New life at CDC

August 8, 2011

I am now a communications specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I am a contractor, employed by Northrop Grumman, where I am classified as a Public Health Analyst. However, at CDC my title is Research Dissemination Specialist. I work in the Prevention Research Centers (PRC) Program, Division of Adult and Community Health (DACH), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). So, in governmentese, that’s PRC/DACH/NCCDPHP/CDC. You think your workplace is full of jargon and acronyms? You haven’t seen anything until you’ve worked in the federal government.

The PRC Program is a network of researchers hosted at 37 schools of medicine and public health across the the country. These researchers come up with ways to reduce and prevent chronic conditions and increase healthy behaviors. Communicable diseases like flu and food-borne illnesses like salmonella get lots of press, but chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity,  substance abuse, cancer, and high blood pressure disable and kill a whole lot more people in this country. In fact, chronic diseases are responsible for 70% of U.S. deaths. CDC funds the PRC researchers to find ways to reduce this burden and associated healthcare costs. I’m happy to be working in a program with such an important mission.

I produce print and audiovisual content describing the work of the PRC Program. My work may appear on the PRC website, in printed materials,  or in internal documents. My most interesting project so far has been a video overview of the program, which you can see here. I conceptualized, wrote, shot, and produced this piece. Most of the photos in the piece were either stock photos or from the PRC Program’s existing collection, but I shot all of the video. Acting as a one-woman-band for these shoots saved you, the taxpayer, a lot of money — production crews are expensive.

I created another major communication product for the PRC Program — an entry for the Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion. The entry describes the PRC Program’s beginnings, development, activities, and contributions. I wrote it with input from three PRC researchers and the PRC Program research dissemination team lead, but I was the lead author. The encyclopedia is due to be published in late 2014; however, the PRC Program published the entry as a monograph, available here.

I also wrote a feature story on cancer in Kentucky and the cancer control and prevention efforts at the University of Kentucky PRC. (Kentucky has the highest cancer rate in the United States.) You can read it here. And I produced a video feature on EnhanceFitness, an exercise program developed by the University of Washington PRC for use by older adults, but it’s also proven effective for people with arthritis. View it here. Other examples of my work on the PRC website are here and here.

Hello world!

January 22, 2009

Hello!  Welcome to the website of Diane Hawkins-Cox.  I was one of the producers CNN let go when it dissolved its Science and Technology Unit in December 2008.

I am a “CNN Original” — one of the 300 or so people on board when CNN went live June 1, 1980. In my 28 1/2 years with the company, I worked in the newsroom, in the Environment Unit, and in the Science and Technology Unit. I produced magazine shows, field-produced stories, copyedited (in fact, I wrote CNN’s style manual), wrote news and feature copy and blogs, and even shot video on a few stories. I also wrote upon occasion for the CNN Wire (at the time an internal wire service) and cnn.com.

Now, I have started a copyediting service, FixYourWords.com. I specialize in Internet content and small business communications, but I am available for all copyediting, proofreading, and writing needs.

You can click “About” above to see my resume. If you would like more information, references, or a video reel of my CNN work, please contact me at hawkinscox@gmail.com.

Below are links to some of my stories. I have had the good fortune to work on some fascinating pieces with wonderful people. Unfortunately, CNN recently removed nearly all of its archived video and photo material from its web site, so there isn’t much of my video work on the web.

Attack of the Asian Carp
I produced this story.

Green Freezers
I produced and wrote this story.

Dean Kamen Prosthetic Arm
I produced this story.

Terror Diploma Mills
I produced this investigative piece.

Zero G Flights for Teachers
I produced and wrote this story. What a fantastic experience! Here’s a photo of me in my flight suit:
diane-in-flight-suit1
And here’s a blog post about my out-of-this-world Zero G experience.

The following are web articles that I wrote. Most of them are derived from video stories that I produced but (as I lamented above) are no longer on the web.

BlueCool

GreenPrint

Powdered Tires

Green Alleys

NASA Moon Base

If you know me from a past (or present) life, if you’d like to hire me, or if you’d just like to get to know me better, please leave a comment.

You can also DM @fixyourwords on Twitter if you have a quick grammar question. Get a free answer!