family Health Centers, to discuss the state of health reform in Kentucky and obstacles that remain.
  • A patient of Wagner's clinic who is newly insured, to talk about what works with the reforms and what needs further reform.
  • Abby Goodnough, national health reporter for The New York Times, to talk about her award-winning series on health reform that focused on Kentucky and lessons it holds for you.
  • Laura Ungar, health reporter for USA Today and The Courier-Journal, to talk about what stories she'd do based on that day's session, and how to sell editors on health stories and a health beat.
  • Mary Meehan, health reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader who just began a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University, will talk about how to bring new life to the medical beat at media outlets that increasingly are stretched thin.
  • Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, to discuss where the reform law works, where it needs fixing, and what to ask gubernatorial candidates in the upcoming election.
  • Larry Tye, author and former reporter at The C-J and The Boston Globe, will moderate the sessions to keep the focus on making these issues resonate with your readers and listeners. He runs a Boston-based health reporting fellowship that Mary and Laura did, and where Nora and Abby were speakers.
"Larry Tye assembled what we think is a first-rate line-up of health officials and medical journalists to help you think about how to make health stories resonate with your editors and your readers," Cross said. "If you agree, sign up now because there's limited space and a growing list of registrants. Our speakers are the stars, but you will be the focus of the day's program."

Register for the free workshop and lodging at Questions can be directed to Angela Koch at

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