NEPR Reporter Receives National Fellowship for Primary Care Project

New England Public Radio’s Karen Brown will launch a year-long reporting project about the future of primary care medicine, thanks to support from the Association of Health Care Journalists. She is among five journalists nationally to receive the organization’s Reporting Fellowship on Health Care Performance. According to AHCJ, the program, in its fourth year, is meant to help journalists understand and report on the performance of local health care markets and the U.S. health system as a whole.The fellowship program, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, is intended to give experienced reporters an opportunity to concentrate on the performance of health care systems – or significant parts of those systems – locally, regionally or nationally. The fellows are able to examine policies, practices and outcomes, as well as the roles of various stakeholders.

Brown’s fellowship reporting will track several medical students in the region who are looking to go into primary care medicine, to understand how primary care physicians are being prepared for a future that puts them at the center of an increasingly complex health landscape.  She will receive customized training, mentoring and financial support for field reporting and conference and workshop attendance. She will continue her regular reporting for NEPR while working on the fellowship project.

“Karen will look closely at the financial and professional issues facing doctors as they decide whether to practice primary or specialty care,” says NEPR News Director, Sam Hudzik. “This is an especially important time to explore this topic that is so central to the future of health care in the country.”

Brown has been a full-time reporter for NEPR since 1998. She takes special interest in health care, mental health, and social welfare issues. Her features have appeared on National Public Radio, American RadioWorks, Marketplace, and other national radio outlets. She has also produced several award-winning radio documentaries on health topics. She was a 2012-13 Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT.

Four other journalists were also awarded the AHCJ fellowship, including David Pittman, a Washington correspondent for MedPage Today; Sarah Gantz, a staff writer at the Baltimore Business Journal; Michaela Gibson Morris, a health care reporter with the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal; and Lola J. Butcher, an independent journalist in Springfield, Mo.

About The Association of Health Care Journalists  

The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. With about 1,500 members across the United States and around the globe, its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The association and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism provide training, resources and a professional home for journalists. Offices are based at the Missouri School of Journalism.

About the Commonwealth Fund

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. The Fund is based in New York City.

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