Rose Hoban (founder, editor, reporter) spent more than six years as the health reporter for North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC, where she covered health care, state health policy, science and research with a focus on public health issues. She left to start North Carolina Health News after watching many of her professional peers leave or be laid off of their jobs, leaving NC with few people to cover this complicated and important topic.
Hoban took a circuitous route into journalism—after a decade of practicing nursing, she enrolled at UC Berkeley’s journalism school. While at Berkeley, she also earned a master’s in public health policy.
Hoban has aired stories on PRI’s The World, NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and News and Notes, Living on Earth, the California Report and KQED FM news. She’s also published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, and the Anchorage Daily News and in the North Carolina Medical Journal. She spent three years as a weekly freelance contributor to Voice of America radio news, where she wrote about research and international public health issues.
Hoban’s work has been recognized both regionally and nationally with numerous awards, including broadcast journalism’s highest award—the Columbia-DuPont, a Gracie Award, an Edward R. Morrow award, and a Society for Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade award. In 2010, she was awarded a fellowship by the Association of Health Care Journalists to do in-depth reporting on North Carolina’s mental health system. She has also been a Knight Digital Media Fellow.
Taylor Sisk (reporter, editor) is a writer, editor, researcher, producer and documentary filmmaker. He has served as a managing and contributing editor of The Carrboro Citizen and an associate and contributing editor of the Independent Weekly and has contributed to a wide range of publications. Organizations with which he’s worked include: the Social Science Research Council, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Undersea Research Program and the UNC School of Public Health.
Sisk has won awards from the N.C. Press Association for enterprise and feature writing – including a series on the breakdown of the mental health care system in North Carolina – and has been cited for excellence in higher education reporting by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Taylor has been traveling around the state since Jan, 2015 reporting on rural health issues, an initiative funded by a generous grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation.
In 2015, our summer intern is Rachel Herzog, a rising junior in the undergraduate journalism program at UNC Chapel Hill. Rachel is a quiet wonder, who remains cheerful and efficient, even when she’s been assigned to work on a spreadsheet for most of the day.
Gabe Rivin (environmental reporter) is a freelance reporter and the owner of The Piedmont Pen, a writing and editing company. Gabe is a former editor of The Cooperative Business Journal, and a former reporter for Inside Washington Publishers, where he covered federal energy policy and climate change policy. His freelance writing has run the gamut, and includes video scripts for the Detroit Pistons, major portions of a karate history book, and feature stories about local nonprofits. Gabe graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan. Starting in Jan. 2015, Gabe will be a media fellow at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy.
Hyun Namkoong (general assignment reporter) comes to NC Health News with a background in global and public health. She just graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings Global School of Public Health in the health behavior department and she worked as the NC Health News intern from Jan-Aug 2014. As soon as her internship was complete, we hired her!
Hyun is interested in health disparities and rural health issues. She is also interested in the intersection of politics, health literacy and the media and how they impact people’s decisions and knowledge of health topics.
Hyun is a fluent Spanish speaker and is working on a long-term project on the health of migrant workers.
Whitney Howell (research reporter) is a seasoned reporter, writer, freelancer and public relations specialist with a master’s degree in international print journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C. She launched her journalism career as a stringer for UPI on Sept. 11, 2001, on Capitol Hill. That day led to a two-year stint as a daily political reporter in Montgomery County, Md.
As a staff writer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, a public relations specialist for the Duke University Medical Center and the public relations director for the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, she earned in-depth experience and knowledge in covering healthcare, academic medicine, healthcare reform, women’s health, Medicare, and several medical specialties. Since April 2010, she has covered healthcare for a myriad of local and national consumer and trade publications.
Jennifer Ferris (MedPage Today Reporter) earned her reporting stripes on the Metro Desk at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, FL. She moved to North Carolina in 2005, joining the daily reporting team at the Herald-Sun. After a 5-year dalliance in non-profit communications, Jennifer rejoined the newswriting world. Her writing work can be found across the web, as well as in several major print publications.
Brenda Porter-Rockwell (rural issues, general assignment reporter) comes to North Carolina Health News backed by a diverse background in print and online communications. Her experience spans more than a decade of writing, reporting and managing publications (for- and non-profit businesses and public relations agencies) on topics ranging from local government, natural products, small business, healthcare and more. Her byline has appeared in trade and consumer publications including INC.com and Black Enterprise as well as local newspapers including the Smithfield Herald, the Selma News and RaleighPublicRecord.org.
Brenda recently took a full time job – with benefits! But she still contributes stories when she can. Her most recent story was on school gardens.
Steve Tell (data wrangler) is an electrical engineer/ computer scientist. Tell is an integrated circuit chip designer by day whose after hours hobbies include Linux programming and whipping data into interactive maps and graphics. He has participated in Google’s Summer of Code, is the mentor for a FIRST robotics team at East Chapel Hill High School and in the rest of his spare time, does the lighting for local theater organizations.
Nancy Wang (reporter) is a North Carolina native who is currently enrolled in UNC-Chapel Hill’s MD-MPH program. She is in her fourth year of medical school and also has a master’s in public health.
She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology-Neuroscience from Duke University. While at Duke, she worked as a staff writer and arts and entertainment editor for the student newspaper, The Chronicle, and spent a summer as a staff writer for The Charlotte Observer.
Wang is also very interested in medical and science journalism and hopes to incorporate it into her future career as a practicing physician. She headed to Stanford for her residency in urology in the summer of 2014.
Saja Hindi (reporter) has worked for various news organizations through jobs or internships in North Carolina, including the daily Wilmington newspaper, the Star News; the Union County Weekly; and WUNC, the local NPR affiliate, among others.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English/Journalism from N.C. State University in 2010. During her tenure at N.C. State, she worked as editor-in-chief of the daily student newspaper, Technician, and was the radio station WKNC 88.1 FM’s public affairs director where she produced and hosted “Eye on the Triangle.” After graduation, Saja served a year and a half as an AmeriCorps service volunteer and continued to freelance.
She got married in July 2012 to her sweetheart, Aaron and followed him to Colorado, where she works at a small daily, the Loveland Reporter Herald.
In 2014, our summer intern was Jasmin Singh, a rising senior in the Journalism and Mass Communications program at UNC Chapel Hill. Jasmin is an editor at the Daily Tar Heel during the 2014-15 school year and is slated to graduate in 2015. Jasmin is interested in going to medical school and said her experience with NC Health News left her more likely to watch CSPAN on Friday nights instead of trolling for cat videos on YouTube.
Our summer intern during 2013 was the incomparable Holly West, a rising junior in the Journalism and Mass Communications program at UNC Chapel Hill. Holly returned to school to become an editor at the Daily Tar Heel and is slated to graduate in 2015.
Amy Adams Ellis (Eastern NC reporter) is a freelance reporter living in Greenville, NC. She earned a writing and editing degree from N.C. State University in 1988, and over the past 25 years, has held a variety of marketing, public relations and writing positions in both the private and public sectors.
She has contributed to numerous medical, parenting and regional publications throughout Eastern North Carolina, and has received several prestigious feature-writing awards, including one from the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society, and another from Parenting Publications of America. Amy and her husband, a family physician with East Carolina University, lead short-term, medical missions annually in Nicaragua.
Amy has a son at Appalachian State U, and twins who are just starting college, as well as another teenager.
Stephanie Soucheray (research reporter) is a freelance medical, science and general interest reporter. Originally from St. Paul, MN, Soucheray graduated from St. Olaf College in 2007 with a degree in English and history. She received her MA in medical and science journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2012, and has written extensively for newspapers, magazines, public radio, and the web. Her work has been featured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Northfield News, Minnesota Public Radio, the Raleigh News &Observer, Yale Medicine magazine, the Duke School of Medicine, and UNC-CH healthcare publications.
She left us when she followed her husband to Berlin, Germany, where he had an academic fellowship, and now they’ve returned to their native land in the Great White North.