Press Release Announcing the Selection of 1997 Kaiser Media Fellows

1997 Kaiser Media Fellows Selected

For Immediate Release: June 5, 1997
Contacts: Tina Hoff — (415) 854-9400 ext. 108

Menlo Park, California — Six journalists have been selected as 1997 Kaiser Media fellows, in the fifth year of an annual fellowship program for health reporters sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The journalists, whose selection was announced today, will start their fellowships projects in September 1997.

1997 Kaiser Media fellows:

Debra Gordon, medical writer, The Virginian-Pilot

    Project: Community coalitions–tracking grass root efforts to address child and maternal health problems

Jon Hamilton, freelance health policy writer

    Project: An in-depth look at states that have implemented experimental Medicaid managed care programs

Leslie Laurence, syndicated health columnist, and writer, Glamour magazine

    Project: The impact of urban hospital closings on local communities

Christopher Ringwald, demographics/mental health reporter, The (Albany) Times Union

    Project: The challenges and debate facing alcoholism and addiction treatment programs–what works, why, and how to measure results

Joanne Silberner, health policy correspondent, National Public Radio

    Project: How public health research becomes health policy–from academia to the streets

Tammie Smith, health reporter, The Tennessean

    Project: How the major black colleges in the U.S. are faring in a changing health care environment–focused on Howard, Meharry, Morehouse, and Drew

The Kaiser Media Fellowships Program provides health journalists with a highly flexible range of opportunities to pursue in-depth projects related to health policy, healthcare financing and public health issues. There is no obligation to be based at an academic institution, and no bar on fellows continuing to report for publication or TV/radio production during their fellowship.

The Program gives fellows time and travel opportunities to research specific topics, to broaden their perspectives, and deepen understanding of health policy, health financing and public health issues. The purpose is to help journalists improve the quality of the work they do–to enhance their ability to explain the complex ethical, economic, medical and political aspects involved in their reporting on health issues.

In addition to working on their individual projects, fellows meet as a group five times during the year and participate in a series of program seminars and site visits, in part designed by the fellows. These vary widely in focus, location and in the range of participants. In January 1997, the current fellows met for a three-day program on computer-assisted health reporting at the Poynter Institute, followed by a four-day sitevisit to Miami with briefings on various immigration and public health issues. The next fellowship site visit in August 1997 to Portland, Oregon, will focus on longterm care and end-of life issues.

Fellows are awarded a basic stipend of $45,000 for a twelve-month period, plus travel expenses. In 1998, six fellowships will again be awarded to print, television, and radio health reporters, commentators, editors and producers. Applications for 1998 will be available shortly, for submission by March 1998. For further information, or to apply for the 1998 awards, contact Penny Duckham, executive director of the fellowships program, at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (Tel: 415-854-9400; fax: 415-854-4800; e-mail:

The Kaiser Family Foundation is an independent health care foundation and is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.

Kaiser Media Fellows

Fellows are selected by a national advisory committee:

Hale Champion (chair)

    Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Paul Delaney

    Editorial Page Editor, Our World News

Anne Gudenkauf

    Senior Editor, Science Desk, National Public Radio

Timothy Johnson, M.D.

    Medical Editor, ABC News

Eileen Shanahan

    Washington Correspondent, New America News Service

1996 Media Fellows

Lisa Aliferis, producer, KPIX-TV (San Francisco)

    Project: Death and dying–focus includes hospice care, physician assisted suicide, and differences in cultural perspectives

Susan FitzGerald, medical writer, The Philadelphia Inquirer

    Project: Children’s health issues: growing up in the inner-city

Samuel Orozco, news/satellite director, Radio Bilingue

    Project: Mental health issues facing Latino immigrants in the U.S.

Eugene Richards, photo-journalist and author

    Project: The consequences of child abuse

Joseph P. Shapiro, senior editor, U.S. News & World Report

    Project: Long-term care–creating a system of care that is safe, appropriate, affordable, and maximizes independence

Mark Taylor, health reporter, Post-Tribune (Gary, Indiana)

    Project: The impact of state and federal legislation on healthcare for disadvantaged populations

1995 Media Fellows

Chris Adams, reporter, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

    Project: The impact of the for-profit hospital chains in the changing medical marketplace.

Leon Dash, reporter, The Washington Post

    Project: Six generations of underclass life in a family.

Jonathan Freedman, author, columnist; regular contributor, Los Angeles Times Commentary Page

    Project/s: Comprehensive child-development programs: a television documentary profiling families who overcome poverty; a book on prostate cancer

Judith Graham, business writer, The Denver Post

    Project: The restructuring of the health care industry

Lani Luciano, staff writer, Money magazine

    Project: Medical quality measures–how real, how useful, how welcome?

Patricia Neighmond, health policy correspondent, National Public Radio

    Project: Managed care–its implications for patients and their doctors

1994 Media Fellows

Jeanne Blake, documentary producer and author

    Project: Sexuality and the threat of HIV to young people

Janet Firshein, Editor, Medicine & Health

    Project: Training more primary care doctors–the challenge facing the nation’s medical schools and academic health centers

Carol Gentry, medical writer, St. Petersburg Times

    Project: Managed care and HMOs–the impact on the care doctors provide and patients receive

Angela Mitchell, freelance writer and author

    Project: African-Americans and the AIDS epidemic

Rita Rubin, associate editor, U.S. News & World Report

    Project: An examination of the appropriateness of care given to women

Steve Sternberg, freelance health policy writer

    Project: The implications–medical, legal and societal–of emerging infectious diseases

1993 Media Fellows

Lisa Belkin, healthcare reporter, The New York Times

    Project: Family practice in inner-cities–examining innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining family doctors in U.S. inner-cities

Mary Flannery, health/medical reporter, The Philadelphia Daily News

    Project: The provision of day treatment programs for adults with mental illness–primarily focused on the clubhouse model at Fountain House in New York, and its effectiveness as a treatment option for other U.S. cities

Julie Kosterlitz, Contributing Editor, The National Journal

    Project: The Clinton health reform plan–an in-depth analysis of the issues, the legislation, the political process, the results

Linda Roach Monroe, health and medicine reporter, The Miami Herald

    Project: Cultural barriers to medical care in the U.S., and the implications for medical providers and others (including the media), starting with Hispanic communities

Rebecca Perl, science desk, National Public Radio

    Project: Smoking and health–advertising, marketing and lobbying activities of the U.S. tobacco industry, nationally and internationally, and their impact and future implications for specific populations and target groups

Stuart Schear, health/science reporter, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour

    Project: Issues in health reform beyond the legislative process: the implications of moving toward managed care and competition for patients, practitioners, administrators, and providers


KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.