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The Washington Post’s William Wan wins two top health journalism awards

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Washington Post Staff Picture of William Wan. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
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Announcement from National News Editor Steven Ginsberg, Deputy National News Editor Lori Montgomery, Health & Science Editor Stephen Smith, Deputy Health & Science Editor Carol Eisenberg, and National Assignment Editor Katie Zezima:

We are delighted to announce that health and science reporter William Wan’s continuing coverage of the mental health and substance abuse consequences of the coronavirus crisis – the shadow pandemic – has been recognized with first-place awards in two major competitions.

The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation chose William as its winner for the General Circulation Journalism Award. The judges wrote that his “original and early work connected the dots on the impact of the pandemic on mental health.” One of those stories – on a dramatic increase in drug overdoses – was written with Heather Long of Financial. The other winning stories included one that was among the first to chronicle the mental health burden of the pandemic. William also examined how the prolonged isolation endured by people with Alzheimer’s disease was accelerating their decline, and he explored the mental health impact of the pandemic on teens and young adults.

The Association of Health Care Journalists awarded William its top prize in the Consumer/Feature (large) category. The judges wrote: “Blending personal narratives with accountability journalism and novel methods of data collection and analysis, these stories shine a spotlight on other crises brought on by the pandemic: resurging addiction, isolation of society's most vulnerable people, suicide, mental illness. The reporting is resourceful, the writing lucid and affecting, and the data analysis compelling.”

William worked with Alyssa Fowers, Youjin Shin and Andrew Ba Tran to gather novel data on the country’s growing mental health crises.

The Post’s coverage of coronavirus testing failures was a finalist in the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation contest. That story was written by Shawn Boburg, Robert O’Harrow Jr., Neena Satija and Amy Goldstein.

Please join us in congratulating William and everyone involved in this work.