Drugwatch Senior Writer Michelle Llamas helped the National Center for Health Research obtain funding for its Covid Research Press Teleconference.

The free, online teleconference held on July 28, 2020, aimed to help journalists accurately report on the science and studies surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic

Llamas, who is a member of the American Medical Writers Association, volunteered to provide a written testimonial to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute attesting to the teleconference’s value and helped garner support from medical writers and journalists. 

National Center for Health Research’s Covid Research Press Teleconference featured the following experts:

  • Dr. Steven Woloshin, co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice 
  • Robert M. Kaplan, professor of Health Policy and Management at UCLA, former chief science officer at the U.S. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and associate director of the National Institutes of Health
  • Katherine Leon, co-founder and board chair of SCAD Alliance
  • Alicia Mundy, an award-winning author, reporter and columnist on health care and politics

The experts discussed the impact and accuracy of current COVID-19 tests as well as issues of data transparency. Woloshin presented data on false negatives from his New England Journal of Medicine article and offered his perspective on how testing could be improved.

Prior to assisting with the teleconference, Llamas had volunteered to help the center in securing PCORI funding and attendees for its 2019 Health Research Training Workshop for medical writers and journalists in Washington, D.C. She served as a panelist at the workshop, which featured experts from government agencies, researchers from universities and clinical study participants. 

The center’s president, Diana Zuckerman, is a frequent contributor of expert commentary on Drugwatch.com. 

The organization plans to hold more COVID-19 teleconferences.