I love working at the intersection of science, medicine and journalism. I have more than 20 years of experience in health and science writing. I was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2015, and have received top awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. While I specialize in matters of health and science, I have also written about gun-toting liberals for D Magazine, and was the writer-reporter of the “Thugs” episode for the NPR series This American Life.
You can read some of my articles below. I welcome new story ideas.
Are all those three-hundred-pound high school football players a health crisis waiting to happen?
The first time John Jones played football for Cedar Hill High School, he was a 240-pound freshman who knew so little about the game he trotted into Longhorn Stadium with his shoulder pads on backward. He bumbled along for weeks, unimpressive in every position he tried. During a warm-up midway through the season, he finally found his footing on the offensive line and knocked the helmet off a guy from the opposing side. After that, he was a starter.READ ARTICLE
Cosmopolitan, July 2016
Childbirth is one of nature’s most wondrous but biologically brutal feats. For nine months, a woman’s muscles and bones bear the increasing weight of a baby that isn’t even slightly ergonomically positioned. During a vaginal birth, muscles and other tissues stretch and often tear as something the size of a cantaloupe is forced through an opening that is normally about the size of a carrot…
Reader’s Digest, April 2016
Clearing a clogged carotid artery could be a solution in search of a problem. During or after a Coloprocedure, bits of plaque may break free and lodge in the small vessels of the brain, triggering the stroke you’re trying to stop.
Advocates of a connection between the artery disease atherosclerosis and microbes are hoping to find convincing proof of their suspicions, while exploring links between ailing gums and other conditions, including cancer, arthritis, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The work has profound implications for public health, given that more than 65 million American adults are thought to have periodontal disease, which occurs when bacterial overgrowth inflames the gums and can lead to erosion of gums and bone.READ ARTICLE
Among women of childbearing age, well over half are overweight or obese, with almost 8 percent considered extremely obese (a BMI of 40 or greater). Lucilla Poston, who is head of the division of women’s health at King’s College London, calls too much weight during pregnancy “the biggest problem in obstetrics at the moment.READ ARTICLE
Redbook, November 2015
This industry, which taps in to our weight-loss aspirations and includes OxyELITE Pro and hundreds of other supplements, is extremely difficult to regulate. The lack of well-enforced rules can put well-intentioned women at risk.
Despite a sleepy, Mayberry sort of image, the realities of small-town life can take an outsize toll on the vulnerable. A combination of lower incomes, greater isolation, family issues and health problems can lead people to be consumed by day-to-day struggles.READ ARTICLE
Cosmopolitan, October 2015
“As many as 30 percent of gynecological patients overall are suffering severe, recurring period pain, according to a study released in August. And when symptoms are treated, the standard advice has changed little in three decades. It is one of the most significant health problems for which there is almost no public discussion and little research.
We live in the era of super-gonorrhea. Drug-resistant gonococci that had been breeding in Asian nations are now spreading to such an extent that the World Health Organization has declared gonorrhea a global concern and warned that without new drugs, infections may one day become untreatable.
“This is clearly a superbug,” says Peter Leone, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina.READ THE ARTICLE
Eating Well, May 2015
Rather than negating the value of veggies, the underlying message is: you can’t count on easy, singular solutions. Just like the disease itself, diet advice is complicated. While experts still say plants are a major part of an overall pattern of eating that your body prefers, they now recognize that what you’re not having when you help yourself to broccoli may be as important as eating the vegetable itself.
O Magazine, February, 2015
“A woman saying she doesn’t want a mammogram is being wrongly interpreted as though she doesn’t care about her body or her health,” says leading breast cancer expert Susan Love, MD, founder of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Love, 66, who herself gets screened every two years, isn’t against mammograms, but she is among a growing group of doctors at the forefront of breast cancer prevention and research who are backing away from the one-size-fits-all guidelines. Instead of asking a woman when she wants to schedule a mammogram, says Love, doctors need to ask whether she wants one to begin with.