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KCUR’s Alex Smith wins national award for health care beat reporting for a second year

Luke X. Martin
KCUR 89.3

Smith is the recipient of a coveted Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ).

For the second year in a row, KCUR health reporter Alex Smith has garnered a second-place award for beat reporting from the Association of Health Care Journalists, the premier health reporting organization in the country.

Smith was recognized for several health care reporting pieces from 2021, including a series of stories related to mental health issues in Kansas and Missouri. The stories explored climate anxiety, schools coping with student trauma resulting from gun violence and how growing gun ownership among Black Missourians is raising suicide risk.

Alex also covered the problematic long-term use of anti-anxiety drugs for KCUR and in an essay for Psyche. Some of these stories also featured Alex's own experiences to help explain how mental health issues affect lives.

“The beat reporting award from the Association of Health Care Journalists is a great honor,” Smith said. “I appreciate KCUR giving me the opportunity to do this work, and I thank my editors, Dan Margolies and Gabe Rosenberg, for their guidance in 2021.”

First place in the beat reporting category was awarded to Usha Lee McFarling of STAT for her reporting on health equity.

Smith joined KCUR in 2006 as an assistant producer. He later helped produce “KC Currents,” a weekly, community-oriented magazine program that aired on KCUR from 2006 through 2014.

In January 2014, he started working as a health/science reporter. He received the national Edward R. Murrow Award in 2017, was awarded a prestigious Harvard Media Fellowship in 2018, and received the 2019 AHCJ International Health Study Fellowship to travel to London, England to study the effects of social isolation on health and life expectancy.

Click here to view the complete list of AHCJ 2021 winners.

Karen Campbell is the Director of Institutional Giving & Communications for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at karen@kcur.org.
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