A journalism professor-medical writer and two freelance health reporters have been elected to the boards of AHCJ and the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, bringing freelance representation on the board up to six seats — half the total.
The new board members are Dawn Fallik, who is a tenured professor of journalism at the University of Delaware and does medical reporting for several outlets; Michele Cohen Marill, a longtime freelancer and active member of AHCJ’s freelance committee; and Tammy Worth, also a freelance journalist who has long been an active volunteer with AHCJ.
Incumbents Felice Freyer, board president, Gideon Gil, vice president, and Christine Herman were re-elected. Freyer, who reports on health for the Boston Globe, said it would be her last term on AHCJ’s board after serving the past 13 years. Gil is a managing editor at STAT and Herman is a freelance reporter and editor.
Jeanne Erdmann, a longtime freelancer who served on the board for 10 years and as treasurer for two of those years, will leave the board. Marlene Harris-Taylor, director of engaged journalism at Ideastream Public Media Cleveland, and Sebastián Martínez Valdivia, supervising producer at the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism in the Missouri School of Journalism, did not run for re-election.
New board members begin their terms on Aug. 21.
Aspiring to build AHCJ’s relationships and membership
In their candidacy statements, the three new members laid out specific goals they hope to work toward on the board:
Dawn Fallik, who previously worked for both IRE and NICAR, hopes to leverage her data and reporting skills and teaching experience to develop AHCJ’s collaborations with journalism schools, “both to encourage interest in medical and mental health reporting, and to support and create internships.” She also wants to support better access to AHCJ training nationally, especially among mid-career journalists. She’s based in Philadelphia.
Michele Cohen Marill wants to focus on enhancing AHCJ’s freelance resources and contribute to the organization’s “most important professional development event,” the annual Health Journalism conference. She hopes to help staff and members in making the event “as timely and relevant as possible.” She also wants to raise AHCJ’s profile, improving the organization’s recognition as the authority on health care journalism. She’s based in suburban Atlanta.
Tammy Worth ran for the board to increase representation of freelancers who she believes need more support than ever as the industry continues to contract and staff jobs are eliminated. She wants to play a part in ensuring that as many freelancers as possible are able to participate in events, which offer crucial opportunities for networking and learning new skills. She hopes to work toward ensuring continuing access to the opportunities AHCJ offers. She lives in suburban Kansas City, Mo.
Board members have two-year terms and can serve as many terms as they’re elected to serve. Only AHCJ’s professional members can vote in board elections.