School & Community News

Healthy NewsWorks launches new medical and scientific advisory board
July 18, 2014

July 2014…When it comes to writing about complex health topics, Healthy NewsWorks students and teachers now can tap into the Healthy NewsWorks’ Healthcare and Scientific Editorial Committee.

Launched this past school year, the board includes a pediatric endocrinologist, an associate professor of physical therapy, a doctor of pharmacy, and a registered dietitian. They serve to guide and give feedback about student articles and health topics.

The committee is chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Rappaport, a pediatric endocrinologist, who during her career has worked in research, public health, pharmaceutical development and medical education.  She recently retired from Thomas Jefferson University where she conducted research in childhood obesity and oversaw an educational program designed to engage underrepresented minority students in biomedical research.

Dr. Rappaport, who has followed the development of Healthy NewsWorks since its inception, has since her retirement increased her involvement with the organization. She believes that Healthy NewsWorks gives urban youth the skills and confidence to play active roles in their communities.

“I’ve watched the kids in action a couple of times and I’ve been totally blown away,” she said. “It’s a program that helps students to develop a confidence in their abilities to get information by themselves and to use that information to educate others. Healthy NewsWorks should be a model for similar programs in other schools throughout the country.”  Dr. Rappaport also recently had a piece published about Healthy NewsWorks in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s public health blog: Healthy NewsWorks: News that’s good for kids!

The advisory committee also includes Margaret O’Neil, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences at Drexel University, Neil Pitts, Pharm.D., an instructor of drug development and pharmacy practice at the University of the Sciences, and Althea Zanecosky, a registered dietitian (RD) and a nutrition communications specialist with the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Council.

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Since 2003, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.