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Biosketches

Annette Bar-Cohen, M.A., M.P.H., has worked in the fields of public health and women’s health for nearly 30 years. She joined the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) in September 2002 and currently oversees operations of the Center for NBCC Advocacy Training. The Center includes the Online Center for Advocacy Training and Project LEAD®, NBCC’s premier science and quality care training program that offers introductory-level to advanced-level courses throughout the United States and around the world. Project LEAD® also includes the Annual Advocate Summit, the Emerging LEADers Program, and other leadership training seminars. Ms. Bar-Cohen has also overseen the development of the NBCC’s global network of advocates as part of the NBCC’s Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 initiative.

Before moving to Washington, DC, Ms. Bar-Cohen was the Education Director of the Cancer Control Section of the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul for 11 years. There she helped develop and manage the Minnesota Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, a free State-wide screening program for uninsured and underinsured women sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Bar-Cohen worked for many years on a primary care and community health program in Israel that was sponsored by the World Health Organization and focused on a range of women’s health issues, coalition building, outreach to diverse ethnic communities, and media development. She also worked as a psychotherapist at the Beer Sheva Psychiatric Hospital and taught at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Medical School for International Health.

Ms. Bar-Cohen holds an M.A. degree in psychology from Goddard College and an M.P.H. in maternal and child health from the University of Minnesota.

Durado D. Brooks, M.D., M.P.H., has served as the Director of Prostate and Colorectal Cancers at the American Cancer Society since 2000. In this role, he is involved in creating and implementing strategies to improve the prevention and early detection of prostate and colorectal cancer and is engaged in a number of the society’s health disparities-reduction efforts.

After graduating from the Ohio State University and the Wright State University School of Medicine, Dr. Brooks practiced primary care internal medicine in community health centers, initially in Ohio and later in Dallas, TX, where he now resides. Before joining the American Cancer Society, he was awarded a Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship and earned his M.P.H. degree at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Jakob D. Jensen, Ph.D., received his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 2007 and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City with a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and the Department of Health Promotion and Education. His research program focuses on the design and evaluation of strategic health communication. Broadly speaking, he studies whether mass communication (e.g., television, billboards, and interactive communication technologies) can improve public health.

Within health communication, Dr. Jensen is an expert in cancer communication, a subfield of cancer control that examines communication features, strategies, and technologies designed to increase cancer prevention and detection behaviors. Examples of his work include campaigns to increase colon and breast cancer screening, evaluations of skin cancer education materials, and the development of psychometric tools for assessing potentially problematic perceptions about cancer (e.g., fatalism, overload, worry).

Dr. Jensen has received the Distinguished Article in Health Communication award from the National Communication Association, the Kontos Faculty Fellowship from the Center for Families, and the 2011 Emerging Voices Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. His work has been funded by organizations such as the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society and has been published in both communication and public health journals such as Cancer Causes & Control, Patient Education and Counseling, the Journal of Communication, Public Understanding of Science, the Journal of Health Communication, and Human Communication Research.

Richard L. Kravitz, M.D., M.S.P.H., is a professor and the Co-Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis. His primary research interests include patients as agents for care quality, the causes and consequences of physician behavior, and improving care for mental health conditions in primary care settings.

More than 20 years ago, Dr. Kravitz and his Medical Outcome Study coauthors reported on the relationship between patient mix, utilization of health care services, physician specialty, and system of care. He has since examined patients' expectations for care, how physicians respond to patients' requests for services, and how direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs influences physician decisionmaking for depression treatment. He is currently working on a project that is evaluating targeted and tailored messaging to enhance care seeking for depression in general medical practices. Two of his many publications have received national awards (Article of the Year from Academy Health).

Since 2009, Dr. Kravitz has served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. A fellow of the American College of Physicians and Academy Health, Dr. Kravitz is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. He completed additional clinical and research training at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he served on the faculty until 1993 before joining the University of California, Davis.

Virginia A. Moyer, M.D., M.P.H., is a professor of pediatrics and the Chief of Academic General Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Dr. Moyer is a federally funded patient safety researcher whose focus is clinical epidemiology and the use of diagnostic tests in clinical care. She is the current Chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and a member of the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group, the American Academy of Pediatrics Steering Committee on Quality Improvement and Management, and the International Advisory Board for the Cochrane Collaboration Child Health Field.

Dr. Moyer is the author of more than 80 scientific articles and book chapters and is the Editor-in-Chief of the book Evidence Based Pediatrics and Child Health. She is the Deputy Editor of Pediatrics and an associate editor of Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Journal. She received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the University of Texas in 2004 and was inducted into the University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education in 2006.

Dr. Moyer graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in 1977 and trained in pediatrics at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She later obtained her M.P.H. degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. 

John S. Santa, M.D., M.P.H., is the Director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. The Ratings Center focuses on explicit methods for evaluating and comparing health services, products, institutions, and practitioners. Since joining the staff of Consumer Reports, he has represented consumers in multiple venues across the health care industry. He has previously worked in leadership positions for hospitals, physician groups, and health insurers.

From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Santa served as the administrator of the Office of Oregon Health Policy and Research. He helped organize and implement an evidence-based approach to prescription drug purchasing that eventually came to be known as the Drug Effectiveness Review Project. He practiced primary care internal medicine from 1976 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2008, most recently at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Gary J. Schwitzer, B.A., specialized in health care journalism for almost 40 years. He is the publisher of the Web site HealthNewsReview.org and leads a team that grades daily health news reporting by major U.S. news organizations. He is the author of Covering Medical Research: A Guide for Reporting on Studies, published by the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). In 2009, his report on the state of U.S. health journalism was published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and his Health News Watchdog blog has been voted Best Medical Blog.

Before founding HealthNewsReview.org, Mr. Schwitzer taught health journalism and media ethics at the University of Minnesota for 9 years. He also worked in television medical news for 15 years, including leading the CNN medical news unit. Throughout the 1990s, Mr. Schwitzer worked for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making when it was based at Dartmouth Medical School, producing shared decisionmaking programs. In 2000, he was the founding Editor-in-Chief of MayoClinic.com at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He has taught health journalism workshops at the National Institutes of Health Medicine in the Media series; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Medical Evidence boot camps; the AHCJ national conferences; AHCJ chapter meetings in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco; and the National Cancer Institute workshops in Rio de Janeiro, Guadalajara, and Beijing.

Mr. Schwitzer’s articles on health journalism have appeared in many different publications, including the Columbia Journalism Review, Nieman Reports, the Poynter.org Web site, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the British Medical Journal, PLoS Medicine, and the newsletters and Web sites of the AHCJ and of the American Society of News Editors. 

Laura A. Siminoff, Ph.D., B.A., M.A., is a professor and the founding Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Health and the Theresa A. Thomas Memorial Foundation Chair in Cancer Prevention and Control at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond. She is also the Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Massey Cancer Center.

As a public health social scientist, Dr. Siminoff’s research focuses on cancer treatment decisionmaking, informed consent, health communication, health disparities, and issues of organ and tissue donation. She is a leader in multimethod research, applying empirical social science methods to bioethics-related issues. Dr. Siminoff’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 20 years. She is the author of more than 150 articles and is the coauthor of a textbook on the use of empirical methods in bioethics.

Vetta L. Sanders Thompson, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and is a member of the Institute of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a licensed psychologist and health service provider in the State of Missouri with more than 20 years of experience in research, recruitment, and data collection among African Americans. She is a leading researcher in the areas of racial identity, the psychosocial implications of race and ethnicity in health communications, social determinants of health, and disparities in utilization of mental health services. She has built a unique record of research that combines a sophisticated social science understanding of culture, rigorous measurement, and community-based participatory research that has included survey, interview, oral history, and focus group methods and randomized controlled trials.

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He also is the Director of the Center on Human Needs at the university. A clinical epidemiologist, Dr. Woolf is board certified in family medicine and in preventive medicine and public health.

Dr. Woolf has focused his research on evidence-based medicine and the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, with a special focus on preventive medicine, cancer screening, quality improvement, and social justice. He was published more than 150 articles and is the author of the book Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice. Dr. Woolf currently is an associate editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and a past North American editor of the British Medical Journal. He also edited the first two editions of the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services.

From 1987 to 2002, Dr. Woolf served as science advisor to, and then as a member of, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. He has consulted widely on health policy issues with government agencies and professional organizations in the United States and in Europe. In 2001, was elected to the Institute of Medicine in the United States.