Advisory Council


Dr. Boufford was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship at the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC for 1979–1980. She served as a member of the National Council on Graduate Medical Education and the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1997–2002. She is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for Health Care Strategies and serves on the boards of the United Hospital Fund, the Primary Care Development Corporation and Public Health Solutions formerly MHRA. She was President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration in 2002–2003. She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1992 and is a member of its Executive Council, Board on Global Health and Board on African Science Academy Development. She was elected to serve for a four year term as the Foreign Secretary of the IOM beginning July 1, 2006. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the State University of New York, Brooklyn, in May 1992 and the New York Medical College in May 2007.   She was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2005. She has been a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine since 1988 and a Trustee since 2004.

Dr. Boufford attended Wellesley College for two years and received her BA (Psychology) magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, and her MD, with distinction, from the University of Michigan Medical School. She is Board Certified in pediatrics.

Theresa Brown, RN, is an oncology nurse and one of the very few nationally prominent nurse-writers in the areas of theresa-brown2nursing and health care.  Theresa is a paid contributor to the New York Times blog Well.  Her book, Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between, was released June, 1 2010, by HarperCollins. She has had print pieces in the New York Times “Science Times” section, and in Scrubs Magazine, and Op-Eds on, the New York Times, and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  One of Theresa’s Well blog posts “A Nurse’s View of Health Care Reform” earned her an invitation to the White House where she met President Obama, who then quoted from her blog post to a gathering of nurses.

Being a floor nurse gives Theresa the authority to discuss issues pertinent to health care, patient safety, patient advocacy, and nurses’ working conditions.  Specifically, her work with oncology patients has given her an in-the-trenches expertise on issues surrounding end of life care and the importance of palliative care.  Further, Theresa is a member of her hospital’s Ethics Committee, which helps her place her concerns about care into a larger social, economic, and legal framework.

Theresa has a PhD in English from the University of Chicago and taught English for three years at Tufts University before staying home with her children and then returning to school to become a nurse.  It is a career change she has never regretted.


Sally Cohen

Sally Solomon Cohen, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor and Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Cohen brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to health policy. Based on her earlier practice as a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, she has developed expertise in policies for families with young children, especially child health, early care and education, and children’s rights.  Her landmark book, Championing Child Care (2001) chronicles the politics of 30 years of national child care policymaking, explaining our current child care policy outcomes. Dr. Cohen also has been a PI on several government and large foundation grants on topics ranging from the study of health care relationships to enhancing nursing’s capacity to improve health care policy, especially for vulnerable populations. She is currently the PI of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at University of New Mexico, where she directs the health policy concentration in the PhD in Nursing Program. Previously, she was a tenured faculty member at Yale University School of Nursing, where she was also a member of Executive Committee for the Yale Interdisciplinary Bioethics Center. She has a bachelor’s from Cornell University in international relations, a master’s degree in nursing from Yale University and a PhD (public health and American government) from Columbia University. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Nursing, has held office in the Public Policy Section of the American Political Science Association, and has won several awards for her leadership and publications.


Sheree Crute

Sheree Crute, Chair of the National Advisory Council, is an award-winning writer and editor who covers a broad range of health topics and specializes in consumer and multicultural health.  A veteran journalist, Sheree was the founding director of the Minority Media Information Center (MMIC) at the Scientists’ Institute for Public Information, a groundbreaking, not-for-profit health news service for journalists serving African American, Native American, Latino and Asian audiences.  She was also the founding health editor for Heart & Soul magazine, the nation’s first publication focused solely on the health needs of African American women; editor of the book, Health & Healing for African-Americans, (Rodale Press) and editor of the book, Covering Health in a Multicultural Society: A Guide for Journalists (The California Endowment).  In addition, she was an archivist and writer for the Department of Health and Human Services, focusing on health care disparities and is currently a writer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A contributing editor to Heart & Soul, Sheree has also written for The RootHealthBetter Homes and GardensEssenceAARP:The Magazine and other publications.  She has a B.A. in journalism and an M. A. in international affairs from New York University, a certificate in public health practice from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and she is currently a University of Southern California/Annenberg School of Communications National Reporting Fellow. She is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists (board member 2007-2009), the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Science Writers of New York.

Martin Dornbaum M.S. is the Founding Director of the Health Professions Education Center (HPEC) at Hunter College.  Since its inception in 1988, the HPEC has met the educational needs of students at different instructional levels and operates as a comprehensive learning center using new media, computer programs, and audiovisuals as a primary teaching strategy.  As a technology integration specialist, Martin collaborates with faculty on their pedagogical use of IT and the improvement of learning outcomes of future health care professionals. His areas of interest include:  media-use in education, Nursing and Medical Informatics, On-line Clinical Tracking Tools, Electronic Medical Records, Bedside Computing, the use of high-fidelity patient simulators for teaching clinical and diagnostic competencies and decision making skills, Telemedicine, Translational Research, E-learning tools, Computer Assisted Instructional Software, Tablet and GRID Computing.

During his tenure at the HPEC, Martin has developed and overseen the largest collection of health related media in the martin-photoCity University of New York (CUNY).  The collection consists of over 4,000 titles including clinical research films, medical and surgical films, and topics of general health information.  Martin has served as a media festival judge, film reviewer, and beta tester of health related software for many of the country’s top publishing companies.  He has lectured to undergraduate and graduate classes on effective methods of translating clinical research findings into mass communication tools and ways to utilize media for health promotion. Martin has also has served as a mentor to students in the Hunter College MFA  Program in Integrated Media Arts and as a mentoring faculty member of the Hunter College Center for Community and Urban Health- Research in HIV Intervention: Skills for the Community (RHISC) program.

Martin has been awarded several grants for his work in media and curriculum integration, including: Using Digital Video to Enhance Teaching/Learning and Research Objectives in Physical Therapy; Creating Digital Media to Enhance Lab Based Teaching and Learning; Improving Knowledge of Medical Terminology for Health Care Professionals; An Integrated Media Approach to Legal and Ethical Issues for Health Professionals; Multimedia to Enhance the Teaching/ Learning of Autism Spectrum Disorders; The Use of Educational Multimedia to Enhance the Study of Pluralism and Diversity in Healthcare; and Comprehensive Computer Based Review Strategies  for Professional Licensure Examinations. Also, in 2010 Martin will serve as Technology Officer for a five year HRSA grant which will train CUNY nurse educators on the latest nursing technologies. Martin has an extensive resume as a filmmaker and is an expert on utilizing media for the promotion of health policy.  He was Associate Producer of both Stay Tuned: The Challenge of Hearing Loss, and the Emmy nominated film In Care of: Families and Their Elders. The latter film’s eloquent depiction of the hardships of full-time caregivers led to a participating family’s story being featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine. He has collaborated with faculty on a variety of health productions, including In Control, a videotape to promote adherence to a healthy diabetic lifestyle for minority elders, and on a video intervention entitled Reality Check, which teaches the importance of dual protection for pregnancy and HIV/STDs. Martin also produced the critically acclaimed films, A Life Apart: Hasidism in America and Hiding and Seeking. He has also co-produced segments which appeared on the national PBS series- Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. His many accolades include a Media Recognition Award presented by the Alpha Phi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau (International Honor Society of Nursing), a Grand Prize from the North American Interfaith Film Festival, a CINE Golden Eagle, Independent Spirit Award nomination and two Emmy nominations.


Claire Fagin

Claire Fagin Dr. Fagin is a consultant to foundations and educational institutions. She served as dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania from January 1977 to January 1992.  Dr. Fagin served as the Interim President of the University from July 1, 1993 to June 30, 1994  Dr. Fagin was the first woman to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the University and the first woman to serve a term as Interim President of any Ivy League University. Presently she is Leadership Professor Emerita and Dean Emerita at Penn.

Dr. Fagin has extensive and progressive experience in nursing, health care and educational administration which includes teaching, practice, consultation, and participation in formation of health policy, in both public and private sectors

Dr. Fagin has served on 4 corporate boards (Daltex) Provident Mutual, Salomon, Inc.and Radian Guarantee, Inc), and has been in elected and appointed positions with many professional organizations.  Currently she is a member of the Board of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; the Expert Panel on Nursing of the World Health Organization, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Fagin has received 15 honorary doctoral degrees and numerous alumni, civic and professional awards.  In recognition of her contribution to nursing education and leadership and her influence on health care policy, Dr. Fagin received the Honorary Recognition Award of the American Nurses Association, the most prestigious honor awarded in the nursing profession.  Among her other awards are the first Distinguished Scholar Award given by the American Nurses Foundation, and the Hildegard E. Peplau Award (for her work in psychiatric nursing), from the American Nurses Association. In 1990, she was named a “Woman of Courage” by Philadelphia’s Women’s Way and in 1992, she received the Caring Award from the Visiting Nurses Association of Philadelphia; the first nurse to receive this award. In 1994, she received the Lillian D. Wald Spirit of Nursing Award from the New York Visiting Nurses Association and was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. In 1998 Dr. Fagin was made a A Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing and received the Presidents Medal from New York University. In 2001 she was awarded the Nightingale Award from the American Nurses Foundation and she was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in 2002. In 2006 the Nursing Building at the University of Pennsylvania was named “Claire M. Fagin Hall”. In 2010 she entered the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame, one of fewer than 80 nurses who have been chosen for this honor since its inception.

Dr. Fagin has published 15 authored/edited books and monographs and more than 100 articles.

In 2008 Dr. Fagin and her husband Samuel played an older couple in the movie “Maid of Honor”.

Dr. Fagin received the Bachelor of Science degree from Wagner College, the Master’s of Arts degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and the Ph.D. from New York University. The Fagins have two sons.

Rosemary Gibson is a national leader in patient safety and health care quality.  She is principal author of the new book, The Treatment Trap, which puts a human face on the overuse of unnecessary medical tests and surgeries.  For policymakers in Washington and the states who are reforming health care, it offers a ten-step recovery plan to curb health-care excess and twenty smart steps for patients to avoid overtreatment.


Rosemary Gibson

Gibson served as Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey for sixteen years where she led national quality and patient safety initiatives including Pursuing Perfection and the diffusion of rapid response teams and preventing harm from falls.  She was chief architect of the Foundation’s $200 million national strategy to establish palliative care in the mainstream of the U.S. health care system.  Now, more than 1400 hospitals have palliative care programs, an increase from about 10 in the 1990s

She worked with Bill Moyers and Public Affairs Television on the PBS documentary, “On Our Own Terms,” which showed to more than 20 million viewers how the U.S. health care system can better care for seriously ill patients and their families.  She initiated a series in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life.”

She is author of the critically acclaimed book, Wall of Silence, which tells the human story behind the Institute of Medicine report, To Err is Human.  Wall of Silence was reviewed in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Health Affairs, referenced in proceedings of the U.S. Senate, mentioned in Congressional testimony, noted in The Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe, and highlighted in the anniversary issue of O Magazine. Gibson has given keynote presentations on patient safety at hospitals around the country and national health care organizations.

Earlier in her career, Gibson served as Senior Research Associate at the Center for Health Policy Research at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy organization; as Vice President of the Economic and Social Research Institute, a policy think tank; and as consultant to the Medical College of Virginia and the Virginia state legislature’s Commission on Health Care. She also served as a volunteer and Board member at a free medical clinic in Washington, D.C.

She is a graduate of Georgetown University and has a master’s degree from The London School of Economics.

Christine Gorman


Scott Hensley

Scott Hensley Since 2009, Scott Hensley has been writing posts and editing them for Shots, NPR’s health blog. Before joining NPR, he was the founding editor ofThe Wall Street Journal‘s Health Blog.

He wasn’t always in the blogging racket. For years he covered the pharmaceutical industry for the Journal and wrote an online column about the business of health. Earlier in his journalism career he was a reporter for Modern Healthcare and American Banker.

Hensley has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Rose Hoban practiced nursing for more than a decade before returning to graduate school at UC Berkeley to combine masters degrees in journalism and public health policy.

Her experience working in the health care system has informed her reporting on mental health, on Medicare and rose-hobanMedicaid, on syphilis prevention efforts in a rural NC county and on the persistent racial and income disparities in health care delivery in NC.  Her work has won her multiple local, state and national awards, including a Green Eyeshade (SPJ) award, a Gracie Award (Alliance for Women in Media) and she was part of a group DuPont-Columbia award (broadcast journalism’s highest award).

Before coming to WUNC, Rose aired stories on Living on Earth, the California Report and KQED FM news.  She’s also published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times and the Anchorage Daily News.

A New York native, Rose worked internationally in Micronesia, Thailand and practiced nursing in Indonesia with Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders.  She’s worked in an inner-city emergency room, as a community health nurse, a hospice nurse and as the director of health services at a small trade college.

Maya Iwata, MSSW is social worker, activist and grassroots philanthropist with more than 15 years of postgraduate experience working in the intersecting areas of health and mental health, activism and social justice with deep experience in the communities of color, LGBTQ communities and women’s services.  She has presented at many national, state and local conferences and meetings such as the National Minority AIDS Council’s HIV Prevention Summit, New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute Case Management Unit Annual Conference, and a panel at the Foundation Center in New York City.  After working in senior and executive management positions at leading edge community-based organizations, she now works for SHARE: Self help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer.

Currently, she is a founding Board member of the New York City Venture Philanthropy Fund, a grassroots-giving circle, and the Advisory Board of Bee’s Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Stonewall Community Foundation and is an associate member of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Her past volunteer work includes being a committee member of the Grant Advisory Committee of the New York Women’s Foundation and a Board member of FIERCE! (a LGBT youth of color organizing not for profit). She has a B.A. in social psychology from Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences and graduated with her masters in clinical social work from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She resides with her partner and son in the Bronx.

Matt James is executive vice president at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a private operating foundation with more than $40 million in philanthropic expenditures each year.  The Foundation serves as a nonpartisan source of information on health policy and public health with a specific focus on the major government programs that provide health care to disadvantaged populations, the uninsured, health care financing and HIV/AIDS.

Matt James

At the Foundation, James has helped develop public education partnerships with many media companies including Viacom, CBS, MTV, MTV International, Black Entertainment Television (BET), and Univision.  He is responsible for developing and overseeing the Global Media AIDS Initiative and the Project on International Health Journalism, both partnerships with the UN, UNAIDS, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Under James’ leadership, the Foundation has launched HIV/AIDS public education partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, India, Africa and the Caribbean.

Most recently James conceived of and launched Kaiser Health News (KHN) ( a nonprofit health news service developed to provide in-depth coverage of health policy issues.  KHN, which now has content agreements with The Washington Post, NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and McClatchy News among others, is seen as a leading non-profit response to the cutbacks in the news industry.

As executive vice president, James serves as a senior manager and strategic advisor to the Board and president.  He is responsible for developing new initiatives and has primary responsibility for developing and overseeing the Foundation’s image and brand.  In addition to overseeing the Foundation’s public education activities, James also oversees the Foundation’s finance, human resources, and technology departments, as well as managing the Foundation’s corporate headquarters and one of its largest real estate holdings, Quadrus, a premiere Silicon Valley property on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California.

Through Kaiser, James has also helped launch many major Internet health sites including, and  He has also helped develop survey research partnerships with many major news organizations among them The Washington Post, NPR, and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Prior to joining the Foundation, James spent ten years working in Washington, D.C., as a communications and political aide to Congressman Morris K. Udall, Senator Dale Bumpers, and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.  He has also worked as an advisor and political and communications strategist on many state and national political campaigns.  He was also a speech and humor writer for many national political leaders.

In 1994, James was appointed by President Clinton to the board of the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation and now serves as an emeritus trustee to the Udall Foundation.  He is immediate past board chair of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health and a current board member.  James is also a member of the National Advisory Committee for the National Wildlife Federation’s Presidents’ Advisory Council, was board vice-chair of Grantmakers in Health, and has served on advisory committees for the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, and many other non-profit organizations.

James has written for many publications including Health AffairsJAMAThe Washingtonian, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, and the San Francisco Chronicle.   He has also written numerous op-eds and other opinion pieces under the byline of other non-profit or political leaders.  An accomplished public speaker, James regularly addresses non-profit groups and has been a guest lecturer at Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, Columbia, American University, the University of Arizona and other academic institutions.

Prior to his Washington posts, he was a newscaster and reporter for WMUK-FM, a National Public Radio affiliate in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He is a graduate of Western Michigan University.

Yanick Rice Lamb’s mission is to give voice to the voiceless and share the gift of knowledge through the written word. An award-winning journalist and author, Yanick has had an impressive career. She is


Yanick Rice Lamb

associate publisher and editorial director of Heart & Soul, the health and fitness bible for black women, with a readership of 1.5 million. She also shares her expertise at Howard University, where she is an associate professor, coordinator of the Print/Online Journalism Sequence and adviser to 101 Magazine.

She was also at the helm of Heart & Soul under Vanguarde Media Inc. and the BET Publishing Group, where she was a vice president and editorial director following her success as founding editor of BET Weekend. Her editorial vision led to BET Weekend becoming the second-largest publication targeted to African Americans. Under her leadership, the publication’s circulation increased nearly 40 percent, from 800,000 to 1.3 million in just three years. She was also an editor-at-large at Essence and a contributing editor for Emerge.

Previously, Yanick worked for the New York Times Company for 10 years in various newspaper roles, including assistant style editor, deputy home and living editor, assistant editor of Connecticut Weekly, metropolitan copy editor and a layout editor on the news desk and senior editor at Child magazine. She was also a copy editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter at The Toledo Blade. Yanick and her staffs have won numerous editorial and design awards, including a Folio: Editorial Excellence Award and five Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. Her individual honors include a McDonald’s Black History Maker of Today Award in Journalism, a Health Performance Fellowship from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Commonwealth Fund, a Cancer Issues Fellowship from the National Press Foundation, a Knight Digital Media Center fellowship and an entrepreneurial fellowship from UNITY Journalists of Color and the Ford Foundation to launch Lamb is also a former president of the New York Association of Black Journalists.

Yanick is co-author of Born to Win: The Authorized Biography of Althea Gibson (Wiley 2004), Rise & Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist (Random House/Crown, 2005) and The Spirit of African Design (Clarkson/Potter, 1996). She was a contributor to Aunties: 35 Writers Celebrate Their Other Mother (Ballantine Books, 2004); Health & Healing for African-Americans (Rodale, 1997); and Sisterfriend Soul Journeys (PromoTrends, 2000). She is completing her debut novel, Nursing Wounds.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Yanick holds a bachelor’s in journalism from Ohio State University and a master’s in business administration from Howard University.


Beverly Malone

Beverly Malone began her nursing career with a first degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati in 1970. She combined further study with clinical practice, a master’s in psychiatric nursing and she received her doctorate in clinical psychology in 1981.

Her career has mixed policy, education, administration and clinical practice. Dr. Malone has worked as a surgical staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, director of nursing, and assistant administrator of nursing. During the 1980s she was dean of the School of Nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. In 1996 she was elected for two terms as president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), representing 180,000 nurses in the USA. In 2000, she became deputy assistant secretary for health within the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Malone was general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the United Kingdom’s largest professional union of nurses, from June 2001 – January 2007. Dr Malone was also a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). She represented the RCN at the pan-European nursing body, the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN), the Commonwealth Nurses Federation, and the International Council of Nurses with the RCN president.

In February 2007, Dr. Malone took up her appointment as chief executive officer of the National League for Nursing in New York. Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the NLN is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 32,000 individual and 1200 institutional members. She was ranked #29 on Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare for 2010.


Patrice O’Neill

Patrice O’Neill is Co-Founder and CEO of the Oakland-based non-profit strategic media company, The Working Group.  She has produced successful national series on PBS for fifteen years and led a multi-platform approach that utilizes documentary film, social networking, outreach and organizing efforts to encourage dialogue and spur community action.

The Working Group¹s 1995 story of how the town of Billings, Montana responded to a rash of hate crimes, Not In Our Town, began as a half-hour PBS special and turned into a a dynamic national movement that continues to thrive today. For fifteen years, O’Neill has fostered a network of  “Not In Our Town” community activists and helped lead a series of anti hate media campaigns featuring screenings and town hall meetings in hundreds of communities nationwide. Her team recently launched the next phase of the Not In Our Town initiative with a new social media site that opens new civic engagement possibilities, and Not In Our School which includes anti bullying campaign resources for teachers and students.  O’Neill’s latest film, Not In Our Town III: Light in the Darkness premiered on PBS in September 2011. Over 200 community screenings are being held across the country.

Ivan Oransky, MD, is the executive editor of Reuters Health. He also teaches medical journalism at New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program, and blogs at Embargo Watch and Retraction Watch. Since 2002, he has been on the board of directors of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Oransky has served as managing editor, online, of Scientific American, deputy editor of The Scientist, and editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Praxis Post.For three years, he taught in the health and medicine track at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has written for publications including The Boston Globe, the LancetThe New Republic, and Slate, and was co-author of the Common Symptom Answer Guide (McGraw-Hill, 2004). Oransky earned his bachelor’s at Harvard, where he was executive editor of The Harvard Crimson, and his MD at the New York University of School Medicine, where he holds an appointment as clinical assistant professor of medicine.

ProPublica - Charles Ornsteinhttp://www.propublica.orgCharles Ornstein is a senior reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization in New York. Prior to joining ProPublica in 2008, he was a member of the metro investigative projects team at the Los Angeles Times. In 2004, Mr. Ornstein co-authored a series on Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, a troubled hospital in South Los Angeles. The articles won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for public service. Last year, Mr. Ornstein co-authored a series of stories detailing serious failures in oversight by the California Board of Registered Nursing and nursing boards around the country. The work was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He previously worked at the Dallas Morning News, where he covered health care on the business desk and worked in the Washington bureau. He is president of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Susan C. Reinhard is a Senior Vice President at AARP, directing its Public Policy Institute.   She also serves as the Chief Strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America at AARP, a national resource and technical assistance center created to ensure that America has the nurses it needs to provide care both now and in the future.srwintershot

Prior to AARP, Dr. Reinhard served as a Professor and Co-Director of Rutgers Center for State Health Policy where she directed several national initiatives to work with states to help people with disabilities of all ages live in their homes and communities.  Previously, she served three governors as Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, where she led the development of health policies and nationally recognized programs for family caregiving, consumer choice and control in health and supportive care, assisted living and other community-based care options, quality improvement, state pharmacy assistance, and medication safety. She also co-founded the Institute for the Future of Aging Services in Washington, DC and served as its Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Education.

Dr. Reinhard is a former faculty member at the Rutgers College of Nursing and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati, and a PhD in Sociology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Gary Schwitzer has specialized in health care journalism in his more than 30-year career in radio, television, interactive multimedia and the Internet.


Gary Schweitzer

He is publisher of the website, leading a team of more than two dozen people who grade daily health news reporting by major U.S. news organizations. 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

From 2001-2010, he was a tenured professor on the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, teaching health journalism and media ethics. He left that position to devote fulltime to his online publishing work.

In 2000, he was the founding Editor-In-Chief of the consumer health web site.

During the 1990’s, Gary produced groundbreaking shared decision-making videos for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making based at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

He worked for four years at the National Office of the American Heart Association in Dallas.

He was a television medical news reporter for 14 years, with positions at CNN in Atlanta, WFAA-TV in Dallas, and WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee. He was head of the medical news unit at CNN, leading the efforts of ten staff members in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. After leaving the television news business, he has frequently been asked to write or speak on the state of medical journalism.

He served two terms as a member of the board of directors of the Association of Health Care Journalists for whom he authored the organization’s Statement of Principles. For that organization he also wrote a guide on how to report on medical research studies.

Schwitzer has written about the state of health journalism in JAMA, BMJ, the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, PLoS Medicine, Nieman Reports, Quill, Columbia Journalism Review,, The Daily Beast, The American Editor, and In 2009, the Kaiser Family Foundation published and distributed his white paper on “The State of US Health Journalism.”

William M. Silberg, is a strategic publishing and communications consultant with 30 years experience in health, bill-silberg2medicine, health policy and science, in both the professional and consumer sectors. Prior to starting his consulting business, he spent three years as Vice President for Publishing and Communications at the New York Academy of Sciences, where he oversaw the nation’s oldest continually published scientific serial (the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences), as well as web publishing and public outreach. He came to the Academy after three years at The Commonwealth Fund, an independent, private foundation that studies and supports research on health care policy and social issues. At Commonwealth, where he was Senior Vice President for Communications and Publishing, he oversaw an overhaul of the foundation’s web site, dramatically increasing the Fund’s professional and public visibility. Prior to joining Commonwealth in 2003, Bill was Senior Vice President and Executive Editor at Medscape from WebMD, the online portal for health and medical professionals worldwide. He spent four years at Medscape after a 13-year career in publishing at the American Medical Association, where he served as Science News Editor, Deputy Editor of American Medical News, and Web Editor and Editorial Director for Medical News and New Media at JAMA. Previously, he served as Associate Director for Public Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals and, prior to that, spent seven years with United Press International as a reporter, editor and bureau chief in Albany, NY; Detroit; Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

toni-villarruel-cropped-2Antonia Villarruel PhD, RN, FAAN is Professor and Nola J. Pender Collegiate Chair and the Associate Dean for Research and Global Affairs.  Dr. Villarruel has an extensive background in health promotion and health disparities research and practice. Specifically, her research focuses on the development and testing of interventions to reduce sexual risk behavior among Mexican and Latino youth. Dr. Villarruel has been the PI and Co-PI of several NIH and CDC funded studies. She developed an effective program to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino youth entitled Cuídate (take care of yourself). This program will be disseminated nationally by the CDC as part of their Diffusion of Evidence-Based Interventions. Dr. Villarruel has assumed leadership roles in many national and local organizations. She is President and founding member of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nursing Associations and past president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Dr. Villarruel has been recognized by numerous local and national agencies for her service and scholarship. She was inducted as a Fellow in the Armerican Academy of Nursing and was elected to the Institute of Medicine. She received her PhD from Wayne State University and completed post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan.

Ellen-Marie Whelan, NP, PhD is Senior Advisor at the CMS Innovation Center. Prior to that she was  Senior Health Policy Analyst and Associate Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress.  Her research and publications focus on system delivery reform including how we pay providers for delivering care, primary care, health workforce policy, comparative effectiveness research, and prevention.  Prior to joining CAP she was a health policy advisor on Capitol Hill for five years, health services researcher, and practiced as nurse practitioner for over a decade. She started an adolescent primary care clinic in a community center in West Philadelphia.

Ellen Marie Whelan

On Capitol Hill, Dr. Whelan was the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions with Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski for four years. Dr. Whelan came to Congress as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow where she served as a legislative aide to Democratic Leader Tom Daschle.

Before coming to D.C., Dr. Whelan was an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where she held a joint appointment with the Urban Health Institute and the School of Nursing and started her academic career at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, where she founded a primary care teen clinic in an inner-city community center.  For this effort she received the Secretary’s Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, presented by former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and was one of the first nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania permitted to participate independently in the state Medicaid program.  Her research focused on academic–community partnerships, safety-net providers, and primary care.

Dr. Whelan holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree and Ph.D in nursing and health policy from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in primary care policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Linda Tarr-Whelan, Former Ambassador  is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and Director of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at Demos, a national progressive think tank.  Her book Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping up to Leadership and Changing the World was published in October 2009 by Berrett-Koehler and is in a fourth printing. She served as Ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in the Clinton Administration and as Deputy Assistant to President Jimmy Carter for Women’s Concerns in the White House.

Linda Tarr-Whelan

Named as one of the 50 most powerful women in Washington by Ladies Home Journal, she was Administrative Director of the New York State Department of Labor, Policy Director for AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Government Relations Director and Chief Lobbyist for the National Education Association, President/CEO of the Center for Policy Alternatives, and with her husband, the Managing Partner of Tarr-Whelan & Associates, Inc, an international management consultancy. She appears frequently as a speaker, writer, commentator and blogger for a wide variety of groups and media outlets. Her website is

Linda began her career as a nurse and holds a BSN from Johns Hopkins, an MS from the University of Maryland, and honorary PhDs from Chatham University in Pittsburgh and Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Linda and Keith Tarr-Whelan have two adult children and four grandchildren.  They reside in St. Helena Island, SC and Burlington, VT.

Patricia Thomas is the first holder of the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia. She leads UGA’s master’s degree program in health and medical journalism, organizes professional workshops for journalists working for traditional and ethnic news organizations, and does media training for students and professionals in public health, medicine and the sciences. She freelances for print and web.


Pat Thomas

She has written about medicine, public health, and life science research for many years, and from 1991 to early 1997 was editor of the Harvard Health Letter. Her book Big Shot: Passion, Politics, and the Struggle for an AIDS Vaccine (PublicAffairs) was written with assistance from a Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship, and it was named a notable book for 2001 by The Washington Post. Thomas was also one of the first healthy volunteers injected with an experimental HIV vaccine.

She has been a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in 2002-2003 was the Visiting Scholar at the Knight Center for Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University. During that year, Thomas taught graduate students, wrote a monograph analyzing news management and reporting during the anthrax attacks of 2001, and wrote a chapter for The War on Our Freedoms: Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism.

Thomas has served on the Editorial Board of the University of Georgia Press and is presently on advisory boards for the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at MIT, the Hunter College Center for Health, Media, and Policy, and Georgia Health News, a nonprofit online news organization.

Irene Wielawski

Irene M. Wielawski is an award-winning journalist specializing in health care and policy topics. She has written extensively on socioeconomic issues in American medicine, particularly the difficulties faced by people without timely access to medical services because of financial, geographic, cultural and other barriers. Wielawski was a staff writer for nearly 20 years for daily newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, where she was a member of the investigations team. Subsequently, with a research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she tracked local efforts to care for the medically uninsured following the demise of President Clinton’s health reform plan.

Her independent work has been published in daily newspapers, including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, in magazines, on websites, and in peer-reviewed journals and books. She has also edited manuscripts for the American Journal of Nursing.

Wielawski has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for medical reportage, among other solo honors, and also shared in two Los Angeles Times Pulitzers. She is a founder and current board member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, a reviewer for Health Affairs, and a graduate of Vassar College.