California Healthline Takes a Big Step Forward

California Healthline, the daily online digest of health care policy news and opinion, is taking a big step forward starting Friday, January 29. The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), which has published California Healthline since 1999, is shifting responsibility for its editorial content to Kaiser Health News (KHN), the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s respected and independent nonprofit news service. KHN is a leading source for in-depth news on health care policy and politics, and it has assembled an impressive array of talented journalists to build on California Healthline‘s valuable coverage of the state’s health care system. Partnering with KHN will increase the volume of original health care reporting across the state. This coverage will be distributed through California Healthline‘s daily and weekly newsletter, on its website at, and through social media channels.

California Healthline (CHL) will also expand its reach by taking advantage of KHN’s California and national media partners, including National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates. All original CHL content will be created and edited by KHN and made freely available for republishing, and many syndication options will be available for media outlets.

We and our partners at Kaiser are excited about the future of California Healthline. We will continue to focus on serving the needs of our core audience of policy and other decisionmakers, industry leaders, academics, and journalists, while also raising awareness of important issues in health care among the public.

KHN Builds a Strong Staff for CHL

The partnership enabled KHN to hire an impressive staff of experienced California- and Washington-based journalists. Here they are:

Julie Marquis, California bureau chief, has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for 27 years, including two decades at the Los Angeles Times, where she most recently was the metro projects editor. Much of her work over the years has focused on health care. She was the primary editor on the Pulitzer Prize-winning series “The Troubles at King-Drew.”
Russ Mitchell, managing editor, was most recently technology editor at the Los Angeles Times. Prior to that, he worked 10 years at BusinessWeek magazine before becoming managing editor of Wired in the 1990s. He has served as senior technology writer at US News & World Report, executive editor and editor in chief at Business 2.0, and senior writer at Conde Nast Portfolio.
Bernard Wolfson, senior editor, served most recently as business editor of the Orange County Register and was also the Register‘s health care business reporter, covering the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the hospital and insurance industries, and biotechnology. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2004, along with two colleagues, for a groundbreaking report on cost versus quality at 30 hospitals in Orange County.
Brianna Labuskes, aggregation editor, joined California Healthline after nearly five years at POLITICO Pro, where she was the production director. There, she edited health care and other policy news, managed the workflow of the web production team, and oversaw POLITICO Pro‘s digital development.
Emily Bazar, senior correspondent, is a columnist and journalist whose column, “Ask Emily,” addresses readers’ questions about the Affordable Care Act and other health care topics. She also writes stories about Medi-Cal, children’s dental care, and variation in the use of medical treatments. Prior to joining California Healthline, Emily worked at the CHCF Center for Health Reporting, USA TODAY, and the Sacramento Bee.
Chad Terhune, senior correspondent, worked for the Los Angeles Times, where he spent four years covering the business of health care. Before the Times, he was an award-winning reporter for the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek. Chad spent more than a decade at the Journal, and his stories on health insurance won a National Press Club award.
David Gorn, Sacramento correspondent, has been a longtime reporter and editor covering health care policy issues for California Healthline. He is the former deputy news director at KQED Public Radio and has been a reporter for NPR. In the print world, he was an editor at three daily San Francisco Bay Area newspapers and served as editor in chief for several Bay Area magazines.
Heidi de Marco, multimedia reporter and producer, was a freelance video journalist and photographer specializing in work abroad, including a series of short-form videos about artisans in Guatemala. She was a managing editor for El Pueblo in Los Angeles prior to moving to India for a postgraduate program at the International Center for Journalists.
Lydia Zuraw, web producer, previously worked at Food Safety News, where she was a Washington, DC, correspondent. There she covered federal food safety policy, outbreak investigations, and research. Lydia earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Barbara Feder Ostrov, contributing writer, has reported on medicine and health policy for more than 15 years. She covered the medical beat for the San Jose Mercury News for eight years and edited the website of the Center for Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.

In addition to California Healthline‘s new roster, our partnership will take advantage of the seasoned managing editors and California-based editorial staff at Kaiser to help run CHL. They include:

John Fairhall, editor in chief, was a reporter and editor at the Baltimore Sun for 27 years. As an assistant managing editor, he oversaw health and science coverage as well as projects. He helped to launch KHN in 2009, coauthoring the first story and beginning a partnership with the Washington Post.
LaRonda Peterson, managing editor, previously was the deputy managing editor of POLITICO Pro. She helped launch the policy news service, built the web team, and was lead architect of Pro‘s daily operations and digital strategy.
Kathleen Hayden, senior digital editor, is a 20-year online news veteran with a specialty in government, elections, and policy coverage. Before joining KHN, she managed Bloomberg Government’s online, information graphics, and multimedia teams, and edited news and analysis on industries including health care.
Anna Gorman, senior correspondent, joined the team from the Los Angeles Times, where she worked for nearly 15 years covering health care, immigration, and the US/Mexico border. At the LA Times, she was part of a team that won a 2004 Pulitzer Prize.
Jenny Gold, senior correspondent, covers the health care industry, the Affordable Care Act, and health care disparities for radio and print. Her stories have aired on NPR and been published by USA TODAY, the Washington Post, and other news organizations.
Sarah Varney, senior national correspondent, reports on the implementation of the federal health law in the states and the effect of state budget woes on public programs, county governments, and vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly. She began reporting for KQED in 2002 and covered a range of subjects.

Saying Goodbye to iHealthBeat

Finally, as part of refocusing our health care journalism support, we have decided to discontinue iHealthBeat, the daily digest of health information technology that we have sponsored since 2002. Our final edition of iHealthBeat will be published Friday, January 29, 2016. While iHealthBeat has been a valuable resource, its exclusive focus on health IT no longer aligns with CHCF’s programmatic focus. We thank iHealthBeat‘s 30,000 readers for their loyal support and feedback through these years. New editorial content will not be added after January 29, but the iHealthBeat website and all of its functions, including the searchable News Archive, will remain operational until Monday, February 29, 2016.

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