The Association of Health Care Journalists, is an independent , nonprofit organization who are devoted to increase awareness about public health care issues. Its mission is to represent health care reporting, writing and editing in a more clear way to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility.The idea for the inception of such an association came up at the conference of health care reporters on 1997. As it happened, several journalists, who had felt the need for such a group, interacted at that conference. The Association incorporated in 1998, status in 1999 and succeeded in getting start-up grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Crain Communications. The Association held its first national conference in 2000 in Chicago, featuring several workshop sessions and an address by presidential candidate Al Gore. In 2002, AHCJ published its first guide resource for reporters - which was about the quality of health care was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and was widely distributed throughout the United States and thereby created awareness about the society to a wider audience. That same year, the Institute of Medicine recognized AHCJ in its "Future of the Public's Health in the 21stCentury" report.In 2004 the non-profit Association was converted to a trade association with a supporting charitable organization - the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. The Association holds annual meetings, publishes newsletters, operates the Web site and advocates on behalf of health journalists and the free flow of information. The Center presents training events, publishes educational materials and undertakes other educational projects aimed at improving the state of health journalism. The Association also held its first Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism contest in 2005 .The goals of the association are :
1. To support the highest standards of reporting, writing, editing, and broadcasting in health care journalism for the general public and trade publications.
2. To develop a strong and vibrant community of journalists concerned with all forms of health care journalism.
3. To raise the stature of health care journalism in newsrooms, the industry, and the public, as a whole.
4. To promote understanding between journalists and sources of news about how each can best serve the public.
5. To advocate for the free flow of information to the public.
6. To advocate for the improvement of professional development opportunities for journalists who cover any aspect of health and health care.