Read the memo

LA Times alums join bigger Kaiser Health News*

latimes-sign-sideview.jpgKaiser Health News announced today that it has added to its stable of former Los Angeles Times journalists. Chad Terhune and Russ Mitchell, who left the Times during the recent buyout, are joining Kaiser Health News as part of a California expansion of the nonprofit health news service, part of a new partnership with the California HealthCare Foundation. Already on hand are California projects editor Julie Marquis, a former investigative projects editor at the LAT, and reporter Anna Gorman, also an LAT health beat alumna. There are other adds to the Kaiser staff as well.

Also today, KHN reported that the Los Angeles-area chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is splitting from the national organization, "the latest in a string of departures that could impact the national group’s bottom line."

OK, here's the memo on the personnel moves.

As we announced last fall, we’ll be expanding KHN’s West Coast operations later this month when we launch our new partnership with the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) and begin publishing California Healthline on January 28th. Like KFF itself, with the establishment of the West Coast Bureau, KHN will now be a bicoastal operation with our California-based activities supported primarily by external, long-term funding commitments from California’s major health foundations, including the CHCF and the Blue Shield of California Foundation.

Our California-based operation will be led by California Bureau Chief Julie Marquis, based in LA. Julie will continue to work closely with fellow LA-based Senior Correspondent Anna Gorman and Multimedia Reporter and Producer Heidi De Marco. Senior National Correspondent Sarah Varney and Senior Correspondent Jenny Gold will maintain their Menlo Park home base, and will continue to produce a mix of national and California-based stories. All of our California-based journalists will participate in national reporting projects, including a new Enterprise Reporting Initiative that will also be established with external support. Of course John and LaRonda will continue to oversee the entire enterprise, working with me and Drew.

Today I’m pleased to introduce a great team of journalists who are joining KHN as we expand in California. Their work, together with pieces from freelancers across the state, will be disseminated through our large and growing network of California-based news organizations. Their reporting will also appear on and Much of it will also be distributed through our national media partners. And KHN’s DC-based web gurus Kathleen Hayden, Andrew Villegas, and Lynne Shallcross will manage the re-launch and ensure that all this new content looks great online and finds the broadest possible audience through social media.


Bay Area

Russ Mitchell, Managing Editor. Russ joins us from the Los Angeles Times where he has been their technology editor. He has been covering the convergence of business and technology for nearly 30 years. Russ worked for 10 years at Business Week magazine before becoming managing editor of Wired in the 1990s. He since has served as senior technology writer at US News & World Report, executive editor and editor-in-chief at Business 2.0, and senior writer at Conde Nast Portfolio. His articles — including health care stories written for KHN — have also appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fast Company and many others. Based in Berkeley, he is a graduate of the University of Illinois and is a former Vannevar Bush Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Los Angeles

Chad Terhune, Senior Correspondent. Chad also joins us from the Los Angeles Times where he’s covered the business of health care, including medical costs, patient safety and the rollout of the federal health law. The Columbia Journalism Review has praised his Obamacare coverage. Prior to joining The Times in 2012, he was an award-winning reporter for The Wall Street Journal and Businessweek. Chad spent more than a decade at the Journal and his stories on health insurance won a National Press Club award. At Businessweek, his stories on health reform and subprime mortgages earned recognition from the New York Press Club and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He graduated from the University of Florida.

Bernard Wolfson, Senior Editor. Bernard served most recently as business editor of the Orange County Register. Before taking that position, he was the Register’s health care business reporter, covering the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the hospital and insurance industries, and biotechnology. Bernard also covered health care in a prior stint at the Register, from 1998 to 2005. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2004, along with two colleagues, for a groundbreaking report on cost versus quality at 30 hospitals in Orange County. After leaving the Register the first time, Bernard spent seven years as European Editor for Market News International in Paris, where he supervised a network of reporters covering the Eurozone debt crisis. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.


Emily Bazar, Senior Correspondent. Emily is a columnist and journalist whose “Ask Emily” column addresses readers’ questions and concerns about the Affordable Care Act and other health care topics. The column has appeared in more than 25 newspapers and NPR affiliate websites across California, and generated more than 2,500 direct questions and comments. In her role as Ask Emily, Emily regularly appears on KPCC, KQED, Capital Public Radio and other California radio stations. Outside of “Ask Emily,” Emily has covered stories about Medi-Cal, children’s dental care and variation in the use of medical treatments. Her reporting on Medi-Cal’s troubled children’s dental program was awarded the 2011 California Journalism Award for Special Feature/Enterprise Reporting. Prior to joining KHN, Emily worked at the CHCF Center for Health Reporting, USA TODAY and The Sacramento Bee. She graduated from Stanford University.

David Gorn, Sacramento Correspondent. David has been a longtime reporter and editor covering health policy issues in Sacramento for California Healthline. He is the former Deputy News Director at KQED Public Radio and has been a reporter for NPR. In the print world, he was an editor at three daily Bay Area newspapers and served as editor-in-chief for several Bay Area magazines. He also has taught journalism at San Francisco State University.

We will also soon be hiring a Sacramento-based Web Reporter.

Washington, DC

Brianna Labuskes, Aggregation Editor. Bri joins us after nearly five years at Politico Pro, where she was the Production Director. There, she edited health care and other policy news, managed the workflow of the Web production team, and oversaw Pro’s digital development. Prior to that, she worked in Binghamton, N.Y., as a copy editor and news editor for a consolidated Gannett copy desk that produces the Press & Sun-Bulletin, the Star-Gazette and The Ithaca Journal. She is a proud alumna of Penn State.

Lydia Zuraw, Web Producer. Lydia comes to us from Food Safety News where she was Washington, D.C. Correspondent for the past two years. There she covered federal food safety policy, outbreak investigations and research. Originally from Maryland, Lydia earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

* Update: While Terhune left the Times at the same time as the recent buyouts, his buyout request was rejected. So his departure is a straight resignation.

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent Read the memo stories on LA Observed:
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
New LA Times editor Pearlstine picks his deputies
Soon-Shiong to staff: 'In awe of your talent'
LA Times editor addresses pay gaps ahead of lawsuit
Soon-Shiong assures LA Times staff it's going to be OK
Read the memo: NYT grabs a top editor from LA Times masthead
Letter to the LA Times newsroom from Patrick Soon-Shiong