The ASCO Post Up Close: Our Reporters and Contributors

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About the Writers

Charlotte Bath has been writing about cancer and related fields of medicine since serving as Public Information Director of the American Cancer Society, Long Island Division, from 1975 to 1979. She subsequently worked as a writer for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and several other hospitals in New York and Ohio. As assistant director of the Medical Society of the State of New York, she edited its monthly publication. Freelance clients have included national health organizations, such as the American Lung Association and the American Red Cross, as well as medical publishers. Charlotte and her husband, Alan, relocated last year to Chicago, where they can enjoy at least eight great operas a year and a torrent of symphonic and dance works. 

Jo Cavallo has been a journalist for over 35 years and has edited and written for consumer publications, including NewsweekSports IllustratedConnoisseurSelfShapeAudubonFamily CircleLadies’ Home Journal, and American Heritage. For the past 17 years, Jo has concentrated on writing about medicine and science with a special emphasis on cancer research and patient care for a number of publications and organizations including The ASCO PostCure,,, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. When Jo isn’t writing, she’s staring at movie screens or reading biographies. 

Margot J. Fromer has been a freelance medical writer for more than 30 years, half of them specializing in oncology.  She has 16 books to her credit (including two murder mysteries) and hundreds of articles.  She has received a number of writing awards: the Excellence in Women’s Health Research in Journalism Award, a National Endowment for the Humanities grant in biomedical ethics, the APEX Award for Publications Excellence, two invitations to the National Press Club Book Fair, and twice Book of the Year from the American Journal of Nursing.  Margot is an avid reader, a good cook, and a slapdash gardener.  She and her cat Harry (S Truman) live in Maryland. 

Alice Goodman has been a freelance medical journalist for 36 years. Over that time, she has produced different types of materials for many clients. Most recently, she has focused on oncology and rheumatology, writing for The ASCO Post and other specialized publications. She lives in the hamlet of Bearsville, New York, just west of the famous Woodstock. No longer is Woodstock home of the hippies; rather it is a bedroom community for many New Yorkers that features upscale shops, galleries, and restaurants. Alice has succeeded in adjusting to this new reality. When not on the trail of a hot medical news story, Alice can be found on the tennis courts or on the walking trails in the nearby hills and woods. During winters, she goes to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, sort of the “Woodstock of Mexico,” where she can make silver jewelry and continue to write, albeit at a more relaxed pace than during the rest of the year. 

Caroline Helwick has covered the field of oncology as a freelance journalist for more than 25 years, annually producing more than 200 articles and special projects for The ASCO Post and other medical publications and websites. She is proud to have reported on cancer topics spanning the early years of the taxanes and trastuzumab, to the present era of targeted therapies and genomics, and to have traveled the globe doing so. Although a Georgia native, she became a New Orleanian when she moved to the city for her first medical writing job. Some 35 years later, she fiercely promotes the Big Easy and confesses an addiction to local brass bands, shrimp, and oyster po-boys, masking for Mardi Gras, and advocating for the Saints and everything else NOLA. 

Susan London is an award-winning independent medical writer and editor based in Seattle, Washington. She has been covering developments in the field of oncology for 15 years, penning hundreds of articles on topics ranging from molecular pathways to global health. When she is not working, Susan enjoys digging the dirt in a community garden and volunteering with a support organization for cancer patients. 

Caroline McNeil is a freelance science writer who focuses on clinical cancer research. At the National Institutes of Health for more than a decade, she wrote for the news section of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) and served as Chief of the NCI Press Office, among other duties. From 2009 to 2011, she was News Editor of JNCI (by then owned by Oxford University Press). She lives in Reston, Virginia, where she is a tennis player, gardener, and proud author of several published poems. 

Ronald Piana is an independent writer and reporter with more than 15 years of experience in oncology communications and publishing. In addition to his work for The ASCO Post, Ron has written more than 100 articles, interviews, and profiles for leading medical publications. A native New Yorker, Ron lived in Paris in his earlier years before traveling worldwide as a merchant seaman. He later worked as a laborer, truck driver, and chef. His lifelong boxing aspirations were halted after going a round in Gleason’s Gym with the legendary Roberto Duran on “one thrilling but boxing career–ending day.” Ron is currently working on a cancer-related book set for publication in March of 2014. He lives in Huntington, New York, with his wife Kristine. 

Matthew Stenger is an independent science writer with more than 20 years of experience in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, and other areas. In addition to his work at The ASCO Post, Matt has written or contributed to more than 1,500 articles appearing in leading medical publications. He is an extremely avid parent, which he considers to be the most important job one can have. He is also an avid amateur animal tracker and naturalist, with particular interest in observing and documenting river otter activity in lower New York State. Matt devotes time every week to writing to his public servants in the federal government to let them know how he feels about issues facing our great nation. Matt believes that The ASCO Post is the single best publication of its kind on the basis of its depth of coverage and its frequent highlighting of debate over important findings in oncology and hematology. ■

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Disclosures: The above writers and reporters contributing to The ASCO Post reported no potential conflicts of interest.

About the Artist

Keith Witmer received his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Otis/Parsons School of Design. He subsequently launched his career in advertising and publication with a commanding presence, initially using pen and ink and scratchboard mediums. Working with clients such as FedEx, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, and National Geographic, Keith refined his skills and developed new illustration techniques which combined both traditional and digital mediums. Today, Keith works exclusively with his trusty Stylus and Wacom Tablet to execute every illustration. Keith addresses every portrait with absolute professionalism and uncompromising attention to detail. When Keith is not at the drawing board, he can be found on his mountain bike or in a sushi bar somewhere in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. ■