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Joanne Silberner

Joanne Silberner

Joanne Silberner is a health policy correspondent for National Public Radio. She covers medicine, health reform, and changes in the health care marketplace.

Silberner has been with NPR since 1992. Prior to that she spent five years covering consumer health and medical research at U.S. News & World Report. In addition she has worked at Science News magazine, Science Digest, and has freelanced for various publications. She has been published in The Washington Post, Health, USA Today, American Health, Practical Horseman, Encyclopedia Britannica, and others.

She was a fellow for a year at the Harvard School of Public Health, and from 1997-1998, she had a Kaiser Family Foundation media fellowship. During that fellowship she chronicled the closing of a state mental hospital. Silberner also had a fellowship to study the survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Silberner has won awards for her work from the Society of Professional Journalists, the New York State Mental Health Association, the March of Dimes, Easter Seals, the American Heart Association, and others. Her work has also earned her a Unity Award and a Clarion Award.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Silberner holds her B.A. in biology. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

She currently resides in Washington, D.C.

  • When the pandemic hit, mental health professionals predicted lockdowns and social distancing would result in a wave of loneliness. But researchers who study loneliness say that hasn't happened.
  • Storytelling can be a way of giving people with dementia a low-stress way to communicate, one that does not rely on their memories. And it can give caregivers a chance to reconnect with their loved ones.
  • Wal-Mart announces a pilot program to sell generic prescription drugs at a price of just $4 for each prescription. If it succeeds, the plan could bring changes to consumers and the prescription-drug industry alike.
  • A disturbing form of tuberculosis has shown up among people infected with HIV in South Africa. It's resistant to all known TB drugs and is usually fatal. Health experts are concerned it will spread. But they also say new forms of this superstrain can be prevented by distributing TB drugs along with anti-HIV drugs.
  • The nation's emergency rooms are crowded and overwhelmed. A major investigation says hospital ERs, which can barely handle daily 911 calls, are far from ready to handle the mass casualties that a flu epidemic or terrorist strike might bring.
  • On Thursday, an expert panel will tell the FDA whether a new vaccine against the human papilloma virus is ready to use. HPV can be sexually transmitted and can cause cervical cancer. It affects about 10,000 American women a year, and it kills about 3,700.
  • A new study comes to a conclusion that surprised even the researchers who conducted it: Middle-aged whites in England are significantly healthier than middle-aged whites in the United States. That's despite the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person on health care.
  • The Food and Drug Administration declares that there is no medical use for marijuana. The determination returns the FDA to the middle of a politics vs. science battle. Researchers who believe marijuana has medical benefits say the FDA is trying to appease conservative legislators.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Researchers have identified clusters of genes that appear to be linked to the tiredness and lack of energy associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The findings, announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could lead to a better understanding of the condition.
  • Dealing with a potentially fatal cancer is difficult for anyone. Doctors with cancer face a special challenge. They're used to giving medical care, not getting it. Two doctors, Elizabeth McKinley and William Tierney, share what they learned as patients.