|Herald-Tribune reporters Barbara Peters Smith, left, and Justine Griffin.|
Two Herald-Tribune journalists were honored by the Association of Health Care Journalists with national awards for their work on elder guardianship and the medical egg donation industry.
Barbara Peters Smith won first place in the health policy category for small publications for her series “The Kindness of Strangers: Inside Elder Guardianship in Florida.”
Herald-Tribune reporter Justine Griffin won second place for her “Cost of Life” project in the consumer category for small publications.
The awards, which recognize the best health reporting in 11 categories, received more than 420 entries.
“These pieces show that excellent journalism is alive and well,” said contest chair and AHCJ board member Julie Appleby, a senior correspondent for the nonprofit Kaiser Health News.
AHCJ started the recognition amid growing concern that too many journalism awards are sponsored by special interest groups that seek to sway coverage. No health care companies or agencies fund this program.
Peters Smith's series has inspired a move in the Florida Legislature this year to address the issue of elder guardianship, including a bill that would create a state agency to provide more oversight for a growing group of professional guardians who exercise tremendous control over the finances and everyday lives of elderly and vulnerable Floridians.
Sen. Nancy Detert, a Venice Republican, said her legislation was prompted by the Herald-Tribune's December series, which highlighted the potential for conflicts of interest among judges, attorneys, guardians, health care providers and other business people who work closely together within the system. (Continue Reading)
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Two Herald-Tribune staffers honored for health care reporting