In order to bring the voice of the patient dealing with every condition we support, Health Union platforms publish frequent articles and points of view from leading patient advocates, health care professionals and other experts. Each of our contributors has been impacted in some way by the condition (whether that be personal or peripheral experience) and has chosen to dedicate a portion of their lives to educating and improving the lives of others with their genuine content. They use their personal experiences – the good and the not-so-good – to help others and positively impact the community by sharing valuable insights, strength and camaraderie.

*Health Union and its contributors DO NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information contained on Health Union websites should never replace a doctor’s advice and recommendations.


Health Union works with field experts who contribute their expertise to multiple sites.

Health Union works with professional medical writers to develop core content for each site. These writers are responsible for writing articles that are relevant to each patient community that are clear, concise, and scientifically accurate.

Otessa Middleton Miles

If you’ve subscribed to the business standard, Dow Jones Newswires or read The Wall Street Journal’s prescription drug coverage, you’ve seen Otessa Middleton Miles’ byline. For more than eight years, she made complex health and medical information clear and relevant to scores of readers, including those of Smart Money magazine. Otessa also conducted several one-day seminars for Food and Drug Administration officials on working with the media, gave a seminar to a health public relations firm on targeting the medical media, served as a guest journalism lecturer at Howard University and at the University of Maryland, coached other writers at the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting and reported live on influenza vaccination on MSNBC and on an over-the-counter drug application on NPR.

Jonathan Simmons

Jonathan Simmons lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has extensive experience writing for the health communications and pharmaceutical industries, developing educational and informational materials for both professional and consumer audiences. He particularly enjoys writing about complex topics in healthcare and exploring how modern medicine meets the challenges of developing novel and effective treatments for human illnesses.

Sarah Dobbs O’Brien, MPH, RD

Sarah is a medical writer with a public health background living in Chapel Hill, NC. After years of working for print publications, she is excited to be writing for an online audience. She enjoys delving into the science of human disease and treatment, and producing articles that help patients manage their health conditions.

Anna Nicholson

Anna Nicholson is a science writer based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. While pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Science, she developed a keen interest in researching and writing about our understanding of human communication from a variety of perspectives including linguistics, neuroscience, social psychology, and philosophy of mind and language. Throughout her graduate studies, she also gained valuable experience by working with a medical communications agency and as a freelance science writer specializing in global health issues. She enjoys science writing because it provides a unique opportunity to explore the intersection of human health, therapeutic innovation, and patient advocacy coupled with the responsibility to accurately convey complex information in an effective and accessible way.

Kristine Zerkowski

Kristine Zerkowski is the Director of Community Development for Health Union, LLC, and has several years of experience working as a medical writer for multiple medical communications companies. She has a strong background in writing medical publications, including manuscripts, and poster presentations for various congresses. She currently resides in Clinton, Connecticut.

Leslie Beth “LB” Herbert, PhD

LB is Senior Director, Insights at Health Union where she leverages her background in customer research, statistics, user experience design and innovation to tackle diverse projects in both research and analytics. Her 15+ years of professional experience spans the range of primary research services, such as online surveys and user-intercept surveys, interviews/focus groups, ethnography and usability testing, along with social media monitoring and metrics. For Health Union, LB directs both qualitative and quantitative research initiatives and leverages her strengths in synthesizing all types of data to tell a “deeper customer story” and share insights with project teams and executives.


Connecting Across Communities

Connexion 2018

Each year, Health Union hosts Connexion, a conference for patient advocacy. It’s a gathering of the extraordinary network of patient advocates who regularly contribute articles, blogs, points of view, comments and more to our online health communities. Check out photos from the 2018 conference hosted in Philadelphia as well as details about HU Connexion’19!


Recognizing the pillars of our communities

In order to highlight the voices of real people living with each condition that we support, Health Union platforms publish daily content from leading patient advocates, health care professionals, and other experts. Many of the articles generate lively conversation which is moderated by patient experts to support individual community members.

Each of our contributors & moderators has been impacted, either personally or peripherally, by the health conditions about which they write. They have chosen to dedicate a portion of their lives to educating and improving the lives of others by sharing their unique perspectives. They share their experiences both the good and the not-so-good — to erase stigma, empower patients, and create conversations with others in the community.

Our contributors, moderators, and active members are truly pillars within their communities, so we created the HU Community Pillars Program in an attempt to thank them for the incredible work they do every day. The Pillars Program offers perks such as matching gifts, education reimbursement, conference support, and much more.

Health Union also hosted our first annual HU Connexion conference in March 2017 to meet and thank our extraordinary Pillars Program members for their contributions in person! It was an amazing gathering, and we are looking forward to HU Connexion ’18!