What We Do:
The Public Information and Liaison Branch is responsible for NIDA's information dissemination activities:
- Initiates and monitors press relations activities
- Manages and maintains NIDA websites for multiple audiences
- Responds to information inquiries from the public
- Conducts public education campaigns, including National Drug Facts Week
- Manages the development and dissemination of NIDA publications
- Provides graphics and video support services
- Publishes NIDA Notes newsletter about NIDA-supported research activities
- Carol Krause, M.A., Branch Chief, PILB
Ms. Krause joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in 2006 as the Chief of the Public Information and Liaison Branch (PILB), where she has launched several innovative programs, including National Drug Facts Week, the first Addiction Science Awards at the annual INTEL Science and Engineering Fair, and the National Centers of Excellence for Physician Information. As Chief, PILB, Ms. Krause oversees a staff of communications professionals with expertise in Web, media, publications, and health education campaigns. In other government service, Ms. Krause was selected to be the first Communications Director of the HHS Office on Women’s Health (HHS OWH) in 1997 and launched the National Women’s Health Information Center, the government’s premiere health Web site for women, which won a designation as one of the Top Ten government Web sites in the year 2000, and soon after achieved the highest grade of all government web sites rated by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Ms. Krause has more than 25 years’ experience in health education in the public and private sector. She began her career as an Emmy Award winning television journalist covering medical and political issues, and has written a nationally published book on family medical histories. Carol has a B.A. in Political Science from the George Washington University and an M.A. in Communications and Public Affairs from American University.
- Stephanie Older, J.D., Deputy Branch Chief
Stephanie Older became the Publication Information and Liaison Branch’s Deputy Branch Chief in early 2013, managing publications and media efforts, as well as supporting virtually all outreach activities across the Branch. She joined NIDA’s press team in 2008, and became the press team leader in 2010, when she launched NIDA’s social media program, energized NIDA’s media response capabilities and enhanced outreach to high school and college journalists. Her prior communications experience includes media work for both corporate and non-profit organizations, most notably as the media liaison for the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Ms. Older holds a law degree from the University of Baltimore as well as a B.A. in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining NIDA, she served as Attorney-Advisor to an Associate Chief Judge at the U.S. Department of Labor.
- David Anderson, Public Health Advisor
Mr. Anderson joined the Public Information and Liaison Branch in the Office of Science Policy in February 1999 and assumed the editorship of NIDA Notes. In 2002 he founded NIDA’s peer reviewed journal Science & Practice Perspectives (subsequently renamed Addiction Science & Clinical Practice; AS&CP), and edited both publications until 2011, when Evans Medical Foundation and Biomed Central acquired AS&CP. Mr. Anderson has been Senior Editor of RN, a journal for nurses, and Contemporary Internal Medicine, for primary care physicians. He has also served as founding editor of CV Nurse and contributing editor to Patient Care and Business & Health magazines. Mr. Anderson has a master's degree in Population and International Health from Harvard School of Public Health, and has written original research and policy monographs on international issues in abortion, AIDS, male fertility, and Russian mortality for the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. Other health-related organizations he has worked with include the Pan American Health Organization, Pathfinder International, Data for Decision-Making, and the Harvard Center for Population and Development.
- Josie Anderson, Visual Production Specialist
Ms. Anderson joined the Public Information and Liaison Branch (PILB) team in October of 2012 and filled one of NIDA’s newest positions - Visual Production Specialist. Currently, she works directly with the PILB Branch Chief, while also augmenting the NIDA Director and Press Team. The Visual Production Specialist is just one example of how NIDA is progressing in the world of mass media and innovative technologies. Combining the technical skill of video production and the operational support of public relations, the possibilities for NIDA are endless in this new venture. Prior to NIDA, Ms. Anderson served in the United States Air Force (USAF) for ten years, as a Broadcast Journalist. Her military experience includes pioneering the first USAF media outreach team in Iraq, lead videographer for the USAF Thunderbirds, and was an on-location correspondent during combat, training and humanitarian missions in over 15 countries. She also attended the Defense Information School with a background in Public Affairs and Broadcast specialties.
- Elisabeth Davis, M.P.H., Public Health Analyst
Ms. Davis joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in 2006 as a Public Health Analyst. Currently, Ms. Davis serves as a Project Officer for the Physicians Outreach project (referred to as our NIDAMED/NIDA Centers of Excellence project) and for the Educational Marketing project (referred to as our Scholastic project). The Physicians Outreach project includes working with 8 medical schools around the country to develop innovative medical education curriculum resources on drug abuse and addiction, an evaluation study, the development of products for and Advertising/ marketing to practicing physicians, and much more! The Scholastic project involves the creation and design of print articles (3 per year that each appear in 6 magazines), posters, and web-only content for middle and high school students and teachers. In addition to these projects, beginning in 2009 Ms. Davis was tasked as the Project Manager/Coordinator of NIDA’s first ever National Drug Facts Week, a health observance week for teens. Prior to coming to NIDA, Ms. Davis held a variety of positions in the field of Public Health including Senior Research Coordinator for an adolescent health and media study at the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communications and the Director of a community/school-based violence prevention program in Philadelphia. Ms. Davis also worked on projects/studies of women and heart disease, adolescent obesity, prenatal health, gun violence prevention, educational programs in prisons, and health insurance for children.
- Kimberly DiFonzo, Deputy Press Officer
Ms. DiFonzo joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in April 2008 with over 20 years of public relations experience working for trade associations, non-profit organizations and public relations firms. Her experience combines a broad knowledge of healthcare communications and media relations, as well as educational program development and execution. Kim is a member of the NIDA press team and responds daily to inquiries from national, local and social media on a wide variety of issues related to drug addiction research. She prepares spokespeople for media interviews, assists with the implementation of media outreach campaigns and events, including National Drug Facts Week and Monitoring the Future, and writes and edits various press materials. Prior to NIDA, Kim worked in the public relations office at the American Psychological Association, wrote public relations materials on behalf of the President of the American Nurses Association, served as a national spokesperson for the blood services program at the American Red Cross, and managed the Campaign on Clinical Depression while at Burson-Marsteller. Kim received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA.
- Mark Fleming, M.A., Webmaster
Mr. Fleming joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in December 2000 as the Webmaster in the Public Information and Liaison Branch. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology from Miami University in Ohio and a Master of Arts in visual communications from Ohio University. He has worked for NIDA since 1986, both as a contractor and now as a federal employee. He established the Visual Media Unit to provide photographic and graphic arts support for NIDA intramural research. In addition, he established the NIDA web site in 1995 and has worked since then to increase its scope and exposure. Recently, his work has focused on the completion of NIDA's migration to content management systems, cloud hosting, responsive design and e-pub format support. As NIDA’s 508 coordinator, Mr. Fleming and his support team work with NIDA staff to ensure all information products meet accessibility regulations.
- Kathryn Kaplan, Media Specialist (Contractor)
Ms. Kaplan joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in March of 2015 as a contractor to work with the NIDA press team. In this role, she is responsible for responding to inquiries from national and local media on issues related to drug addiction research. She helps prepare spokespeople for media interviews, assists with the implementation of media outreach campaigns, and helps disseminate the latest scientific research related to addiction to the general public. Prior to joining NIDA, Ms. Kaplan was an Account Supervisor at SpeakerBox Communications, a boutique technology public relations firm where she worked for five years. Ms. Kaplan received her Bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Maryland, College Park.
- Janet Linton, IT Specialist
Ms. Linton joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in March of 2009 to provide web support to the NIDA Webmaster. Her primary tasks include: ensuring NIDA’s content is compliant with section 508, overseeing NIDA’s Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube accounts. Ms. Linton helped design NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week (NDFW) website, and is responsible for all updates and maintenance. Prior to joining OSPC, Ms. Linton worked as a lead operator, training and overseeing employees, at the PNC Bank Operation Center in Baltimore, MD. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Animation from Westwood College.
- Brian Marquis, Program Analyst
Mr. Marquis joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in January 2002 as the Information Center Manager for the Public Information and Liaison Branch. He is now the NIDA Public Liaison Officer and connects with organizations across the country with the help of NIDA publications and Web sites. Prior to joining OSPC, Mr. Marquis worked at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Publications Clearinghouse and as a contractor at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He has a B.S. in Family Studies from University of Maryland, College Park.
- Aaron Martinek, Web Analyst (Contractor)
Mr. Martinek has been a contractor with NIDA for over 13 years. Originally a Graphic Artist at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) in Baltimore, he switched his role to Web Analyst, and moved to Office of Science Policy and Communications in 2005 to focus on NIDA's websites. Mr. Martinek handles everything from web development to design for digital/print materials. He holds a Graphic Artist degree and has over 20 years’ experience in the field of design.
- Luz Esmeralda Mahecha Martínez, M.P.H., Bilingual Health Communications Specialist (Contractor)
Ms. Mahecha joined the Public Information and Liaison Branch (PILB) in April 2015 as a contractor. As a Bilingual Health Communications Specialist, Luz provides support developing and updating educational materials, manages the content for all Spanish-language materials, including publications and NIDA’s Spanish-language website, and provides bilingual support for social media and public inquiry responses. Prior to joining OSPC, Luz worked with different organizations in the public sector, planning, implementing and evaluating educational activities. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering.
- Ann Rea, M.A., Web Analyst (Contractor)
Ms. Rea has been a contractor with NIDA for over 19 years. Originally a Medical Photographer at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) in Baltimore, she switched her role to Graphic Artist and then to the role of Web Analyst in 1999. Ms. Rea works on the main NIDA site, specifically with NIDA Notes, International, NACDA, and other publications. She has also taken a major role in the ongoing task of ensuring that the NIDA website and all of the smaller sites meet the Section 508 Guidelines. Ms. Rea holds a M.A. in English from Morgan State University.
- Juli Rose, Writer/Editor (Contractor)
Ms. Rose joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in December 2014 as a contractor to assist with writing, editing, content management, and other publication and dissemination efforts. Juli has more than 7 years of experience as a writer and editor, mainly in the areas of health information and curricula. She is familiar with the NIH, previously providing writing and editorial support as a contractor for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ (NIDDK’s) information clearinghouses. Prior to working with the NIDDK, Juli worked for My Health World, Inc. as a curriculum specialist, developing online health education curriculum for student audiences. Juli received her Master’s degree in creative writing/English from Florida State University.
- Shirley Simson, Press Officer
Ms. Simson joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in March of 2006. She has almost 20 years of experience developing, managing, and implementing successful public relations programs, with an emphasis on health communication and social marketing. Ms. Simson has worked on behalf of a number of federal clients, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Food and Drug Administration; and the U.S. Department of Transportation. She also spent two years as a media spokesperson for the national headquarters of the American Red Cross. As a member of the NIDA press team, her responsibilities include responding to daily inquiries from national and local media on a wide variety of issues related to drug addiction research; scheduling and preparing NIDA spokespeople for press interviews; conducting proactive media outreach activities in support of NIDA press events and meetings; and writing and editing press materials. Ms. Simson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- Jennifer Sizemore, Communications Contract Team Lead (Contractor)
Ms. Sizemore joined the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC) in September 2014 as a contractor to manage NIDA’s online and print resources. This includes identifying annual priorities and assigning and tracking writing, reviewing, printing, and posting. She has more than 17 years of professional experience producing and managing the production of written products for specific audiences, including effectively implementing the tenets of plain language for audiences with low literacy. Ms. Sizemore has experience with a variety of subject matter, including drug and alcohol abuse, digestive and kidney diseases, infectious diseases, women’s health, complementary and integrative medicine, and cancer. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Syracuse University, and is a certified Editor in the Life Sciences.
- Sara Smith, M.P.H., Social Media Strategist
Mrs. Smith joined the Public Information and Liaison Branch (PILB) in May 2014, filling NIDA’s newest position as Social Media Strategist. She manages NIDA’s social media initiatives to enable dissemination of NIDA’s scientific findings in language that is accessible to the general public. She oversees all NIDA social media platforms in order to promote a strategic, proactive social media presence that is well integrated with NIDA’s traditional media outreach, Web content and design, and other dissemination mechanisms. Prior to NIDA, Mrs. Smith was a Presidential Management Fellow with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and completed rotations with various federal communications offices over two years. She served in the United States Air Force (USAF) for four years as a Logistics Readiness Officer and two years in the Air Force Guard and Reserve as a Public Health Officer. Mrs. Smith holds a Master’s in Public Health in Leadership from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.