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Board of Directors

AHCJ board service: Responsibilities, rights, restrictions and rewards

Running for a seat on the board of directors

Officers

President
Ivan Oransky, M.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Spectrum
New York

Ivan Oransky

Ivan Oransky, M.D., is editor-in-chief of Spectrum and Distinguished Writer In Residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He also blogs at Embargo Watch and at Retraction Watch. Formerly, he was vice president, editorial at Medscape; global editorial director at MedPage Today; executive editor at Reuters Health; managing editor for online at Scientific American and deputy editor of The Scientist.

He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University, where he was executive editor of The Harvard Crimson, his medical degree from New York University, and completed an internship at Yale before leaving medicine to be a full-time journalist. A 2012 TEDMED speaker, he is the recipient of the 2015 John P. McGovern Medal for excellence in biomedical communication from the American Medical Writers Association, and in 2017 was awarded an honorary doctorate in civil laws from The University of the South (Sewanee). Oransky has taught at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and has written for publications from Nature to the New York Times. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife (and fellow AHCJ member) Cate Vojdik, whom he met at an AHCJ conference. He was first elected to the board in 2002. You can follow him at @IvanOransky.

Vice President 
Felice J. Freyer
Health Care Reporter, The Boston Globe
Boston

Felice Freyer

Felice J. Freyer has been chair of AHCJ's Right to Know Committee since 2009, spearheading the committee’s efforts to  intervene and speak out when reporters encounter obstacles to information. The committee has sponsored two membership surveys, met with HHS public affairs officials to push for greater transparency, held yearly workshops, and established a portal for tracking and responding to information blockades. As a health care reporter for The Boston Globe, she has covered almost every aspect of health and medicine, with a focus on mental health and addiction. During the pandemic she embedded at a hospital ICU, revealed the plight of covid “long-haulers” and tracked the vaccine roll-out. Previously, she was the medical writer for The Providence (R.I.) Journal. Follow her on Twitter at @felicejfreyer.

Treasurer
Gideon Gil
Managing Editor, Enterprise & Partnerships, Stat
Boston

Gideon Gil

Gideon Gil is chair of AHCJ's Finance and Development Committee. He is managing editor for enterprise and partnerships at Stat, a Boston-based online publication covering health, medicine, and life sciences. He was the health and science editor at The Boston Globe for a decade and a medical reporter and an editor at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., for 19 years, and had a hand in three Pulitzer Prizes. A 2014-15 Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT, he lives in Wellesley, Mass. Gil, elected to the board in 2011, was chair of the local planning committee for Health Journalism 2013, and leads AHCJ’s Boston chapter. You can follow him at @GideonGil.

Secretary
Sabriya Rice
Knight Chair of Health & Medical Journalism, University of Georgia
Athens, Ga.

Sabriya Rice

In 2018, Sabriya Rice was named the Knight Chair of Health & Medical Journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She previously was a health business reporter at The Dallas Morning News, wrote about quality and safety at Modern Healthcare and was a health producer with CNN for eight years. She was a member of the inaugural class of AHCJ Fellows on Comparative Effectiveness Research in 2015. As a freelance producer with Quest Network’s Blue Zones, she traveled the world writing about longevity. You can follow her at @sabriyarice.

Directors

Jeanne Erdmann
Independent Journalist
Wentzville, Mo.

Jeanne Erdmann is an award-winning health and science writer based in Wentzville, Mo. Her work has appeared in Discover, Real Simple, Family Circle, Women’s Health, Spectrum, The Washington Post, Nature, Nature Medicine and other publications. She is co-founder and editor-at-large at The Open Notebook, a craft-focused website for science and health writers. She is the chair of AHCJ's Freelance Committee. You can follow her at @jeanne_erdmann.

Carrie Feibel
Senior Editor, Science Desk, NPR
Washington, D.C.

Carrie Feibel is a senior editor on NPR's science desk. Previously, she was the health editor at KQED, San Francisco’s NPR station, and she spent six years covering health at Houston Public Radio. She also has worked for the Houston Chronicle, The (Bergen, N.J.) Record, and the Associated Press in New York City. Since 2010, she has been part of a health reporting collaborative between NPR, Kaiser Health News, and public radio stations across the country.

Joyce Frieden
Washington editor, MedPage Today
Washington, D.C.

Joyce Frieden is Washington editor at MedPage Today, an online news publication for doctors and other health care providers; she oversees MedPage’s Washington, D.C., coverage. She has covered medicine and health policy for more than 30 years, specializing in news affecting physicians. She has written for UPI, Reuters Health, and WebMD, and served as editor of the International Medical News Group’s Clinical Endocrinology News. She has served for three years on AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee. She spent several years as a freelancer and has moderated panels at several AHCJ annual conferences, participated as an editor at the Freelance PitchFest and spent several years helping coordinate the association’s Washington, D.C., chapter.

Marlene Harris-Taylor
Managing producer, health unit, PBS Ideastream
Cleveland

Marlene Harris-Taylor joined the Cleveland public radio and television outlet in 2016 after four years at The Toledo Blade and earlier work at WBGU-Bowling Green, Ohio. She was a 2016-17 AHCJ Regional Health Journalism Fellow. Harris-Taylor was awarded the Ohio Excellence in Journalism prize for Best Health Writer from the Cleveland Press Club for a series of articles concerning the Affordable Care Act and how it is transforming the health care industry. She spent several years as a producer for NPR's Morning Edition program in Washington, D.C. She tweets at @marlenetaylor48.

Christine Herman
Illinois Public Media/NPR
Urbana, Ill.

Christine Herman is a health reporter at WILL-FM Illinois Public Media, the NPR station serving east-central Illinois. In that role, she's part of a collaborative team of Midwest health journalists at Side Effects Public Media and also participates in a national reporting partnership with NPR and Kaiser Health News. Christine is a 2018 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism fellow and a 2016 AHCJ Great Lakes Reporting Fellow. Prior to her reporting role at WILL, she was a founding producer for the station’s statewide radio talk show, The 21st. Christine earned her Ph.D. in chemistry and master's in journalism from the University of Illinois. You can follow her on Twitter at @CTHerman.

Tony Leys
Health Care Reporter, Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Iowa 

Tony LeysTony Leys has been the Des Moines Register’s main health care reporter since 2000. He also writes about social-welfare issues and dabbles in political coverage during Iowa’s presidential caucus season. He previously spent 10 years as a Register assignment editor, including stints overseeing state and political coverage. He grew up in the Milwaukee area and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a 2011-12 AHCJ Regional Health fellow, and he has reported from Haiti, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Uganda and Mali. You can follow him at @TonyLeys.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia
Public Health Reporter, KBIA/NPR
Columbia, Mo.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia is a health reporter and documentary filmmaker who focuses on access to care in rural and immigrant communities. A native Spanish speaker and lifelong Missouri resident, Martínez is interested in the often overlooked and under-covered world of immigrant life in the rural Midwest. He has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in documentary journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism. Martínez also teaches an introductory productions skills course at the Missouri School of Journalism. Aside from public health, his other interests include conservation, climate change and ecology.

Executive Director

Andrew SmileyAndrew Smiley

Smiley is the new executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He also has been named an assistant professor of professional practice at the Missouri School of Journalism. Smiley comes to AHCJ from a sports broadcasting background, including nearly a decade at the Golf Channel/NBC Sports, where he most recently served as coordinating director. He also spent a decade at ESPN in programming and studio directing, where he won an Emmy, and a short stint with the PBS affiliate in Chattanooga, Tenn. Smiley holds communications degrees from Berry College in Georgia and the University of Hartford in Connecticut, and is completing coursework toward an executive MBA degree from Washington State University. andrew@healthjournalism.org | Phone: 573-884-5606