Adapted from a NYAM press release.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (May 31) – The New York Academy of Medicine this week awarded Kaiser Health News reporter Jay Hancock its Urban Health Journalism Prize for a collaborative series looking at health disparities in Baltimore.

To produce the five-part series – called “Health Care in Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood: Baltimore’s Other Divide” – Kaiser Health News formed a unique partnership with Merrill College’s student-driven Capital News Service (CNS). With Jay Hancock as the lead reporter, the team produced text stories, graphics and photos, published on the sites of KHN, CNS, PBS and NPR, and a broadcast piece by KHN’s Sarah Varney that aired on NewsHour.

“Many at CNS contributed significantly to the project, including Rachel Bluth, who has since been hired at KHN,” said John Fairhall, Senior Enterprise Editor, Kaiser Health News. “And freelance photographer Doug Kapustin’s photographs helped bring to life the community.”

CNS created a stand-alone website to highlight its coverage in the series.

Jay Hancock joined Kaiser Health News in 2012 after working for nearly two decades at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered business, economics and international relations. He has spent much of the last two years researching and reporting poor health outcomes and barriers to care in lower-income Baltimore. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Colgate University and a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.Tweet by Rafael Lorente.

“Each year the selection of our winner and finalists becomes more competitive. As journalists are increasingly writing about the determinants of health and their impact on the overall health of people in communities, our job in identifying the winner and finalists gets harder and harder,” said Boufford. “This year’s finalists took on  critical issues with excellent storytelling and investigative skill that made our job on the review and selection committee a pleasure,” she added.


A leader in urban health, the Academy established the Urban Health Journalism Prize in 2015 to recognize and encourage the growing field of journalism that plays a critical role in bringing needed local, national and even international focus to the issues of the broad determinants of health, health disparities, and strategies to prevent disease in urban communities. The award will be presented at the Academy Gala on June 13 in New York City, and comes with a cash prize of $5,000.