Rita Baron-Faust, MPH, CHES

Advancing Wellness on Many Fronts

BIOGRAPHY

I am very fortunate to be able to combine my passions for medicine and writing in an active and varied career as a health educator, medical journalist, book author, researcher, and public speaker around the country.

I have a Master's Degree in Urban Public Health/​Community Health Education from Hunter College and am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). This has enabled me to work one-on-one with people to help motivate behavior changes to improve their health. I hope to take on more new challenges in today's rapidly evolving healthcare environment.

I am the recipient of more than two dozen awards for medical journalism and consumer health writing, and an author or co-author of six books on women’s health, ranging from mental health to heart disease. My special areas of interest include the effect of culture on health, intimate partner violence, aging issues, and translational medical research.

My most recent book, The Autoimmune Connection: Essential Information for Women on Diagnosis, Treatment, and Getting on with Your Life," (McGraw-Hill) was lauded by The New York Times and recommended by the National Women’s Health Resources Center and the Society for Women’s Health Research. A fully updated second edition has just been published.

I was honored to be among leading experts in women’s health invited to contribute to The Savvy Woman Patient: How and Why Sex Differences Affect Your Health, published by the Society for Women’s Health Research and Capital Books.

LECTURES AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

In Fall 2014, I joined the faculty of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY, as an adjunct professor. My current courses include "Contemporary Health Issues" and "Death, Dying, and Grieving." I also teach "Introduction to Human Biology" to non-science majors at the college.

This year is the 15th year I've been a national educational speaker for the Autoimmune Diseases Association (AARDA). Our 2016 series of patient forums kicked off in Tallahassee, Florida, on February 20, 2016.

I have also provided work site wellness talks and health counseling at biometric screening clinics for Impact Health, Inc and Summit Health, Inc, and offer lunch 'n learn health presentations for private clients through my own company, "Speaking of Wellness Now."

I am a board member of Science Writers in New York (SWINY), and a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Association of Science Writers, and the Authors Guild.

WRITING CAREER

My writing career spans every media from wire service to Web.

I have been a regular contributor to the RheumatologyNetwork.com, keeping on top of rheumatology, bone disease, autoimmunity, and other topics in specialty journals and at medical conferences, for UBM Medica USA.

As a contributing writer for SeniorPlanet.org/​Aging with Attitude since 2011, I have been reporting on a variety of vital aging-related issues, including polypharmacy, falls prevention, and dementia. SeniorPlanet.org is an offshoot of the federally-funded Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) project in New York City.

I served as a contributing writer and editor for MedPage Today.com, a respected 24-hour online medical news service providing daily, peer-reviewed reports on clinical studies, meetings, and breaking medical news. For the site, I also created special clinical resource centers and worked as an associate/​weekend editor. My work has appeared online for other sites such as WebMD, Medscape, and theheart.org.

Previously, I was a medical editor for City Health Information (CHI), the flagship newsletter of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, now distributed online to up to 150,000 health care providers. During my years at the NYC DOHMH, I was also a volunteer member of the agency’s Women’s Health Committee and Task Force on Domestic Violence, an issue I care deeply about.

For seven years, I served as the editor of the Weill Cornell Women’s Health Advisor and the Weill Cornell Food and Fitness Advisor newsletters and have also been a producer for radio and television news, including 10 years as writing and producing the award-winning “Report on Medicine” for WCBS News Radio 88 in New York City.

My work has appeared in many national consumer magazines including Scientific American Presents, Woman’s Day, Redbook, McCall’s, More Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Child,(finalist, National Magazine Award), and American Health, for which I also served as a Contributing Editor. I have also contributed to academic and professional journals and publications, including the Anthropology News, the BMJ (British Medical Journal), Medical Tribune, Ophthalmology World News, and Women's Health Weekly.

I had the great privilege to begin my journalism career at the Associated Press in New York City.