Health Journalism Fellows recognized by Association of Health Care Journalists and New America Media

This week, several of the USC Annenberg California Endowment Health Journalism Fellows and one reporter for Boyle Heights Beat were recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) and New America Media (NAM).

Health Journalism Fellow Kate Long received the first place award in the public health category for small media outlets of the AHJC Awards for her series, “The Shape We’re in.” The ongoing series, with other 60 parts, addresses the epidemic of chronic diseases that are connected to obesity in her native state, West Virginia.

In AHJC’s healthy policy category for small media outlets, 2011 Health Journalism Fellow Jocelyn Weiner received the second place award for a series called, “Mental Breakdown.”

Fellow Kellie Ann Schmitt’s fellowship project, “Importing Doctors,” was awarded third place in the AHJC health policy category for small media outlets.

Fellow Laura Ungar received the third place award in the AHJC public health category for large media outlets for her 2012 fellowship project, “Drugs Plague Kentucky Infants,” for the Courier Journal.

New America Media recognized Fellow Gloria Angelina Castillo for Outstanding Reporting on Health and Health Care in print for a bilingual series she wrote about the difficulty in getting care for autistic children of Spanish-speaking parents.

"Many reporters, with the support of their editors, have gone well beyond the scope of their original plan. That's made for some great journalism," said California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship Director Michelle Levander.

Reporter Mitzi Ballesteros for Boyle Heights Beat, a collaborative publication between the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship and the Spanish newspaper La Opinion, was recognized by NMA as an “emerging young talent” for her story, “Undocumented Teens: Out of the Shadows at last."

The story is about "Dreamers Clubs," which provide resources and support for undocumented students.

Levander said that this "story is emblematic of Boyle Heights Beat. Most professional reporters would not even know that Dreamers Clubs exist in high schools in immigrant neighborhoods across America. But in Boyle Heights, [Ballesteros] recognized that these clubs are part of the local landscape."

"It's gratifying to see how these stories are informing, enlightening and changing local communities," said Levander.