WBUR's Elisabeth Harrison is one of twelve journalists selected across the nation for the 2020 class of the Health Coverage Fellowship from The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.
Elisabeth is WBUR's managing editor of news content with a focus on business, health and science coverage. She previously worked at Rhode Island Public Radio, now known as The Public’s Radio, where she served as news director and managing editor. A former host of Morning Edition in Rhode Island, Elisabeth was also the station’s education reporter. She began her career in journalism at CBS News.
Elisabeth has won multiple awards for her reporting, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and three AP awards. A native of Los Angeles, she holds a master’s degree in journalism and French studies from NYU and a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College.
The Health Coverage Fellowship is designed to help the media improve its coverage of critical health care issues. It does that by bringing in as speakers more than 75 health officials, practitioners, researchers, and patients. It also brings the journalists out to watch first-hand how the system works, from walking the streets at night with mental health case workers to visiting the world’s biggest brain bank.
Previous WBUR recipients of the Health Fellowship: Shannon Dooling (2019), Yasmin Amer (2018), Tom Melville (2017), Lisa Mullins (2016), Deborah Becker (2015), Lynn Jolicoeur (2014), Kathleen McNerney (2013), Martha Bebinger (2008)
The fellowship will run for nine days, beginning March 27, 2020. It is housed at Babson College’s Center for Executive Education in Wellesley, MA. Larry Tye, who covered health and environmental issues at the Boston Globe for 15 years, directs the program. A former Nieman Fellow and author of eight books, Tye has taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, Tufts, and Harvard.
Next spring’s fellowship will focus on a series of pressing issues – from curbing health care costs to addressing mental illness, redressing public health threats, and rethinking late-in-life issues. Attention also will be given to breakthroughs in medical treatments and innovations in the delivery of care.
The teaching will not end when fellows head back to their stations or papers. Tye, the program director, will be on call for the journalists for the full year following their nine days in Wellesley.
The 2020 fellows are Yasmeen Abutaleb of the Washington Post, Anna Almendrala of Kaiser Health News, Caitlin Andrews of the Bangor Daily News, Jack Bologna of the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, MS, Victoria Colliver of Politico, Elisabeth Harrison of WBUR Radio in Boston, Akilah Johnson of ProPublica, Jason Moon of New Hampshire Public Radio, Michael Nedelman of CNN, Sophie Novack of the Texas Observer, Jayne O’Donnell of USA Today, and Cristina Quinn of WGBH Radio in Boston.