The Tampa Bay Times is bringing on board reporter Sam Ogozalek to help cover health care with a focus on mental health issues. Ogozalek joins the Times staff for a year-long fellowship through Report for America.
Another Report for America fellow, Hannah Critchfield, will spend a second year as the Times’ aging and seniors reporter, covering the region’s older adult population.
Ogozalek was a reporting intern for The Buffalo News and the Naples Daily News before he came to the bay area in 2019 to intern at the Times, covering breaking news in the Tampa newsroom.
The next year he graduated from Syracuse University, where he served as editor in chief and news editor at the university’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Orange.
He joined Report for America in 2020 and covered the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery efforts in South Carolina for The Island Packet. His last name is pronounced O-go-zah-leck.
Critchfield joined the Times in summer 2021 after finishing a Report for America fellowship at North Carolina Health News. She is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago and earned her master’s degree at Columbia University.
Report for America is a service organization whose mission is to place journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered communities and issues. The program covers half the journalist’s salary for a year-long fellowship with an option for a second year, and offers training and support.
This year it has placed 300 journalists in 50 states. Report for America and its global counterpart, Report for the World, are initiatives of The GroundTruth Project, a journalism nonprofit. For more information, visit reportforamerica.org and thegroundtruthproject.org.
This week the Times launched its annual fundraising drive to help sustain local journalism in the Tampa Bay area. To contribute, visit tampabay.com/support.