BCBSMA Foundation Health Coverage Fellowship Chooses Class for 2024

BOSTON (February 28, 2024) – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation today announced that thirteen health and science journalists from across the nation have been selected for the 2024 class of the Health Coverage Fellowship.

The 2024 fellows are Olivia Aldridge of KUT in Austin, Emily Bader of the Maine Monitor, Amanda Beland of Boston’s WBUR, Fred Clasen-Kelly of KFF Health News, Katy Golvala of the Connecticut Mirror, Brenda Goodman of CNN, Alex Janin of the Wall Street Journal, Katie Jennings of Forbes, Sydney Lupkin of NPR, Sabrina Malhi of the Washington Post, Sophia Paffenroth of Mississippi Today, Annmarie Timmins of the New Hampshire Bulletin, and Brittany Trang of STAT.

The fellowship is designed to help the media improve its coverage of critical health care issues. It does that by bringing in as speakers more than 75 health officials, practitioners, researchers, and patients. It also brings the journalists out to watch first-hand how the system works, from walking the streets at night with mental health case workers to visiting labs that make stem cells and vaccines.

The program, which is entering its twenty-third year, is sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, with support from the Bower Foundation in Mississippi, Connecticut Health Foundation, Endowment for Health in New Hampshire, Fledgling Fund, KFF, Maine Health Access Foundation, National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and, in Texas, the Episcopal Health Foundation, Congregational Collective at the H.E. Butt Foundation, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and St. David’s Foundation.

The fellowship will run for nine days, beginning September 6, 2024. It is housed at Babson College’s Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, MA. Larry Tye, who covered health and environmental issues at the Boston Globe for 15 years, directs the program. A former Nieman Fellow and author of nine books, Tye has taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, Tufts, and Harvard.

Next fall’s fellowship will focus on a series of pressing issues – from preventing future pandemics to treating mental illness, rooting out racial and ethnic inequities, redressing homelessness, and rethinking later-life care. Attention also will be given to breakthroughs in medical treatments and curbing health-care costs.

The teaching will not end when fellows head back to their outlets. Tye, the program director, will be on call for the journalists for the full year following their nine days in Wellesley. He will help when they are stuck for ideas or whom to call on a story. He also will assist in thinking out projects and carving out clearer definitions of beats.

About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation

The mission of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is to ensure equitable access to health care for all those in the Commonwealth who are economically, racially, culturally or socially marginalized.  The Foundation was established in 2001 with an initial endowment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.  It operates separately from the company and is governed by its own Board of Directors.  More information is available at www.bluecrossmafoundation.org.