Pulitzer Center Update

Erika Check Hayden Honored in Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism Competition

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Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) physician Benjamin Black trains workers in caring for pregnant women with Ebola. Image courtesy of Benjamin Black.

Pulitzer Center grantee journalist Erika Check Hayden received second place in the Association of Health Care Journalists' 2015 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism Competition for her health policy reporting on Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Hayden covered different angles of Ebola that were receiving less attention in news-media outlets at the time of her reporting, including the impact that Ebola had on maternal health and the work that survivors of Ebola did to help those in their communities who still had the virus. She received the AHCJ recognition under the category of health policy in particular for her article in Nature on maternal health and Ebola's lasting legacy.

In recognizing Hayden, AHCJ summarized her reporting: "As of March 2015, Ebola had infected more than 23,900 people, killing more than 40 percent of them. As fears escalated throughout the affected region, pregnant women faced a particularly dramatic toll. Many were turned away from basic care on the mere suspicion of an infection, and even in previous outbreaks it appeared that those who contracted the disease had incredibly low chances of survival. These impacts threatened to wipe out major improvements made to maternal care in the past decade and a half in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and were predicted to result in 120,000 maternal deaths by the end of the year with lasting effects to the health of the nation. This report lays out the difficult challenges health care providers face and some of the ways organizations such as Doctors Without Borders were trying to grapple with the problem."

Please visit the AHCJ competition's page to see the award-winning journalism.