USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism and Internet Brands/WebMD Partnership to Support Deeper Reporting & Public Understanding of Mental and Developmental Health Issues of Children and Youth

A Focus on the Impact of Pandemic

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Los Angeles, CA, April 6, 2022 -- The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism and the Internet Brands/WebMD Impact Fund today announced a new partnership to support the Center’s commitment to deepening reporting and public understanding of the mental and developmental health challenges of children and youth and the potentially lifelong effects of pandemic-related societal changes.

At the centerpiece of the partnership is the establishment of the Kristy Hammam Fund for Health Journalism, named in honor of WebMD’s former Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief, who died in 2021.

 “The Center for Health Journalism is honored to partner with the Internet Brands/WebMD Fund at this pivotal moment,” said Michelle Levander, founding director of the Center for Health Journalism. “Mental health challenges for young people have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This partnership will support our efforts to provide essential knowledge to our nation’s journalists, at a time when thoughtful, in-depth, investigative and explanatory reporting is more critical than ever.”

The Kristy Hammam Fund for Health Journalism will support a professional journalist affiliated with the Center’s National Fellowship program with funding, training and mentoring over six months on the issues of health equity and the well-being of America’s children, youth and families. The partnership also will include support of the Center’s Health Matters webinar series.

Health Matters webinars deliver meaningful, actionable insights from leading public health experts, policy researchers and distinguished journalists to a broad range of reporters from rural communities to major cities. This initiative will support webinars on the urgent issues of child and youth mental health and development. The Health Matters series has an overarching focus on health equity and health disparities, including explorations of systemic racism in health systems and community health, and the potential for meaningful change.  

“As the largest health information platform, WebMD is acutely aware of the combined impact that the pandemic and health inequities have had on the nation’s children and youth, and we share USC Annenberg’s commitment to elevate awareness of these issues,” said Leah Gentry, WebMD Group Vice President of Content. “By leveraging the power of health journalism to not only inform, but to inspire engagement and action, we have the potential to bring meaningful change that can transform the lives of a generation scarred by the pandemic.”

 About USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism

The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, founded in 2004 at the Annenberg School of Journalism, is the leading national health journalism organization focused on health equity and health disparities. It helps journalists investigate health challenges and solutions in their communities with fact-based, rigorous reporting that serves as a catalyst for change. The Center advances "Impact Reporting" that combines powerful narratives, unassailable data and engagement with communities who journalists serve. The Center has partnered with more than 1,200 journalists and their newsrooms to produce impactful journalism on health and health equity that has changed laws and policies and sparked new community conversations. Its Health Matters webinar series bolsters coverage and build capacity among journalists, bringing top-notch insights, context and expert advice on urgent health and social welfare issues to time-pressed journalists at their desks. You can learn more about Center initiatives here.

About WebMD Health Corp.

WebMD, an Internet Brands company, is at the heart of the digital health revolution that is transforming the healthcare experience for consumers, patients, healthcare professionals, employers, health plans and health systems. Through public and private online portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications, WebMD delivers leading-edge content and digital services that enable and improve decision-making, support and motivate health actions, streamline and simplify the healthcare journey, and improve patient care.

The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, Jobson Healthcare Information, MediQuality, Frontline, Vitals Consumer Services, Aptus Health, Krames, PulsePoint, The Wellness Network, SanovaWorks, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, OnHealth, Medscape Education, and other owned WebMD sites. WebMD®, Medscape®, CME Circle®, Medpulse®, eMedicine®, MedicineNet®,® and RxList® are among the trademarks of WebMD Health Corp. or its subsidiaries.

About Internet Brands

Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif, Internet Brands® is a fully integrated online media and software services organization focused on four high-value vertical categories: Health, Automotive, Legal, and Home/Travel. The company's award-winning consumer websites lead their categories and serve more than 250 million monthly visitors, while a full range of web presence offerings has established deep, long-term relationships with SMB and enterprise clients. Internet Brands' powerful, proprietary operating platform provides the flexibility and scalability to fuel the company's continued growth. Internet Brands is a portfolio company of KKR and Temasek. For more information, please visit