February 01, 2022

NIHCM Awards over $500,000 in Grants to Journalists: Supporting Working Journalists' Education, Coverage of Climate Change, Health Disparities, and more

Washington, DC, February 1, 2022 - The 2021 recipients of the NIHCM Foundation’s Journalism grants will enrich health coverage produced by the most trusted media outlets, improve health care reporting quality, and place a spotlight on the rapid changes in the health care industry brought on by COVID-19. The NIHCM Foundation's Research and Journalism programs provide $1 million in grants each year.

“The 24 grantees we are delighted to fund this year reflect NIHCM’s expanded commitment to educating working journalists and new work with diverse scholars translating research. We are also pleased to increase support to underserved local media markets in Native American, Hispanic, Black, rural, low-income and transgender communities, as well as innovative reporting on the business of health care,” said Nancy Chockley, Founding President and CEO of NIHCM.

The 2021 grantees are:


Science Friday/Kaiser Health News – Climate Change and Health
The effects of climate change are everywhere, but environmental justice related health problems persist in many poor and indigenous communities. This multimedia project will explore this national issue.

Healthcare Triage/Aaron Carroll – News on Drug Development
Understanding the swift changes in prescription drug policy, development, pricing, and use is important to health care businesses and health care consumers. This video series will look at current issues and what we can expect in the near future.

PBS NewsHour – Poor Mental Health: A Growing Crisis
Millions of children and adults are struggling with mental health issues, especially those grappling with discrimination linked to race or gender. This reporting will explore the extent of these issues as well as possible solutions.

STAT - A Turning Point in the Addiction Crisis
The addiction crisis continues to wreak havoc across the country. This series will consider new solutions, the future, and changes in substance use.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/USA Today – Social Determinants of Health After the Pandemic
The pandemic has brought attention to unmet health, social, and economic needs across many vulnerable populations. This expansive local and national coverage will look at some of the new approaches to these issues that developed in response to COVID-19.

Science –The Next, Big Public Health Challenge
Scientists broke new ground in understanding public health emergencies during the pandemic. This digital project will look at the lessons learned and how to protect the public.

Power News Radio Network – Health Disparities News
The pandemic has increased many longstanding health disparities in communities of color and increased the need for informative media coverage. This grant supports news reports for local markets on topics such as COVID-19, health equity, mental health, the opioid epidemic, and diabetes.

Native News Online – Closing the Health Gap in Indian Country
Ongoing health disparities are having a devastating impact on the health of men, women and children in America’s Native American communities. This in-depth, multimedia project will look at causes and solutions around the nation.

Bridge Michigan – Economics and Disparities in Michigan
Local media outlets are considered the most trusted in America. That trust is even more important when discussing tough issues like health disparities. This project will look at how well those issues are being addressed in 2022.

Institute for Nonprofit News – Health Inequity in Rural America
The health challenges of rural residents are poorly understood in many communities. This collaboration will draw from a group of 60 newsrooms to report stories across the United States.

Fortune Media - The cost of Medicine’s Gender Gap
Medicine and science suffer when women are not allowed to reach their full potential. This series of articles looks at what this will mean for the overall health care business.

Peggy Pico, broadcast journalist – The Aging Surge: Challenges & Opportunities
Americans are enjoying unprecedented longevity. This broadcast series will explore aspects of the trend that relate to health, with a focus on racial and economic disparities and emerging opportunities for older adults.

Connecticut Health Investigative Team – Transgender Health Care
Transgender people experience significant barriers to health care. This national, multimedia project will examine the issues of access, care, and disparities.

Tradeoffs Podcast - Exploring Health Policy Issues
The response to COVID-19 has produced many changes in health care. This series of podcasts will educate listeners on the impact of the pandemic on the health care system.

Lindsay Gellman, journalist – When Health Freedom Leads to Harm
The Health Freedom movement is decades old, but it has taken on new meaning since the pandemic. This project will investigate the impact of the movement in the age of COVID-19.


Center for Environmental Filmmaking – Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air
Unbreathable documents the Clean Air Act over the last fifty years and current stories of environmental injustice. The grant will support in-person screenings and discussions about environmental justice, health disparities, and community action.

Story Center Films/PBS Independent Lens – LGBTQ Health
The film CURED chronicles the American Psychiatric Association’s historic decision to remove homosexuality from its manual of mental disorders and current issues impacting the mental health of LGBTQ people. The grant will support screenings to educate health care providers and medical students.

Univision News Digital – Military Sexual Trauma and Mental Health
The film tells the story of a Hispanic woman who faced extreme retaliation and psychological abuse after reporting sexual assault in the Army. The grant supports in-person screenings, outreach, and a curriculum to improve understanding of PTSD and military sexual trauma.

Education for working health care journalists

The Journalist’s Resource, a project of Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
Journalists face a rapidly increasing demand to understand and translate complex health issues for the public. This grant supports resources to improve media coverage of medical and health policy research on topics such as vaccine hesitancy, mental health parity, prescription drug costs, substance use and the social determinants of health.

USC Annenberg School for Communication, Center for Health Journalism Webinar Series
Professional journalists often lack opportunities for nuanced engagement in health topics. These online events will offer journalists a chance to explore a broad range of issues including COVID-19, health equity, and coverage of health disparities.

Alliance for Health Policy/Association of Health Care Journalists
Journalists play an essential role in educating decision-makers and the public on a variety of policy topics as they evolve. To support accurate, accessible reporting on health policy, this project includes a series of webinars featuring speakers from a variety of perspectives, including academia, advocacy, the media and the private sector.

The Conversation – Elevating Diverse Health Scholars in Journalism
Raising a broad range of voices is critical to understanding health disparities. This unique project supports scholars who will publish in The Conversation to advance inclusion in health reporting. The funding supports training scholars of color to translate research into journalism.

Dartmouth Institute – Reinventing the Press Release
In an effort to promote evidence-based communications practices for press release writers and enhance journalists’ ability to critically use press releases, this project will focus on providing extensive resources to journalists and press offices promoting medical research to the media.

The Gerontological Society of America – Journalists in Aging Fellows Program
Journalists often lack the resources to learn about the health issues of older adults. This fellowship will educate reporters about issues affecting older adults, fostering professional development and training them to cover topics such as brain health, Alzheimer’s disease, and Medicare.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation – The Health Coverage Fellowship

Journalists need ongoing education to read trends and go beyond breaking news, never more so than in this Era of COVID-19. Through an intensive, residential training program and a year of mentorship, this project aims to deepen the media’s understanding and reporting on issues ranging from mental health and racial disparities to pandemics.