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Press Release


Jul 03, 2008

New Webcast Series for Health Journalists Debuts July 9 at Noon

NEW YORK—A new series of health-related webcasts for journalists debuts next week with a spotlight on the growing problem of the underinsured—those who have insurance but are still at risk for substantial out-of-pocket expenses. "Talking Health" will be presented by the Association of Health Care Journalists, The Commonwealth Fund and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

A recent study by Commonwealth Fund researchers found that the number of underinsured adults rose by 60 percent between 2003 and 2007, from 16 million to more than 25 million, with the rate nearly tripling for those with moderate or higher incomes. About half of the underinsured went without needed health care because of cost.

The program will feature panelists Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health; Mila Kofman, Maine's superintendent of insurance; and Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., an assistant vice president at The Commonwealth Fund. AHCJ board president Trudy Lieberman will moderate the session.

A special feature of the webcast: Two journalists, Julie Appleby of USA Today and Reed Abelson of The New York Times, will offer suggestions and ideas for reporters based on the information discussed by the panelists.

"The three partners bring a unique blend of expertise on health care topics plus knowledge of what journalists need to tell their stories in today's multi-media environment," says moderator Lieberman. "This is an exciting program for all of us and one we hope will help reporters understand the issues, whether they cover health on a designated health beat or as part of another beat that touches on health."

The program starts at noon eastern time on Wednesday, July 9, and can be viewed live at

Viewers can e-mail questions to [email protected] in advance of the webcast or during the session. Also, during the event, viewers can call in questions in to 212-251-0801.

Check out the speaker bios and other info on the Talking Health page at

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit membership organization of more than 1,000 health reporters and editors across the United States and in 20 other nations. Along with its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, it is dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues and improving the quality, accuracy and visibility of health reporting, writing and editing.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that promotes a high-performing health care system with better access, improved quality and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children and elderly adults.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is a two-year old program located in midtown Manhattan. Its three-semester program leads to a Master of Arts degree in journalism. Students study in a converged curriculum, learning the techniques of print, broadcast and interactive journalism. They also gain in-depth instruction in one of five subject matter concentrations. Health and medical reporting is one of those concentrations.

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Jul 03, 2008