New York (February 8, 2017) – The New York Academy of Medicine announced today that it will begin accepting applications and nominations for the third annual Urban Health Journalism Prize. The Prize, launched in 2015 by the Academy, is given each year to a journalist in recognition of their superior coverage of a topic addressing the distinct health issues and needs of people living in cities. The winner will be honored at the Academy’s Annual Gala on June 13 in New York City, and will be awarded a $5,000 prize.

The winner will be selected by a prestigious committee of leading experts in urban health, journalism and city government who are passionate about improving cities and health. Eligible stories include local and national print, radio, web and television stories originally published in 2016. The Selection Committee will base their selection on excellence in three areas:

  1. The significance of the idea to the field of urban health,
  2. The depth and breadth of the reporting,
  3. The quality of the writing.

Applications or nominations are now being accepted online. Deadline for application is March 31, 2017.

The Academy established the Urban Health Journalism Prize in 2015 to recognize the critical role that journalists can play in building awareness for and attention to the

issues and potential solutions for improving health in cities. We define urban health to include attention to the broader determinants of health in addition to medical care—education, jobs, housing, transportation, and the environment, among others, as well as addressing the unique characteristics of cities – their density, diversity, and complexity.

The inaugural prize winner, Brie Zeltner of the Cleveland daily, The Plain Dealer, was recognized for her article, “More than half of Cleveland kids live in poverty, and it's making them sick.” And last year, Alana Semuels of The Atlantic was selected as the winner for her article, “Aging Pipes Are Poisoning America's Tap Water.” In both 2015 and 2016 several other outstanding journalists were recognized as finalists.

“Over the past two years, we have watched the breadth of reporting on important urban health issues and solutions continue to grow,” said The New York Academy of Medicine President Jo Ivey Boufford, MD. “We are pleased to highlight and encourage outstanding, in-depth reporting that brings 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 2017 Selection Committee currently includes:

  • Len Bruzzese, Executive Director of the Association of Health Care Journalists, and Associate Professor, Missouri School of Journalism
  • The Honorable Mick Cornett, Mayor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Max Gomez, PhD, Medical Reporter, CBS New York
  • Shelley Hearne, DRPH, Visiting Professor, The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Senior Advisor, Big Cities Health Coalition, National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Howard Markel, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, The Milbank Quarterly, George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor and Founding Director, Center for the History of Medicine, The University of Michigan
  • Alana Semuels, Staff Writer, The Atlantic and 2016 Urban Health Journalism Prize Winner
  • David Vlahov, RN, PHD, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Urban Health, and Dean and Professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing
  • Brie Zeltner, Health Reporter, The Plain Dealer and inaugural Urban Health Journalism Prize Winner

About The New York Academy of Medicine

The New York Academy of Medicine advances solutions that promote the health and well-being of people in cities worldwide.

Established in 1847, The New York Academy of Medicine continues to address the health challenges facing New York City and the world’s rapidly growing urban populations. We accomplish this through our Institute for Urban Health, home of interdisciplinary research, evaluation, policy, and program initiatives; our world class historical medical library and its public programming in history, the humanities and the arts; and our Fellows program, a network of more than 2,000 experts elected by their peers from across the professions affecting health. Our current priorities are healthy aging, disease prevention, and eliminating health disparities. For more information, visit