OUR AMAZING ADVOCATES
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.
Scroll through our advocates’ photos below and click on an individual to read their bio.
*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 experts who contribute their expertise to our sites.
PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL WRITERS
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.
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.
Cara has been working in healthcare since 1996. Her background in pharmacy, master’s degree in public health and more recent move to oncology research has given her a unique set of communication skills. Cara regularly found herself moving complex information between healthcare professionals and patients, helping patients understand the benefits and limitations of the current healthcare systems, and keeping patient-focused advocacy at the forefront of her work. In her spare time, Cara enjoys knitting, painting, cooking, spending time with her two awesome dogs, and hunting for a great bargain. She loves to travel, has been to 42 of the 50 states, and now that she has a passport she wants to see as much of the world as she can.
Cathy Leamy, MS, is a medical writer based in Boston. Through her previous work as an electronic medical record programmer, she was immersed in primary care medicine and developed a passion for patient-centered engagement and empowerment. She studied health communication at Tufts University and loves finding innovative ways for people with chronic conditions to share their lives and experiences with others.
Jaime Herndon is a medical writer and currently lives in NJ, where she is raising her toddler son. She is fascinated by health and medicine, and her areas of interest and expertise include oncology, maternal-child health, psycho-oncology, and behavioral medicine. She has written extensively for a variety of outlets for both professionals and consumers, and feels very strongly about helping patients to better understand their condition in order to become active partners in their healthcare. She earned her MS in clinical health psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, her MPH in maternal-child health from UNC-Chapel Hill, and her MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia University, where she also took classes in Narrative Medicine. In her spare time, she reads too many books and drinks too much coffee.
Jessica Johns Pool
Jessica knew she’d found her best job ever when she started working for a children’s hospital on the digital marketing team. That’s when she discovered her love of writing about health topics. Fast forward to today, and she’s written about everything from cancer to HIV, depression to fetal surgery, organ transplant to heart attacks and strokes. When she’s not at her computer, Jessica walks off her wanderlust in as many countries as the budget allows, and on really good days, goes yarn bombing.
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.
Kim is a medical writer from Seattle and draws on her training in science to dive into medical literature and clinical trials. Kim did her BS at the University of California, San Diego in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and then completed her PhD at the University of Washington in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program. After a career as a bench scientist, Kim transitioned into scientific writing and then medical writing. She is passionate about helping patients with chronic illness through the power of education.
Krista Scavone is a freelance medical writer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. With over 19 years of experience writing health content for both consumers and medical professionals, Krista began her career working in pharmaceutical marketing in New York City. Longing for less snow and more sun, Krista and her family relocated to North Carolina where she continues to craft healthcare marketing and education materials that are accurate, informative, compelling, and creative.
Linda Saxl Minton
Linda Minton is a healthcare consultant and medical writer based in New York City. She received a Masters in Public Health from Yale University. She develops medical communications for patients and caregivers that translate complex information into understandable, actionable materials. Linda has recently authored patient guides focusing on the intersection of mental health and the disease process.
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.
Sara Finkelstein is a freelance writer and filmmaker based in Seattle. She started with a biology degree, intending to engage in laboratory research. But she found her passion in communicating scientific and medical information to the general public, instead. Over the years, she has edited scientific papers at Harvard University, produced award-winning documentaries for PBS broadcast, and written multiple websites, articles, white papers, and blog posts on topics as diverse as enacting energy-efficiency upgrades in public hospitals and watching manatees in southern Florida. Sara enjoys improvisational healthy home cooking, dance-focused group exercise, and socializing with friends. She’s still working on getting enough sleep every night.
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.
Truc Diep, PhD
Truc is a medical writer based in Southern Connecticut. Her graduate studies concentrated on chemistry and biochemistry at the molecular level. Since then she has expanded to a macro-level interest in the health sciences. Her professional writing experience includes developing promotional and educational materials for healthcare professionals. She is enjoying a new area of writing, which focuses on consumers and the online community, by sharing information and bringing awareness about health-related topics that are important to patients.