About Health News Colorado

Health News Colorado is an independent media outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of health and health policy issues in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West. We feature in-depth reporting, analysis and expert commentary. Housed at University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs, Health News Colorado is funded through foundation grants. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding of complex health policy issues in Colorado and the region.
Health News Colorado Editor Diane Carman has been a reporter and editor in Colorado, Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin. She was an integral part of the Denver Post news team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. She was a columnist for the Post from 1998 until 2007, when she was named director of communications at the School of Public Affairs.Contact Diane at 303-315-5818 or diane.carman@ucdenver.edu diane
Katie2013 Katie Kerwin McCrimmon is the senior writer for Health News Colorado. Prior to specializing in health reporting, McCrimmon worked as an award-winning reporter for the Rocky Mountain News. McCrimmon was the primary writer for a team of reporters who were finalists for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for spot news coverage of a devastating Colorado wild fire. McCrimmon also worked as an expert commentator for ESPN’s annual coverage of the National Spelling Bee, which she won in 1979. Contact Katie at 720-202-9921 or katherine.mccrimmon@ucdenver.edu
Health News Colorado Advisory Committee – The staff is guided by a six-member advisory committee that meets regularly to evaluate and support the organization. Members of the committee are:
Jeanette ChavezJeanette Chavez – Jeanette Chavez has been a professional journalist for more than 35 years. She worked at The Denver Post for 27 years, and for the last 15 years, was managing editor. She left The Post at the end of 2011. During her tenure, the newspaper won 4 Pulitzer Prizes; the one she was most directly involved in was the Pulitzer-winning coverage of the Columbine High School tragedy. She is a member of the advisory committee for the University of Colorado journalism program. She served on the Colorado Press Association Board for several years, leaving the board in 2012 when her chairmanship ended. She also was a member of the National Advisory Board of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. She has served twice as a Pulitzer juror and been invited to speak or serve as a panelist on journalism-related topics in South Africa, as well as the United States. Chavez graduated with honors from the University of Colorado with a degree in journalism and has worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
Sue CobbSue Cobb – Sue Cobb has worked as director legislative liaison for the City of Denver’s Department of Community Planning and Development, and as communications director for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and for the Denver Department of Human Services. She was deputy press secretary for U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and has edited numerous publications. She has a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree from the University of Denver. (On leave.)
Dave DownsDavid Downs – David Downs, M.D., is a physician in internal medicine, practicing at Kaiser Permanente in Denver. He also is medical director of Engaged Public, a nonprofit public policy organization working to build public understanding and participation on a wide variety of issues. He is past president of the Colorado Medical Society and served as a commissioner on the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission on Healthcare Reform. His is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Deb-GoekenDeborah Goeken – Deborah Goeken is senior director of operations and communications at the Colorado Health Institute. She is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy to ensure that CHI’s published work is of the highest quality, that it is widely disseminated and that it is readily available in useful formats for all stakeholders involved in health and health policy issues in Colorado. She joined the staff in 2011 after completing her master’s degree in public health at the Colorado School of Public Health. She was managing editor of the Rocky Mountain News for 10 years, during which time the newspaper won three Pulitzer Prizes. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
Benilda SamuelsBenilda Samuels – Benilda (Benny) Samuels is an experienced communications professional. She is the former senior director of community initiatives for Mile High United Way. Previously she was administrator for the Denver Health Family Plan Project at Denver Health & Hospitals, and communications director for the Denver Department of Human Services. She also was communications manager for Community Voices, a special project at Denver Health & Hospitals. She has worked at Karsh & Hagan Advertising and at Solis Advertising. Benny has an undergraduate degree in art from the University of Denver, and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a native of Panama, is fluent in Spanish and has worked to improve the way we communicate with underserved populations and non-English speaking audiences.
Paul VoakesPaul Voakes – Paul Voakes has been a professor of journalism and mass communication at CU since 2003 and served as dean of the school for the past eight years. His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and his research and teaching specializations are in digital media law and ethics, digital news writing, reporting and editing, and math/statistics for journalism. Before entering academia in 1990 he had been a journalist for 15 years at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently faculty director of CU’s Digital News Test Kitchen.
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