Health News Review
Gary Schwitzer

Gary Schwitzer

Gary Schwitzer is publisher of the website, leading a team of more than three dozen people who grade daily health news reporting by major U.S. news organizations.  And soon, the project will review health care-related news releases by industry, medical journals, hospitals and academic medical centers, and others.

In its first year, the project was honored with several journalism industry awards – the Mirror Award, honoring those who “hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit,” and the Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism.

His blog – which is embedded within – was voted 2009 Best Medical Blog in competition hosted by



  • Danny Ackert

    Danny Ackert

    Danny Ackert is currently a MPH candidate studying Administration and Policy at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. His educational focus is on health policy and the legislative process. Danny’s research and career interests are centered on the development of policies that work to create strong primary care networks that efficiently allocate medical resources. He is currently a member of Hot Spotters, a student-driven project among Minnesota’s health-professional schools that seeks to understand and address the needs of high-utilizing patients. Danny is a graduate of Hope College in Holland, MI where he studied biology, philosophy and economics.

  • David Arterburn, MD, MPH

    David Arterburn, MD, MPH

    David Arterburn’s main research focus is on finding safe, effective, and innovative ways to treat obesity. He is a general internist and health services researcher with a passionate commitment to helping individuals and families make treatment decisions that align with their values while sustaining their health over the long haul.

    A national leader in obesity research, Dr. Arterburn joined Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) in 2006 to forge a new program of research spanning behavioral, pharmaceutical, and bariatric surgical care. Before joining GHRI, he published important findings on the epidemic nature and rising cost of obesity in the United States. Because tackling the obesity crisis requires a menu of treatment options, Dr. Arterburn’s current research covers a broad range, including policy-level interventions for health plans, pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, the long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery, and shared decision making related to elective surgery. With the support of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, for which he serves as a medical editor, he has collaborated with Group Health’s specialty leadership to implement and evaluate a new initiative to promote shared decision making around elective surgical care with video-based patient decision aids. The approach shows great promise for simultaneously improving the quality and lowering the costs of health care.

  • Steven J. Atlas, MD, MPH

    Steven J. Atlas, MD, MPH

    Dr. Steven J. Atlas is a practicing primary care physician and Director of the Practice-Based Research and Quality Improvement Network in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Atlas is a health services researcher with content expertise in spine disorders, cancer prevention, chronic disease management and population health. He has developed shared decision making programs for patients with spine conditions in his role as medical editor for the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, now part of Healthwise.

  • Michael Bierer MD, MPH

    Michael Bierer MD, MPH

    Michael Bierer is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital where he has been on staff since 1988. He currently has an active primary-care clinic in internal medicine at the hospital, and is responsible for resident education related to the clinical management of drug and alcohol problems. He formerly ran the program for homeless patients at the hospital.

  • L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH

    L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH

    L. Ebony Boulware is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine of Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Boulware’s major research interests include chronic kidney disease epidemiology and prevention, eliminating racial disparities in access to appropriate care for persons with chronic kidney disease, and identifying barriers to the delivery of appropriate care for persons with chronic kidney disease.

    Her current research activities focus on identifying patient and physician barriers to the receipt of guideline concordant care for patients with chronic kidney disease, identifying patient, physician, and population factors affecting the receipt of kidney transplantation, and race and gender differences in attitudes toward organ donation. Additional activities include investigating the relation of quality of life indices to outcomes in chronic kidney disease and work identifying the contribution of patient behavior to the progression and treatment of chronic disease

  • Doug Campos-Outcalt, MD, MPA

    Doug Campos-Outcalt, MD, MPA

    Dr. Campos-Outcalt is a Medical Director for Mercy Care Plan, a Medicaid Health plan in Arizona, serving 300,000 members. He is a member of the faculty of the University Of Arizona College Of Public Health and maintains the title of Professor in the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine.

    Previously he was the Chair of the Department of Family, Community and Preventive Medicine at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine, Phoenix and the Director of the MD/MPH dual degree program. He has been a scientific analyst for the American Academy of Family Physicians and served for 8 years as the AAFP liaison to the United States Preventive Services Task Force. He is a member of the Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) Working Group and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at theCDC.

    Dr. Campos-Outcalt has been the Medical Director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. Hehas served on the National Advisory Councils of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and the National Health Service Corps and in 2001-2002 was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow.

  • Karen Carlson, MD

    Karen Carlson, MD

    Karen Carlson is Director of Women’s Health Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her areas of interest include hysterectomy and alternative treatments for nonmalignant gynecologic conditions, ovarian cancer screening, and communication issues in the doctor-patient relationship. She was the principal investigator of the Maine Women’s Health Study, a study of hysterectomy outcomes in the United States. She is co-editor of a medical textbook, Primary Care of Women, and a comprehensive book on women’s health, The Harvard Guide to Women’s Health.

  • Alan Cassels

    Alan Cassels

    Alan Cassels was responsible for Media Doctor Canada – a website project nearly identical to – which eventually was shelved for financial reasons.  Cassels is a drug policy researcher with an interest in how clinical research and experience on pharmaceuticals gets translated for policy-makers, prescribers and consumers. He led a team of Canadian researchers to carry out the first ever study of Canadian newspaper coverage of new prescription drugs  and has frequently reported on consumer drug issues for magazines, newspapers and the CBC Radio program Ideas. He is co-author, with Australian journalist Ray Moynihan of Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning us All into Patients. He also wrote the books, The ABC’s of Disease Mongering  and Seeking Sickness.

  • Harold J. DeMonaco, MS

    Harold J. DeMonaco, MS

    Harold J. DeMonaco is an Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Care Transitions at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, he holds a bachelors degree in pharmacy and a masters degree in therapeutics.  He formerly served as Director of the MGH Innovation Support Center, Director of Drug Therapy Management and the Director of Pharmacy, as well as Chair of the Human Research Committee at the MGH. He has a keen interest in the innovation process in medicine and organizational behavior related to change.  He is the author of two dozen articles and book chapters and routinely conducts manuscript reviews for medical journals.  He formerly served as a core editor at Harvard Health Publications and is a member of the editorial advisory board for Proto Magazine.

  • Sharon Dunwoody, PhD

    Sharon Dunwoody, PhD

    Sharon Dunwoody is Evjue-Bascom Professor, Emerita, in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she served on the faculty for more than 30 years.  She studies how people use messages to make judgments about science and environmental issues, as well as strategies to enhance the explanation of complex concepts and processes.  She has written and co-edited a number of books, including Scientists and Journalists (Free Press, 1986) and Communicating Uncertainty (Erlbaum, 1999) as well as many book chapters and articles.  She is a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her current research focuses on ways to communicate evidentiary claims to nonscientists.

  • Kathleen Fairfield, MD, DrPH

    Kathleen Fairfield, MD, DrPH

    Kathleen Fairfield is a clinician-scientist based at Maine Medical Center. She attended Boston University School of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, where she also completed a general medicine fellowship before joining the faculty. She completed her research training with Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard in 2000, in Nutrition and Epidemiology with a concentration in cancer epidemiology and a minor in biostatistics. Dr. Fairfield practices primary care internal medicine at Maine Medical Center and is a health services researcher at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation.  Her research interests include ovarian cancer treatment, shared decision making, nutritional supplements, complementary therapies, and cancer screening.  Dr. Fairfield teaches evidence-based medicine and research methods to medical residents and students.  She started the Shared Decision Making Interest Group for the Society of General Internal Medicine.  She is passionate about care of the underserved, and is a longstanding volunteer and Medical Director of the Portland Community Free Clinic.

  • Ishani Ganguli, MD

    Ishani Ganguli, MD

    Dr. Ishani Ganguli attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, then trained in Internal Medicine/Primary Care at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She is a primary care physician at the MGH Ambulatory Practice of the Future and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. As a fellow in health policy and management at the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, she leads patient engagement initiatives including a video-based education tool and patient-reported outcome measures at MGH. She is also a journalist who has written for The Boston Globe, Reuters, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among other publications, as well as a contributing editor at the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Her areas of interest include primary care innovation, patient-doctor communication, identifying and caring for high-risk patients, end of life care, and patient and provider decision-making.

  • William Heisel

    William Heisel

    A former investigative reporter for The Los Angeles Times, William Heisel is now the Director of Communications at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. In addition, he works as a contributing editor for at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism where he writes the blog Antidote. He has reported on health for most of his career and has worked at the Orange County Register and the Associated Press. He helped create a first-of-its-kind report card judging hospitals on an array of measures for a story that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He was one of the lead reporters on a series of stories about lead in candy, work that also was a finalist for the Pulitzer. He graduated from the University of Montana with a BA in journalism and Spanish.

  • Suzanne Hicks, MSW

    Suzanne Hicks, MSW

    Suzanne Hicks was diagnosed with Melanoma in 2001 and Breast Cancer in 2003. Nationally she is an active member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition,  the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Love/Avon Army of Women, and  is a Consumer Reviewer for the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program. In New York State she is a Voting Member of the New York State Health Research Science Board and locally she is a member of the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer and has started a small breast cancer peer study group.  Suzanne has attended NBCC’s Project Lead Institute and Clinical Trials training. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Albany Medical College and closed her 30-year Psychotherapy Practice in 2005.  Currently she devotes time to both Advocacy and Art, with a studio in Albany, NY.

  • Richard Hoffman, MD

    Richard Hoffman, MD

    Richard M. Hoffman, MD, MPH, a general internist, is a Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and a staff physician at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center. He also serves as Interim Director for Cancer Prevention at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center. He received his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1984 and completed an internal medicine residency at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon in 1987. In 1992, he completed an ambulatory care fellowship at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle and received an MPH from the University of Washington. His areas of research interest are prostate and colorectal cancer screening and prostate cancer treatment outcomes, with expertise in clinical epidemiology, health services research, and meta-analysis. He is a medical editor for prostate cancer topics for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making and works with the Foundation to develop shared decision making tools for prostate cancer screening and treatment of localized prostate cancer.

  • Earle Holland

    Earle Holland

    For almost 35 years, Earle Holland was the senior science and medical
    communications officer at Ohio State University.  As an assistant vice
    president for research communications there, he oversaw all communications
    involving areas of research risks, such as biosafety, radiation safety,
    research using lab animals or humans, fraud and misconduct in science and
    conflicts of interest.  For more than two decades, he taught graduate
    courses in science writing and science communications and was a long-time
    columnist on science and medicine for both the Columbus (OH) Dispatch and
    the New York Times Syndicate.  He has served on the board of both the
    National Association of Science Writers and the Society of Environmental
    Journalists, as well as several terms on the board of Americans for Medical
    Progress.  He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of

  • Andrew Holtz, MPH

    Andrew Holtz, MPH

    Former CNN Medical Correspondent Andrew Holtz is an independent journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of three books that compare TV depictions of health care to reality: “The Medical Science of House, M.D.” (2006), “The Real Grey’s Anatomy” (2010) and “House M.D. vs. Reality” (2011). Holtz wrote an award-winning series of columns on medicine in the media for Oncology Times. A series of videos he did on health news and understanding health research and health care are archived here.  Holtz was a member of the board of directors of the Association of Health Care Journalists for more than a decade. He was board President from 2000-2004. He has a BA from Stanford and a Master’s in Public Health from Portland State.

  • Rebecca Horton

    Rebecca Horton

    Rebecca (Becky) Horton is a public health administration and policy student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public health from Indiana University and has lived abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Her research has included employer sponsored health insurance, medical device regulation, quality reporting, and European health policy. After graduation she hopes to continue her work in health policy, specifically in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

  • Sally James

    Sally James

    Sally James is a Seattle-based freelance writer who covers science and medicine. Her recent topics include: nanotechnology, the microbiome, citizen-science research and immunotherapy. She was president of the Northwest Science Writers Association, and is a volunteer moderator for the National Association of Science Writers. She won a fellowship to the National Library of Medicine from the Association of Health Care Journalists. She has worked for clients including the Group Health Research Institute, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington schools of nursing, engineering and computer science. She blogs at

  • Christopher Kim

    Christopher Kim

    Christopher J. Kim is an Environmental Health MPH Candidate at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. He is the current President of the School of Public Health Student Senate and the Vice President of Programming for the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. His research experience and interests include infectious disease and the changing role of healthcare in a modern age. He obtained a BS in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota and plans to pursue a career in either medicine or law, while focusing on the improvement of current healthcare systems and practices.

  • Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH

    Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH

    Dr. Kutner is a tenured Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and is the Chief Medical Officer of University of Colorado Hospital. Following residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Kutner completed a National Research Service Award Primary Care Fellowship and a Geriatrics Fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She has established and co-directs the Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC), a palliative care clinical trials cooperative group. Dr. Kutner’s research focuses on improving care for persons with serious advanced illness. She has particularly emphasized studies related to symptom management, caregiver support, and medication use near the end of life. She is recipient of Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program and Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholars in Aging Research Awards, and research funding from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes on Aging, the National Institute for Nursing Research, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She developed and attends on the palliative care consultation service at the University of Colorado Hospital.

  • Euna Lhee, MS

    Euna Lhee, MS

    Euna Lhee is a reporter for Germany’s Deutsche Welle and a Fulbright Young Journalist. She is also a contributor for NPR Berlin and was most recently an intern for the Patient Safety Programme at World Health Organization headquarters in Switzerland. Ms. Lhee has reported for NPR, Florida Public Broadcasting, The Baltimore Sun, Radio France Internationale, France 24 and The Botswana Gazette. She participated in the Columbia University and Sciences Po Paris double degree program in journalism and holds master’s degrees from both institutions.

    While pursuing journalism, Ms. Lhee has also worked as a researcher in a breast cancer vaccine lab at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, as a freelance violinist in France, as a civil servant for the Ministry of Education in South Korea and as an international aid and development worker in Botswana.

  • Trudy Lieberman

    Trudy Lieberman

    Trudy Lieberman, a journalist for more than 40 years, is a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review where she blogs about health care and retirement. She had a long career at Consumer Reports specializing in insurance, health care and health care financing.  She was also the director of the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union.  She has won many journalism awards, including two National Magazine Awards, 10 National Press Club Awards, five Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club Awards, a John J. McCloy Fellowship to study health care in Germany, a Joan Shorenstein Fellowship from Harvard University to study media coverage of medical technology, an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Nebraska, and three Fulbright Fellowships.  She is the author of five books including Slanting the Story the Forces That Shape the News and the Consumer Reports Guide to Health Services for Seniors, which was named by Library Journal as one of the best consumer health books for 2000.  She has taught at the Graduate School of Journalism of City University of New York; the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University; Columbia University; Case Western Reserve University; SUNY New Paltz; and at the University of Nebraska.  Lieberman served five years as the president of the Association of Health Care Journalists and fourteen years on the board of directors.

  • Kevin Lomangino

    Kevin Lomangino

    Kevin Lomangino is the managing editor of He is also an independent medical journalist who was previously editor-in-chief of Clinical Nutrition Insight, a monthly evidence-based newsletter for physicians and dietitians. He has written for numerous professional and consumer health publications including Consumer Reports on Health. He was formerly senior editor at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a medical publishing company, where he developed new print and online publications for health care professionals and managed a portfolio of medical publications and newsletters. Kevin received his BA from Loyola University in Maryland.

  • Mary McNaughton-Collins, MD, MPH

    Mary McNaughton-Collins, MD, MPH

    Mary McNaughton-Collins is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and has a clinical practice at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has funding from the NIH to conduct research in prostate diseases. Dr. McNaughton-Collins received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Holy Cross in 1987 and a medical degree from Dartmouth/Brown in 1991. She completed a medical residency at Boston University, followed by a fellowship in general medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. She received a MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

  • A'ndrea Elyse Messer, MS, PhD

    A'ndrea Elyse Messer, MS, PhD

    A’ndrea Elyse Messer is the senior science and research information officer in Research Communications at Penn State University. She was also a science writer at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and worked at Bell Labs doing technical writing. In Israel, she edited 11 review journals in chemistry, book translations, and a children’s book. She writes about engineering, physical sciences, earth and mineral sciences, materials science, and anthropology. She has a BA in science & culture (chemistry) from Purdue University, an MS in journalism: science communication from Boston University, and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Penn State. She is a AAAS Fellow and is currently on the board of the National Association of Science Writers.

  • Susan Molchan, MD, MA

    Susan Molchan, MD, MA

    Dr. Susan Molchan is a psychiatrist and nuclear medicine physician with extensive experience in clinical research at the National Institutes of Health.  She has clinical practice experience in single payer system (Walter Reed Army Medical Center), as well as in private practice. She earned a masters degree in non-fiction/science writing and has published in several newspapers and newsletters.  She has given Congressional testimony on conflicts-of-interest and integrity in clinical research.  She is active on the FDA task force of the National Physicians Alliance, a group whose aims focus on evidence-based outcomes and value in health-care.

  • David Mosher

    David Mosher

    Dave Mosher is the online director of Popular Science, the world’s largest science and technology magazine. He is a journalist with a biology degree whose work has appeared in WIRED, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Discover,, National Geographic News,, and other outlets. In his reporting adventures, Mosher has watched humans and robots launch into space, chronicled crazy home-built contraptions, toured defunct nuclear reactors, and open-sourced his microbiome in the name of science.

  • Christine K. Norton, MA

    Christine K. Norton, MA

    Christine Norton retired in 2005 after teaching high school English in Minnesota for nearly 40 years.  After her breast cancer diagnosis in 1990, she began her volunteer work with the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC).  In 1991 Norton co-founded the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition, an all volunteer organization that focuses on education and advocacy.  Norton is a 1995 graduate of NBCC’s Project LEAD, a program that trains advocates in the science of breast cancer, evidence-based medicine, and quality care.  In addition to being on NBCC’s Board, Norton is also on the Steering Committee of the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety and the Institute of Clinical Systems Improvement’s High-Tech Diagnostic Imaging Steering Committee.  Norton has been a peer reviewer for Avon’s Scientific Advisory Board; the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program; the National Cancer Institute; and the University of Minnesota.

  • Michael P. Pignone, MD, MPH

    Michael P. Pignone, MD, MPH

    Michael P. Pignone is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Associate Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, and Director of the UNC Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care. He received his medical degree and residency training in primary care internal medicine from the University of California- San Francisco. He then completed fellowship training in clinical epidemiology and health services research through the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at UNC. Dr. Pignone’s research is focused on chronic disease prevention and physician – patient communication about risk in primary care settings. His main areas of interest include heart disease prevention, colorectal cancer screening, and disease management for common chronic illnesses such as diabetes, depression, heart failure, and chronic pain.

  • Joann Rodgers, MS

    Joann Rodgers, MS

    Joann Ellison Rodgers, science journalist, author, editor, and communications consultant, was executive director of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s science communications, media relations and public affairs division, and currently is a part-time faculty scholar and strategic communications adviser at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and other affiliates of Johns Hopkins University. She joined Johns Hopkins in 1984 after nearly two decades as a reporter and columnist for the Hearst Newspapers and magazines. Her awards include a Lasker Award for medical journalism.

    A graduate of Boston University (B.S.) and of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.), Rodgers is a current senior board member and past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing; past president of the National Association of Science Writers; and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The author of seven books, including Sex: A Natural History, (Henry Holt and Company, NY), and Psychosurgery: Damaging the Brain to Save the Mind (Harper Collins, NY), she has contributed articles on medical and scientific topics to the New York Times Magazine, Psychology Today, The Los Angeles Times, Ladies Home Journal, and other publications. She has covered science in the U.S., Europe, South America, Asia and Antarctica.

  • Mark Schoene

    Mark Schoene

    Mark Schoene is a writer specializing in spinal medicine, sports medicine, and related behavioral and psychological issues. He is the editor of The BackLetter, an international newsletter on spine research and evidence-based back care. He is an editorial board member and consumer representative for the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group. He was formerly editor of Sports Medicine Digest—a monthly publication that reported on and promoted evidence-based sports medicine. He previously worked as an acquisitions editor at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins—and was editorial director of its newsletter group. He has also served as a food and wine writer, a music critic, and a taxi driver. He attended the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin.

  • Karen R. Sepucha, PhD

    Karen R. Sepucha, PhD

    Karen R. Sepucha is a Senior Scientist with the Health Decision Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research interests focus on extending and refining normative and behavioral decision making theories and their applications to medical decision making. Dr. Sepucha has published several articles evaluating decision support interventions and describing a conceptual framework for promoting measurable improvements in decision quality. Her most recent work is focused on developing and evaluating decision quality measures that can be used to compare decision quality across populations of patients.

  • Matt Shipman

    Matt Shipman

    Matt Shipman is a public information officer at North Carolina State University and freelance science writer. Shipman writes the Communication Breakdown blog for, hosted by Spektrum and Nature Publishing Group, and has been an invited speaker and moderator on science communication issues at national and regional conferences. He is the author of the Handbook for Science Public Information Officers (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and a contributing author to The Complete Guide to Science Blogging (Yale University Press, 2015). Prior to becoming a PIO, Shipman worked as a reporter in Washington, D.C., covering issues related to environmental policy and public health for Inside EPA, Water Policy Report and Risk Policy Report. He received his BA from the College of William and Mary.

  • Mandy Stahre, PhD

    Mandy Stahre, PhD

    Mandy Stahre is a young survivor of breast cancer diagnosed at age 31. She is a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD and has served as a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. In addition to her advocacy work, Stahre earned her PhD in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and her MPH in epidemiology from the University of Michigan. Her research work focused on describing and understanding consequences of binge drinking and associations with smoking cessation. She spent 10 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is a former Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. She continues working in applied public health as Chronic Disease Epidemiology Supervisor at the Washington State Department of Health supervising staff focused on surveillance and evaluation of chronic diseases and health risk behaviors including smoking and marijuana use.

  • Kathlyn Stone

    Kathlyn Stone

    Kathlyn Stone has been a freelance health and science journalist specializing in neurology for more than a decade. She previously worked as the senior manager of media relations for the American Academy of Neurology and communications director for the Minnesota Trade Office, a state agency. Her articles have been published in Annals of Neurology, Lancet Neurology, Oncology News International,, Pulmonary Reviews and more than a dozen others. She is an associate editor of

  • Amanda Swanson

    Amanda Swanson

    Amanda Swanson is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health pursuing her M.P.H. in Epidemiology. She is also a student worker at the Minnesota Department of Health doing Influenza surveillance. She has an interest in clinical trials and vaccine preventable diseases. She formerly attended St. Cloud State University where she received her Bachelors of Science in Public Health.

  • Carol E. Torgan, PhD, FACSM

    Carol E. Torgan, PhD, FACSM

    Carol E. Torgan, PhD is a health scientist and consultant based in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Torgan received her PhD in Kinesiology from The University of Texas and was a Research Associate and Assistant Research Professor in the Division of Cardiology at Duke University School of Medicine. While a Research Fellow at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), she transitioned into health communication. Dr. Torgan served as senior content director for Revolution Health and currently consults for a number of agencies on science communication and outreach. Dr. Torgan’s research focus is the adaptability of skeletal muscle, spanning from human performance to cellular biology. Her interests include sports medicine, exercise physiology, and the role of technology in preventive medicine. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

  • Thomas Watkins

    Thomas Watkins

    Thomas G. Watkins is a freelance reporter based in New York and Atlanta. Last year, he wrote and edited for the United Nations’ websites on Ebola and climate change. Before that, he served for more than a decade as a news editor on the CNN Wire, reporting, writing and editing stories for the network’s various platforms. He was hired by CNN in 1990 as a producer in the medical unit, where he coordinated the network’s AIDS coverage and produced “Healthweek.” He was a member of the CNN teams that won a Peabody, a DuPont and four News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

    Watkins arrived at CNN after five years at Medical Tribune, a newspaper for doctors, where he rose from reporter to managing editor. In 1987, he was awarded a Macy Fellowship in Science Broadcast Journalism, which included 10 months at WGBH in Boston, where he produced and reported pieces for public radio and television. Watkins earned his master’s degree from Columbia University’s Journalism School and his undergraduate degree in biology from Brown University. He lived for a year in Spain, where he gained the fluency that has enabled him to report from Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico. He is a member of the board of directors of the Columbia Journalism School’s Alumni Association and of the Atlanta Press Club.

  • Michael Wilkes, MD, PhD

    Michael Wilkes, MD, PhD

    Dr. Michael Wilkes is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis.  He recently stepped down as Vice Dean at  the School of Medical and is now serving as the Director of Global Health.  For most of Michael’s career as a doctor he lived and worked in Los Angeles.  At UCLA he was a founder of UCLA’s innovative Doctoring Curriculum which now serves as a model for UC Davis School of Medicine and many other medical schools domestically and internationally.  He is also an active education and health services researcher working in the area of medical education, technology assisted learning, clinical genetics, doctor-patient communication and conflicts of interest in medicine.  His research deals with changing practice behaviors around the doctor-patient relationship and decision-making.  Michael is trained in internal medicine and has had additional training in adolescent medicine and public health.  He is an award winning journalist having worked for the New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, and The Los Angeles Times, and he is currently is a correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers and National Public Radio.

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