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The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism

Event Type: 
Date and Time: 
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Program Description: 

The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism honors Dennis Hunt's legacy by providing financial support for ambitious investigative and explanatory journalism projects on community health and health policy issues. The fund is financed by memorial contributions from Hunt's friends and colleagues.


The grant is designed to cover reporting and publishing- or broadcast-related costs such as travel, website development, database acquisition and analysis, environmental or health testing, translation services, and a journalist’s otherwise uncompensated time. Both freelancers and news outlet employees are eligible to apply.

The Dennis A. Hunt Fund seeks proposals for stories or multimedia projects that illuminate or expose critical community health or community health policy issues. Proposals can focus on a specific health topic or delve into a confluence of circumstances and conditions that impact health, including environment; social class; crime and violence; urban development; access to health resources or the lack thereof; school absenteeism; transportation or city planning, and  and disparities in health. 

Grantees will be selected by a committee of journalists and communications and public policy experts. Five rounds of grants have previously been made, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. (For a better idea about what sorts of stories we're interested in funding, you can click here to learn more about our 2012 grantees; here to learn more about our  2011 grantees; here to learn more about our 2010 grantees; and here to learn more about our 2009 grantees.)

One third of the amount of each grant will be paid at the outset of the project, with the remaining two-thirds to be paid upon publication or broadcast. Grantees also are automatically awarded acceptance in the all-expenses-paid National Fellowships of  (July 13-17, 2014 in Los Angeles), though they do not receive the $2,000 stipend. Hunt-funded projects must be published or broadcast within one year of the Fellowship seminars. 

Click here for an application and more details about what's required. The application form for the Hunt grants is the same as for The National Health Journalism Fellowship, although  a more detailed budget must be submitted. Only five or so grants are awarded each year, so we urge applicants to indicate their willingness to be considered for the National Health Journalism Fellowship alone.  Please indicate in your Hunt grant proposal how it might differ if you only receive the $2,000 National Fellowship stipend. For more information, contact Martha Shirk at [email protected].


The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism provides grants of up to $10,000 for reporting on critical health issues facing underserved communities.

The  Fund honors a visionary communications leader, the late vice president of communications and public affairs at The California Endowment, California's largest health foundation.

Dennis A. Hunt had an enduring commitment to high-quality journalism on critical health issues. While serving at The California Endowment, Dennis co-founded the USC Annenberg/California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, which has educated hundreds of journalists on pressing community health and health policy issues confronting underserved communities in the United States.

Applications for the 2015 grants must be filed through our online application linkby April 1, 2015. The same application is used for the National Health Journalism Fellowship and the Dennis Hunt grants. However, applicants for a Dennis Hunt grant should submit a project proposal that focuses on a community health issue and should include a budget requesting a specific grant amount ($2,500-$10,000) and indicating how they would spend it. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Grantees are expected to attend all sessions of the all-expenses-paid National Health Journalism Fellowships, which will be held in Los Angeles  July 12-15,  2015. 




2014 Dennis A. Hunt Health Journalism Fund Grantees 

AWARD RANGE: $2,500-$10,000 (most are $5,000 or less)

Lisa Bernard-Kuhn, WCPO TV (Cincinnati)

Daniel Chang, The Miami Herald

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA Public Radio (Alaska)

Dan Gorenstein, Marketplace 

Bob Ortega, The Arizona Republic and La Voz Arizona

Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today and The Daily Yonder

Jay Price, The News & Observer (Raleigh)

2013 Dennis A. Hunt Health Journalism Fund Grantees




Becca Aaronson, a health care reporter for The Texas Tribune, an Austin-based online news site, is reporting on how changing public policies affect women’s health services in Texas. Grant: $5,000.   Click here to read her stories.


Liza Gross, a freelance journalist for Environmental Health News, will examine the social, economic and environmental health inequities facing California farm workers. Grant: $4,000


Jennifer Haberkorn, a health care reporter at POLITICO and POLITICO Pro, is examining enrollment procedures in several states’ health insurance exchanges and compare the experiences of consumers. Grant: $4,500  Click here to read her stories.


Sean Hamill, a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, will report on the effects of hospital closures on small communities. Grant: $5,000


Jason Kane, a reporter-producer for PBS NewsHour’s health unit,  focused on the impact of food insecurity on the health of low-income populations, particularly children. Grant: $6,000  Clear here to watch his stories.


Lisa Riordan Seville, an independent researcher and producer for NBC News, will report on the challenge of providing health care and other services to the growing number of older people in Montana.  Grant: $4,000


Eric Whitney, a freelancer reporter for Colorado Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News,  compared Americans’ access to new health benefits in three states.  Grant: $3,500  Click here to listen to his stories and here to read his advice on how to bring stories alive on the radio.


Who Can Apply: 

The grant competition is open to print, broadcast, and online journalists in the United States. Both employed journalists and freelancers are welcome to apply. Priority is given to applicants who propose joint projects between mainstream and ethnic media. Students are ineligible.


The 2015 program is still being developed. Click here to read about highlights of the 2013 Fellowship.


Our upcoming webinar will explain what’s driving huge increases in drug prices, how these costs impact patients, and suggest ways in which journalists can cover this evolving story. Sign up HERE.

We are launching a new all-expenses-paid Fellowship in December 2015 to introduce 10 California journalists to the wealth of health data sources that can inform and elevate their reporting. The Fellowship includes a $1,000 reporting stipend and six months of mentoring.


Member Activities

Michael LaForgia has shared a fellowship project

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William Heisel has shared a blog post

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Bob Ortega has shared a fellowship project

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Kristin Gourlay has shared a story

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Anna Romano has shared a blog post

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