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Advisory Board

William F. Allman became chief digital officer for Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating arm of the Smithsonian Institution, in February 2011.  He previously worked as vice president of e-media for and as chief content/creative officer for The HealthCentral Network, a network of websites. Mr. Allman has been involved in interactive content for more than two decades. He formerly was senior vice president and general manager of interactive new media for, where his duties involved the strategic planning and day-to-day management of Discovery Communications, Inc.'s websites, as well as overseeing strategy and development for all ITV and broadband applications. He was the founding general manager for the U.S. News & World Report websites, which launched in November 1992. Mr. Allman began his career as a print journalist, helping to create the award-winning magazine Science 80, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, before moving to U.S. News & World Report as a senior writer and editor specializing in science and health. He has bachelor's degrees in English and biology from Brown University.

Samuel Belilty has been news director at KUVN, Univision Dallas, the highest rated newscast in the Dallas area, since January 2014. He has 24 years of experience in broadcast television, both in front of and behind the camera.  He previously worked as news director at KWEX, Univision San Antonio; creative services director, executive producer and news director at KFTV, Univision Fresno; and network news production manager and manager of a special reports unit at RCTV (Caracas, Venezuela). He has received EMMY, Edward R. Murrow, Gabriel, Telly and ADDY Awards, in addition to several national awards in Venezuela.  He has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Universidad Central de Venezuela and has done  postgraduate studies in organizational development. 

Jane Brody has written the "Personal Health" column for The New York Times since 1976. Her column appears every Tuesday in the Science Times section and many other newspapers. Ms. Brody joined the Times in 1965 as a full-time specialist in medicine and biology. She has received numerous awards for journalistic excellence, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Princeton University in 1987. Her books include the best sellers "Jane Brody's Nutrition Book" and "Jane Brody's Good Food Book." Her newest book, "Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyond," was published in January 2009.

Sandy Close has served as executive director of Pacific News Service (PNS) since 1974. One of the first regular commentators for NPR’s Morning Edition in the mid-1980s, she founded YO! Youth Outlook, a monthly magazine of youth writing and art, in 1991 and in 1996 she co-founded The Beat Within, a weekly writing journal by incarcerated youth. That same year, she founded New California Media, which subsequently became New America Media (NAM), under the umbrella of Pacific News Service, to bring greater visibility to the content of ethnic news organizations. Today, NAM is the largest editorial and marketing collaboration of ethnic media in the United States. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Close started her journalism career in Hong Kong in the mid-1960s as China editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review. After returning to the States, she founded an inner-city newspaper in Oakland called The Flatlands and spent five years writing about prison and criminal justice issues before joining PNS. Among many awards, Close has received a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award” and the 2011 Polk Award for Career Achievement. In 1996, a film she co-produced, “Breathing Lessons,” won the Academy Award for best short documentary. 

Sue Cross (Chair) is executive director of the Institute for Nonprofit News. Before that, she served as founder and principal of Cross Media, a leader in creating news and content products and developing revenue and partnerships to grow them.  Current projects include developing new uses of virtual reality platforms and mobile apps for content products, plus communications and development for the Journalism and Women’s Symposium (JAWS) and other social enterprise ventures. Ms. Cross formed her Los Angeles-based advisory in 2014 after 20+ years developing digital products and new content markets for The Associated Press.  As senior vice president for business development and partnerships in the Americas, she focused on emerging media markets and led expansion of products and partnerships for Latin America, Canada and U.S. broadcast, digital and print markets.  Her work in digital business development is built on years of newsroom experience as reporter and editor. Ms. Cross was bureau chief of the Los Angeles bureau, the largest in the United States outside New York and Washington, D.C., where she developed one of the AP’s first multimedia news desks joining video and text journalists. She also served as a mentor at the American Film Institute Digital Media Lab.  She previously held news leader positions in Chicago, Phoenix and Dallas and worked as an AP reporter in Juneau, Alaska, and in Ohio, focusing on beats including health, environment and immigration. Previous business positions at the AP included senior vice president, global new media and American media markets; vice president for U.S. online newspaper services; and regional vice president for the Western United States.  She has been affiliated with The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship advisory board since its inception. She serves on the board of the Inter American Press Association and the JAWS Development Committee and does pro bono marketing and PR through the Taproot Foundation.

Robert J. Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H., has more than 20 years' experience as a health and medical journalist. He is president and editor-in-chief of Everwell, a company that creates and distributes consumer health video content. Previously, he was executive producer of the award-winning PBS series "HealthWeek," a producer for CNN medical news, and a columnist for WebMD and The Wall Street Journal.  Davis is an adjunct professor at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and the author of two books, The Healthy Skeptic (University of California Press, 2008) and Coffee Is Good for You (Penguin/Perigee, 2012).  A graduate of Princeton University, he holds a master's degree in public health from Emory and a Ph.D. in health policy from Brandeis University, where he was a Pew Foundation Fellow.

Anh Do covers multicultural communities and breaking news at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she served as vice president of Orange County-based Nguoi Viet Daily News, the largest Vietnamese-language publication in the U.S., which was founded by her late father. Do attended USC, majoring in journalism and English literature. She worked at the Dallas Morning News and the Seattle Times before writing for the Orange County Register, including authoring a column on Asian affairs. Her reporting has taken her to England, Guatemala, Peru, Vietnam, India, Cuba and Mexico. Her work has been honored by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Asian American Journalists Association, the DART award for excellence in reporting on victims of violence and Freedom Newspapers’ Sweepstakes Award. 

Jan Gurley, M.D., is a practicing board-certified internist and writer. Her health-related work experience includes basic science research in Jerome Groopman's HIV lab, health services research, public policy and administration and the joys and complexity of seeing patients one-on-one. After medical school at Harvard and residency training at the University of California at San Francisco, she received a Robert Wood Johnson joint UCSF/Stanford fellowship in epidemiology, public policy and ethics. Since then, she has worked as an administrator and clinician for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, most recently as medical director of the Potrero Hill Health Center. She is currently a senior safety scientist at Genentech and writes about health topics for her own blog. She was a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow in 2010. For her Fellowship project, she produced a series of multimedia articles about the health impacts of homelessness, for which she was awarded the Saffron Foundation's Media Award. She is a frequent and popular speaker on topics ranging from "Making Meaningful Use Meaningful" for the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine to "Personalized Medicine" for Triple Ring Technologies, a biotech incubator. Her writing has also appeared in such diverse outlets as BlogHer, The New England Journal of Medicine, KevinMD, SFGate and Salon. 

Andrea Hricko, M.P.H., is director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Program of the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, where she is a professor in the department of preventive medicine. She works to translate research findings about the effects of air pollution and other environmental exposures on human health into public health and policy initiatives.  Professor Hricko is a leader in efforts to make health a priority in the policy debate about expansion of ports, rail facilities and freeways. She has served on the advisory council for the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and on the U.S. EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) Working Group on Goods Movement. She has developed community-academic partnerships  with environmental justice and community-based organizations to address the health and community impacts of ports and freight transport. She earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College.

Richard Jackson is a professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. A pediatrician, he has served in many leadership positions in both environmental health and infectious disease with the California Health Department, including state health officer.  For nine years, he was director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta, for which he received the Presidential Distinguished Service award.  In October, 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In California, he was instrumental in conceptualizing laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farm workers and to children. While at CDC, he led the federal effort to bio monitor chemical levels in the U.S. population.  He has received the Breast Cancer Fund’s Hero Award,as well as lifetime achievement awards fromthe Public Health Law Association and New Partners for Smart Growth, and, in October 2012, the John Heinz Award for Leadership in the Environment.  He has co-authored two Island Press Books: “Urban Sprawl and Public Health” in 2004 and “Making Healthy Places in 2011. He is host of a 2012 public television series, “Designing Healthy Communities,” which linked to the J. Wiley & Sons book by the same name. 

Francine R. Kaufman, M.D., is chief medical officer and vice president of global medical, clinical and health affairs for Medtronic Diabetes and Distinguished Professor Emerita of Pediatrics and Communications at the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.Dr. Kaufman previously directed the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center at Childrens Hospital. She is the author of more than 150 medical articles, as well as a book, "Diabesity: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic That Threatens America - And What We Must Do to Stop It."  She collaborated with Discovery Health on a documentary, "Diabetes: A Global Epidemic," that premiered in November 2007. Dr. Kaufman is past president of the American Diabetes Association and a recipient of the 2003 Woman of Valor award from the American Diabetes Association for her lifetime achievement in pediatric endocrinology and research. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2005.

Tim Lau is chief executive officer for the West Coast edition of Sing Tao Daily, the Hong Kong-based newspaper. Under his direction, Sing Tao Daily has become the best selling Chinese-language newspaper in the Bay Area. In April 1996, he spearheaded the company's expansion into radio. Today, Arbitron rates its Cantonese and Mandarin programs as the most popular Chinese radio shows in the United States. In October 2003, Mr. Lau was appointed director of Sing Tao Newspapers (Canada 1988) Ltd. Mr. Lau previously was a television producer. He has a master's degree from Ohio University.  He served as a member of the board of directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and of San Francisco SAFE, Inc., a non-profit neighborhood safety awareness organization, in 2003.  He was also a board member at the American Red Cross (Bay Area Chapter) in 2006.

Hugo Morales, J.D., is the founder (1976) and executive director of Radio Bilingüe, the National Latino public radio network. Headquartered in Fresno and Oakland, the network provides a national satellite service in English, Spanish, Mixteco, Triqui and Hmong.  It serves more than half a million listeners with its pioneering daily Spanish-language national talk show, Linea Abierta; its independently produced news service, Noticiero Latino; and its offerings of Latino traditional folk music.  Radio Bilingüe has a dozen full-power FM radio stations in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and California and more than 100 radio station affiliates in NorthAmerica.  Mr. Morales’ awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1994 and  an Edward R. Murrow Award, one of the broadcast industry's highest honors, in 1999.  In 2006, he received the Cultural Freedom Prize from the Lannan Foundation, established “to recognize people whose extraordinary and courageous work celebrates the human right to freedom of imagination, inquiry, and expression.”   He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law and received honorary doctorates from California State University, Fresno and California State University, Sacramento.  He serves or has served on the boards of The California Endowment, The National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the California Postsecondary Education Commission, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, The Rosenberg Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation and The Fresno County First Five Commission and is currently a trustee of the California State University system.

Carmen Rita Nevarez, M.D., M.P.H., is vice president for external relations and preventive medicine advisor at the Oakland-based Public Health Institute (PHI). She is the creator of, a web-based conferencing center that uses Web Forums, a social network and other resources to encourage collaboration between the prevention community and those communities whose work impacts health. She is director of the Center for Health Leadership and Practice, whose current portfolio focuses on developing collaborative team-based leadership capacity for leading community based cultural transformation resulting in better health. She served as president of the American Public Health Association in 2010. Her areas of expertise include teen pregnancy prevention, health disparities, Latino health, obesity, chronic disease prevention and health reform. Before joining PHI, Dr. Nevarez served as the director, health officer and environmental health director for Berkeley's Health and Human Services Department and as a special assistant to the dean at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, where she developed university participation in community-based public health projects and taught a graduate course in multicultural competence. She has served as medical director at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, a federally qualified health center. A gynecologist and preventive medicine specialist, Dr. Nevarez maintains a part-time clinical practice.

Pedro Rojas was executive editor of La Opinión, the largest-circulation Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, from 2005 to 2011. He has more than 30 years of experience in the newspaper business, the last 10 in management positions. He previously served eight months as the executive editor for El Diario La Prensa, the nation's oldest Spanish-language daily, and worked for 27 years for El Nuevo Día in Puerto Rico, six of them as the managing editor. In 2010, he collaborated with Michelle Levander, director of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, to publish the Boyle Heights Beat, a quarterly newspaper written by high school students, A native of the Dominican Republic, he holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico. 

Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D., has been vice president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and director of its Health Policy Institute since September 2008. The institute explores disparities in health and generates policy recommendations on health equity concerns. Mr. Smedley previously served as research director for The Opportunity Agenda, a communication, research, and advocacy organization that he co-founded in 2004. Before that, he served as a senior program officer in the Division of Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine, where he was study director for the report, "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care," and three other reports. Previously, he was director for public interest policy for the American Psychological Association, a Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-VA), and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Educational Testing Service. Among his awards and distinctions: the National Academy of Sciences' Individual Staff Award for Distinguished Service in 2003 and 2000; the Congressional Black Caucus "Healthcare Hero" award in April 2002; and the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest from the American Psychological Association in 2002. A Detroit native, Mr. Smedley graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with degrees in psychology and social relations and earned a doctorate in psychology from UCLA.


Ex Officio

Mary Lou Fulton is a senior program manager at The California Endowment, where she oversees communications strategies for the foundation’s Health Happens in Schools and Neighborhoods campaigns.  Before joining The Endowment in 2009, Ms. Fulton served as vice president of audience development for The Bakersfield Californian, where she oversaw the conceptualization and launch of new products and publications. Her team was also responsible for the conceptualization and development of the "Bakomatic" Social Media Platform that now powers thousands of blogs in Bakersfield and has been licensed to other media companies, including the Gannett and McClatchy corporations. The platform was honored with a 2006 Knight-Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism. In addition to her extensive background in social media, Ms. Fulton has considerable experience as a journalist, serving as both an editor and writer at the Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press and, where she was managing editor. She also played a key role in the creation of, where she oversaw staff, news presentation, and design as managing editor. Ms. Fulton earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication and her master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Willow Bay is director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and a professor of professional practice. She is also a special correspondent for Bloomberg Television and a senior editor at the Huffington Post. She was formerly an anchor for CNN Moneyline, CNN & Entertainment Weekly and CNN & Fortune; executive producer and host of Lifetime Television's "Spotlight 25;" anchor and freelance reporter for NBC News and MSNBC; co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" Sunday edition; a correspondent for ABC's "World News Saturday" and "World News Sunday; co-host of "NBA Inside Stuff;" and a correspondent for NBC's "Today Show.”

Ernest James Wilson III, Ph.D., is Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and dean of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is also a senior fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, a joint project of USC Annenberg, and the USC College's School of International Relations, and an adjunct fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy. Dean Wilson's scholarship focuses on the convergence of communication and information technology, public policy, and the public interest. He is also a student of the "information champions," who are leaders of the information revolution around the world. His current work concentrates on the politics of global sustainable innovation in high-technology industries; on China-Africa relations; and the role of culture in U.S. national security policy. In addition to his most recent books - "The Information Revolution in Developing Countries" and "Negotiating the Net in Africa" - Dean Wilson co-edits the MIT Press series, "The Information Revolution and Global Politics," and an MIT journal, "Information Technologies and International Development". Dean Wilson is the former chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board. He earned a doctorate and a master's degree in political science from UC Berkeley and a bachelor's degree from Harvard College.

Program Director

Michelle Levander is founding director of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and editor-in-chief of its website, Center for Health Journalism Digital. She joined USC in 2004. Since then, the Fellowships program has educated more than 800 journalists and branched out to include a number of new initiatives. Ms. Levander co-founded Boyle Heights Beat with Pedro Rojas and is founder of the Center for Health Journalim Digital Collaborative and the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism. A veteran editor and writer, Ms. Levander reported in Asia, Latin America, and the United States for Time Magazine Asia, The Asian Wall Street Journal, and The San Jose Mercury News. In Asia, she reported from China, India, South Korea, and Vietnam on the region's technology scene. She was founding editor of The Technology Journal at The Asian Wall Street Journal and Technology Editor at Time Asia. She wrote about workplace issues and business health policy at the Mercury News, among other topics. She has received journalism awards from the Overseas Press Club of America (Best Reporting in Latin America), the Inter American Press Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists. A former Inter American Press Association fellow, she spent a year in Mexico, studying at Mexico City's prestigious El Colegio de Mexico and researching migrant culture from rural Mexico. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley and has a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.



We've opened recruitment for our all-expenses-paid 2016 California Health Journalism Fellowship, to be held in Los Angeles March 6-10, 2016. Apply now for a $1,000 reporting grant and five days of information-packed seminars, workshops and field trips on California's health care challenges. Click here for details.

We’ve grown considerably since we began in 2004 at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, and we’re thrilled to announce we now have a new name and new look for our website, formerly known as Reporting on Health.


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