CHARLOTTE — North Carolina Health News and The Charlotte Ledger today announced an innovative partnership to hire a reporter focused on health care and the companies and institutions that deliver it in the Charlotte region.

The two N.C.-based news organizations said that by teaming up, they will shine a light on a large and changing sector of Charlotte’s economy – and one that employs more than 100,000 workers and delivers medical care to thousands of patients a day. Readers of both publications had pointed out an emerging need for stepped-up independent coverage of decisions regularly made in Charlotte that affect health care for hundreds of thousands of patients, at a time when many legacy media organizations have scaled back.

How it will work: The partnership will allow readers of both publications to have access to enhanced Charlotte-area health care coverage – as well as any other media outlet that would like to republish the articles it produces. N.C. Health News and The Charlotte Ledger will initially fund the effort and will seek to raise money from grants and individual contributions to extend it beyond an initial term.

Experienced reporter: The publications also announced that they have brought on Michelle Crouch, an award-winning writer and former newspaper reporter with more than 20 years of experience in journalism, to be the lead reporter on the effort on a part-time basis. She has written frequently on health topics, including articles that have appeared in national publications such as AARP, WebMD and Reader’s Digest. She has also written on health care issues in Charlotte for The Charlotte Ledger, including a piece on hospital billing practices – called “The case of the $10,000 colonoscopy” – that won a National Health Information Award.

Tony Mecia, executive editor of The Charlotte Ledger, said: “From a new medical school to industry consolidation to an emerging health tech sector, there are a lot of under-reported health care stories in Charlotte. I’m excited we’ve found a way to keep the public informed about it. This is a natural partnership between our two organizations: We share the belief that trusted, independent sources of information are more critical than ever, especially in a complicated field like health care – and pooling our resources to enhance health care coverage allows the public to receive the benefit of reliable news on this important topic in a way that neither of us could have undertaken on our own.”

“Both Tony and I kept hearing from readers that they’ve been eager for more coverage of what’s happening in Charlotte’s health care scene,” said Rose Hoban, R.N., founder and editor of N.C. Health News. “As soon as we started talking about this idea, it became evident to us that this was a huge, undercovered story in North Carolina.” 

“We also realized that partnering was the way to go. N.C. Health News brings deep health care knowledge and more than a decade’s worth of building trust with our audience. Tony at the Charlotte Ledger brings decades of business reporting and an understanding of how the Charlotte metro area works.” 

The partnership to enhance Charlotte health care reporting begins in October, 2022.

About N.C. Health News

Founded in 2011 as media organizations around the state were shedding their health care reporters, N.C. Health News has published more than 3,400 high-quality stories and investigative features about health care news, health policy, public health and other health care-related topics. N.C. Health News was founded on the belief that to make the best decisions about their health care and about the state’s health care system, the citizens of North Carolina need the best information possible. Founder and editor Rose Hoban has been a registered nurse for 30 years, spent more than a decade in active nursing practice and has a masters in public health policy. The not-for-profit news website is supported by North Carolina-based foundations, sponsors and individual donors. To learn more, go to www.northcarolinahealthnews.org 

About The Charlotte Ledger

The Charlotte Ledger produces seven e-newsletters a week spanning four Charlotte-focused topics: general/business, transit/transportation, obituaries and professional soccer (Charlotte FC). It was founded in 2019 on the belief that Charlotte needs higher-quality sources of information. The Ledger is a locally owned small business run by two former Charlotte Observer reporters. It is the largest local news operation run on the popular Substack platform and is almost entirely reader-supported. To find out more, or to subscribe, go to www.TheCharlotteLedger.com.

→ To read: The articles produced by the partnership will be jointly published by N.C. Health News and The Charlotte Ledger. N.C. Health News will aggregate the stories on a special page on the publication’s website.

→ To donate: You can support smart and important coverage of health care in Charlotte. Donations are tax-deductible. Go to https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/donate_clt/

→ To share: Other media organizations are welcome to republish articles from the partnership. For republication details, contact editor@northcarolinahealthnews.org or check out the blue box at the bottom of each story with details of how to republish content.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Rose Hoban

Rose Hoban is the founder and editor of NC Health News, as well as being the state government reporter. Hoban has been a registered nurse since 1992, but transitioned to journalism after earning degrees...

Charlotte Ledger

The Charlotte Ledger is an online publication that produces business and general local news for Charlotte. It is led by two award-winning former Charlotte Observer reporters. See more at Charlotteledger.substack.com