Monday, October 21, 2013: 3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Key Ballroom 5-6 (Hilton Baltimore)

Translating and disseminating research findings – to patients, physicians, policymakers and other health care decision makers – requires an astute, informed understanding of effective strategies for getting media attention and communicating with stakeholders and the public. This symposium will bring together journalists and science writers to share their experiences covering health and medical stories, explain how to craft and highlight messages for print, digital and broadcast media, distill the process by which the public processes complex information, and advise researchers on the management of contradictory or controversial findings.

Symposium chair and moderator:

  • Peter A. Ubel, MD, Duke University

 Confirmed speakers:

  • Sharon Begley, Reuters
  • Scott Hensley, NPR's Online Health Channel, Shots
  • Joanne Nicholas, Health and Medical Writer and Public Relations Strategist

Speaker Biographies:

Peter A. Ubel MD, Duke University
Peter is a physician, a long time SMDM member, and a researcher who believes strongly in the importance of getting the ideas of our Society in front of a broad audience. In addition to his academic writing, therefore, he has written 3 popular press books, has published in the New York Times and other newspapers, and blogs regularly for Forbes and The Atlantic.  You can follow his work at

Sharon Begley covers science, neuroscience, genetics, cognitive medicine and other topics as a senior health and science correspondent for Reuters. Most recently, she was a contributing writer for Newsweek and the Daily Beast. Previously, Begley was Newsweek’s science editor and science columnist and also worked for the Wall Street Journal. She is co-author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain (2012) and The Mind and the Brain (2007). Begley holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.

 Scott Hensley runs NPR's online health channel, Shots.  He joined the Wall Street Journal in 2000 where he covered health care and was a founding editor of the Journal's Health Blog.  After two years as a news editor in the New York health and science bureau, he left the paper in March 2009. Previously, he wrote for Modern Healthcare and American Banker. Before becoming a journalist, he worked in regulatory affairs at the medical devices unit of Siemens AG. Mr. Hensley earned a bachelor's degree in natural sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.  He now serves on the board of directors of the Association of Health Care Journalists. 

 Joanne Nicholas is a health and medical writer and public relations strategist. She was previously the Director of Public Affairs at Continuum Health Partners, supervising press relations for Beth Israel, St. Luke’s, and Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City.  She was also previously a medical researcher and assistant producer at NBC News, and a media relations manager at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Nicholas has bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Peter A. Ubel, MD , Sharon Begley , Scott Hensley and Joanne Nicholas