Staff

Program Founder

Jayne O’Donnell

Jayne O’Donnell - Founder and CEO was USA TODAY’s healthcare policy reporter from September 2013 to March 2021, when she took a buyout after more than 28 years with the company. An author, TV contributor and freelance writer, Jayne has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and C-Span and been published in Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping and Parents. She covered the implementation of the Affordable Care Act beginning in September 2013 and later shifted focus on mental health, addiction, and childhood trauma. Her articles on midlife alcohol deaths among women and marijuana's link to psychosis and schizophrenia were read online by more than one million readers each, numbers usually only achieved for breaking news - or former President Trump stories.

She has also won several awards for her work, most notably for her 1996 articles in USA TODAY on the dangers air bags posed to children. That reporting prompted many government actions including the “smart" air bags and warning labels in every new vehicle.

A graduate of University of Maryland’s College of Journalism, Jayne did graduate work at George Washington University’s School of Business. She lives in McLean, Va. with her husband and their daughter, 20. Jayne co-founded UHMP in 2017 with Dr. Reed Tuckson, former D.C. public health commissioner and a longtime health care senior executive, with initial funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Faculty and Staff

 

Carey Johnson

Carey Johnson - Operations Manager is responsible for the daily operations of UHMP. She has almost 20 years of experience in  business development and operations in the private sector with corporate organizations including Wachovia Bank, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Blue Chip Advanced Promotional Solutions. She brings to the Urban Health Media Project expertise in organizational branding, improving the customer experience, and operational activities and initiatives associated with making organizations better. Carey Johnson is an avid hiker and hobbyist photographer, born and raised in Arlington, Virginia.

BrieZeltner

Brie Zeltner

Brie Zeltner - UHMP Director, Content and Programs is a health journalist with 15 years of experience at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer covering public health, with a particular focus on health disparities and the impact of poverty on the health of the city’s children. Her years-long reporting on lead poisoning in Cleveland with Rachel Dissell recently led to the passage of a law that will, for the first time, protect children in rental housing in the city from exposure to lead.  She is the winner of the New York Academy of Medicine's 2015 inaugural Urban Journalism Award, a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism national fellow, and Association of Healthcare Journalists regional fellow. Zeltner lives in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is gradually turning the backyard into an organic garden.

 

Julianne Hill

Julianne Hill - Managing Editor, Content and Programs is a Chicago-based reporter and producer focused on mental health. Her award-winning work has appeared in outlets including NPR’s “This American Life” and “Morning Edition,” Chicago Public Radio, PBS and ABA Journal. Hill was a 2006 Rosalynn Carter Fellow in mental health journalism and a National Press Foundation Fellow for reporting on HIV-AIDS. Her award-winning 2019 investigation into New Hampshire’s policy of sending mental health patients who have not committed crimes to state prison prompted the governor to change the state budget to build a new psychiatric hospital. She launched one of the first college-level courses in reporting on mental health in the US at Loyola University Chicago, and has taught at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

 

Alan Gomez

Alan Gomez - Mentor- Editor is a Miami-based writer who worked in newspapers for 20 years, 14 of those at USA Today. Over his career, he was a foreign correspondent traveling throughout the Middle East and Latin America, covered Congress and politics in Washington, D.C., and later served as USA Today's Miami Bureau Chief covering Cuba and national immigration issues.

 

Angela Townsend

Angela Townsend - Mentor- Editor is a native of Milwaukee, a graduate of Northwestern University and Marquette University, and a former print journalist. She spent 20 years in newspapers, including The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was on the health reporting team for seven years. She is currently on the communications team at The MetroHealth System, the safety-net health system for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

 

Sarah Meehan

Sarah Meehan - Mentor- Editor is a content writer and freelance journalist based in Golden, Colo. A Maryland native and University of Maryland graduate, Sarah spent seven years reporting in Baltimore—first at the Baltimore Business Journal and then at The Baltimore Sun—where she covered beats including breaking news, health and food. When she's not writing, she enjoys teaching yoga, climbing rocks and experimenting in the kitchen.

 

 

Pooja Singh

Pooja Singh - Digital Editor has an associate's degree in pre-medicine, a bachelor's degree in global studies with a focus on health, development and environment, and a minor in biology.  During her internship at the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, she was deeply inspired by their holistic approach to developing health in multiple communities. She hopes to continue working with communities in need to help build such a comprehensive and sustainable health system. Pooja is currently pursuing a master’s of science degree in Global Health at Duke University. Outside her class, she is also a freelance artist and an avid gardener.

 

Mindy Fetterman

Mindy Fetterman - Editorial Advisor is an editor, writer and content strategist who has built on a 25-year career in journalism at USA TODAY to help corporate clients tell their stories and reach audiences directly. Fetterman recently worked as both an editor and writer for Palisades Media Ventures, a WPP company. She produced content for client websites, press releases and thought leadership pieces. She ran a “mini-newsroom” of freelance writers for a major international restaurant company client.

She currently is a freelance writer for both corporate clients, and journalism publications like Stateline, the national news service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, NPR, and AARP The Magazine. Fetterman worked for USA TODAY from 1987 to 2013 and rose to be Managing Editor/Content Strategy reporting to the editor and publisher. She helped build a corporate sponsorship program that increased revenue against editorial products from $300,000 to $18 million in four years.

She had been Deputy Managing Editor of both the News and Money sections, and was in charge of the national staff including reporters in the New York bureau during 9/11 as well as reporters who covered the Supreme Court, FBI and terrorism investigations. In the Money section, her reporters and editors covered personal finance and aviation security.

 

Teresa Redd, Ph.D.

Teresa Redd, Ph.D. - Evaluation and Curriculum Consultant is a former Writer-Editor for Time-Life Books. Dr. Teresa Redd earned a Phi Beta Kappa key from Princeton University, an M.A. in English, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park. For more than 30 years, she taught writing at Howard University, where she attained the rank of Full Professor in the Department of English. During her tenure at Howard, she also directed Howard’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment and its Writing Across the Curriculum Program. After retiring from Howard, she founded Redd Ed Consulting, LLC to assist educational programs and institutions with curriculum development, faculty development, online course design, and assessment. It is in this capacity that she has served the Urban Health Media Project, first, as a program evaluator and, now, as a curriculum developer.

 

 

Deborah D'Souza-Vazirani, Dr.PH

Deborah D'Souza-Vazirani, Dr.PH - Grants and Evaluation Consultant has proven expertise in the areas of grant writing, program management, and programmatic and financial grant management in the public and private sectors. As a contractor for the Office of Minority Health, DHHS, she provided policy research, and technical writing on a range of government documents and publications. Her work for the past 15 years has focused on health care disparities, and maternal/child health delivery systems. She brings to UHMP her experience as a dedicated healthcare program manager and evaluator specializing in building community-based health initiatives and is passionate about leveraging people, organizations, opportunities and funding to address the social determinants of health.

Deborah received her Doctor of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University and is also a graduate of George Washington University and Trinity Washington University. She is an avid reader and Washington Nationals fan!

 

Josephine Chu

Josephine Chu - Digital Editor is a video journalist at the Wall Street Journal. She received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University. She has worked for NBC News NOW, USA Today and Agence France-Presse.

Andrea K. McDaniels

Andrea K. McDaniels - Program Instructor is a member of the editorial board of the Baltimore Sun, where she is a former national award-winning health and medicine reporter, with a special interest in urban health issues, trauma and disparities. Her series “Collateral Damage,” about the invisible health impacts suffered by people who live in violent communities, has won several recognitions, including The American Association for the Advancement of Science Gold Award and the Association of Health Care Journalists’ top award for public health reporting.

Since coming to Baltimore in 2001, she covered business for more than a decade before moving to the health and medicine beat, where she writes about the latest medical research, has investigated Maryland’s troubled health exchange and keeps readers abreast of all the latest fitness trends.

McDaniels grew up mostly in Northern Virginia and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has also worked at The Charlotte Observer where she covered race and immigration and chronicled the changing racial dynamics in North Carolina as an influx of Mexican immigrants moved to the area.