Our Covid Research Press Teleconference Series

The National Center for Health Research, a nonprofit think tank, has a free series of monthly 1-hour live online press teleconferences on a range of Covid issues of importance to journalists. The series is supported by the federally funded independent nonprofit Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI).

On July 28th, Dr. Diana Zuckerman moderated a panel with Featured speaker Dr. Steven Woloshin of Dartmouth’s Center for Medicine and Media, and Discussants Dr. Robert Kaplan of Stanford University, award-winning investigative reporter Alicia Mundy, and patient advocate Katherine Leon. The hour-long teleconference focused on the implications of having limited information about which coronavirus tests are more accurate and which are less accurate.

On September 3rd, our featured speaker was Dr. Kristin Moffitt of Harvard Medical School and our discussants were Dr. Vishakha Sabharwal of Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, award-winning New York Times reporter Roni Caryn Rabin, and patient advocate Rebecca Freeman. The hour-long teleconference summarized what we know about the potential for young children to catch and spread the coronavirus, the huge gaps in our knowledge, and the studies that will help fill in those gaps in the next months.

On September 25th, our featured speaker was Dr. Matthew Memoli of the National Institutes of Health, who is leading an ongoing NIH study of more than 10,000 individuals over the age of 18 who volunteered to have regular blood tests and complete questionnaires to determine if they have immunity to the coronavirus and how that changes over time. Our discussants were Dr. Susan Wood from the George Washington University School of Public Health; award-winning medical writer Rita Rubin; and patient advocate Crispin Goytia, a Covid-19 survivor and Covid plasma donor living in a multi-generation household.

On October 14th, we focused on the scientific issues you need to understand to report on the benefits and risks of Covid-19 vaccines. Our featured speaker was Dr. Peter DoshiAssociate Editor of The BMJ, and associate professor of pharmaceutical health services research at University of Maryland. Our discussants were award-winning author and investigative reporter Alice Mundy, Founder of  Patient & Family Centered Care practice Libby Hoy, and Dr. Peter G. Lurie, Executive Director and President of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

On December 9th, one day before the very important public FDA Advisory Committee meeting on December 10, where the evidence of safety and efficacy of the Pfizer COVID vaccine was discussed, we hosted a live online press teleconference to review the research issues that will be considered most important by the FDA.

Robert M. Kaplan, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor of Health Policy and Management and of Medicine at UCLA, Dr. Peter DoshiAssociate Editor of The BMJ, and associate professor of pharmaceutical health services research at University of Maryland, and Susan F. Wood, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, reviewed the Pfizer data, expressed their views on the strengths and weaknesses and answered journalist questions in a panel moderated by NCHR President Diana Zuckerman, PhD.


The National Center for Health Research is an independent nonprofit organization focused on the use of research to improve the health of adults and children. Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funds patient-centered outcomes research that helps provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. For more information about these events, contact nz@center4research.org.