The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism and the Internet Brands/WebMD Impact Fund today announced a new partnership to support the Center’s commitment to deepening reporting and public understanding of the mental and developmental health challenges of children and youth and the potentially lifelong effects of pandemic-related societal changes.
At the centerpiece of the partnership is the establishment of the Kristy Hammam Fund for Health Journalism, named in honor of WebMD’s former Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief, who died in 2021.
“The Center for Health Journalism is honored to partner with the Internet Brands/WebMD Fund at this pivotal moment,” said Michelle Levander, founding director of the Center for Health Journalism. “Mental health challenges for young people have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This partnership will support our efforts to provide essential knowledge to our nation’s journalists, at a time when thoughtful, in-depth, investigative and explanatory reporting is more critical than ever.”
The Kristy Hammam Fund for Health Journalism will support a professional journalist affiliated with the Center’s National Fellowship program with funding, training and mentoring over six months on the issues of health equity and the well-being of America’s children, youth and families. The partnership also will include support of the Center’s Health Matters webinar series.
Health Matters webinars deliver meaningful, actionable insights from leading public health experts, policy researchers and distinguished journalists to a broad range of reporters from rural communities to major cities. This initiative will support webinars on the urgent issues of child and youth mental health and development. The Health Matters series has an overarching focus on health equity and health disparities, including explorations of systemic racism in health systems and community health, and the potential for meaningful change.
“As the largest health information platform, WebMD is acutely aware of the combined impact that the pandemic and health inequities have had on the nation’s children and youth, and we share USC Annenberg’s commitment to elevate awareness of these issues,” said Leah Gentry, WebMD Group Vice President of Content. “By leveraging the power of health journalism to not only inform, but to inspire engagement and action, we have the potential to bring meaningful change that can transform the lives of a generation scarred by the pandemic.”