A major new chapter for Georgia Health News

Dear Readers,

Too often the news about media organizations in recent years has involved cutbacks, layoffs, departures – and even publications folding.

But today, Georgia Health News is stepping into the future with a wonderful new partner.

The GHN operation is being enhanced by becoming a part of a large and prestigious national journalism organization, Kaiser Health News (KHN). That change takes effect today.

With GHN as its initial hub in our region, the nonprofit Kaiser Health News operation will expand across the South, with its home base in Atlanta.

I will become the interim chief of the KHN Southern Bureau, and my friend and GHN board member Sabriya Rice, the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, will be senior adviser for the bureau.

We’re excited about the potential of this partnership.

What does this mean for you?

It will bolster our robust coverage of the major health care issues in our state. The email alerts will keep coming to your inboxes, as will posts to our website and social media platforms, though these will eventually transition to a new digital home within the KHN Southern Bureau.

We’ll also have access to KHN’s superb reporting and administrative resources.

Supporting the KHN expansion in the South is $2.3 million in funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to produce more journalism focusing on health, race, equity and poverty in the region.

KHN will seek to partner with local media throughout the region to produce stories that shed light on vital health care issues.

The South has long fared poorly on measures of health care access and health outcomes and has been marked by chronically high rates of uninsured residents — problems inextricably linked with larger issues of politics, race and inequality. The COVID pandemic has underscored these deficits.

The KHN stories produced from the Southern Bureau (as with all its articles) will be made freely available for publication by media outlets throughout the region and the country and will be published on kffhealthnews.org and distributed through KHN’s social media platforms.

“The pandemic has taught us many lessons about how America prioritizes health, how poverty and skin color often determine health and opportunity, and why timely and accurate information from trusted sources is absolutely vital to the health of our nation,” said Dr. Richard E. Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We believe that cultivating more local journalism of the caliber that KHN produces can bring about a more equitable approach to health policy and practice in this region, and we encourage others to join this effort.”

“We have wanted to expand KHN and health journalism in the South where the need is so urgent for years,” said Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman, who is also KHN’s founding publisher. “The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s seed funding and its backing has now made this possible and I am enormously grateful to RWJF for making the difference in getting this top priority initiative launched.”

We’d be glad to answer any questions you may have about this change. Email me at amiller@georgiahealthnews.com

Thanks for your support and readership!

Andy Miller