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Dana Cook Grossman

Dana Cook Grossman is the director of publications emerita for Dartmouth Medical School (DMS), now the Geisel School of Medicine. She retired from Dartmouth in 2011 and since then has worked as a freelance editor, writer, and communications consultant. She specializes in making complex subjects accessible and appealing to a wide variety of audiences. She has edited the work of Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, US senators, and governors.

She held the position of director of publications at DMS from June 1986 to December 2011; the post included serving as the editor of DARTMOUTH MEDICINE, a general-audience quarterly magazine that during her tenure won dozens of awards from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Medical Writers' Association, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Under her leadership, DARTMOUTH MEDICINE was also a leader in establishing an online presence and in its use of multimedia.

In addition, for various periods, she oversaw communications and media relations for DMS; supervised the conception and creation of the 2010 DMS/Dartmouth-Hitchcock annual report; coordinated communications for the DMS bicentennial, observed in 1997; directed the Dartmouth Community Medical School; and served as the editor of the DMS Alumni News & Notes, a newsletter for alumni of DMS.

During her 25 years at DMS, Dana also handled many special communications projects. She worked closely with medical historian Constance Putnam on two major books—a biography of DMS's founder (Improve Perfect and Perpetuate: Dr. Nathan Smith and Early American Medical Education) and a history of DMS (The Science We Have Loved and Taught: Dartmouth Medical School's First Two Centuries)—both published by University Press of New England, in 1998 and 2004, respectively. She was also the coeditor, with Dr. Heinz Valtin, of Great Issues for Medicine in the 21st Century: Ethical and Social Issues Arising out of Advances in the Biomedical Sciences, published in 1999 by the New York Academy of Sciences.

Dana was very active with professional organizations as well. She was the cofounder, in 1988, of the Ivy-Atlantic Medical Alumni Magazine Association, a consortium of the magazine staffs of 15 top-ranked medical schools, and served three terms as the organization's president. She also held many positions in the Association of American Medical Colleges' Group on Institutional Advancement—including as a member of the national steering committee; as the Northeast Regional Chair; as a track chair several times for the group's annual meeting; as a member of its Communications Committee; as a judge several times in its Awards for Excellence Competition; and as a presenter or moderator at numerous meetings. In addition, she served from 1999 through 2011 as a member of the Editorial Board of Brown Medicine magazine.

Prior to joining Dartmouth Medical School, from 1983 to 1986, Dana was associate editor of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, a publication for undergraduate alumni of Dartmouth College; before that, she was class notes editor of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. She began working for Dartmouth in 1975, when she was named assistant director of public relations for the Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College's performing arts center. Her professional background also includes experience as director of public affairs at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, a community hospital in Lebanon, NH, and as a newspaper reporter and editor.

Since her retirement from Dartmouth on December 31, 2011—after 36 years there—she has continued to work full-time as a freelance editor, writer, and communications consultant for a variety of organizations, all of them nonprofits and most of them focused on science or medicine. The following are some of the major projects she's worked on as a freelancer:

  • In 2012, she oversaw—from conception through production—the creation of a 116-page book, All Together Now, designed to mark the 40th anniversary of Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
  • She wrote several features for the Vermont Law School alumni magazine, Loquitur, including cover features for the Spring 2012 issue (on the school's retiring dean) and for the Summer 2013 issue (on changes in the legal education field).
  • She wrote all the contents for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center 2012 nursing annual report.
  • Since 2013, she has done all the copyediting and fact-checking, as well as some developmental editing, for the UC San Francisco medical alumni publication, UCSF Magazine.
  • She copyedited the 2013 issue of Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health annual magazine, Columbia Public Health.
  • Since 2014, she has done regular editing for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, including of a white paper on scientific publishing in the digital age, of bios of researchers selected as Howard Hughes Investigators, and as the story editor for the organization's magazine, the HHMI Bulletin.
  • She edited the website for a three-part 2014 PBS science series called Your Inner Fish, based on a best-selling book of the same name about the evolution of the human body.
  • She edited all the online supplementary content for a 2014 PBS-NOVA special titled Vaccines—Calling the Shots (see the "Resources" tab), including "A Journalist's Guide to Covering Outbreaks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases."
  • Since 2014, she has edited a number of publications for a nonprofit called the Divers Alert Network, including their annual report on diving injuries and fatalities; a guide for novice divers; a medical guide for traveling divers; a risk-assessment guide for dive operators; and booklets on decompression sickness, diving-related heart and skin conditions, and other topics.
  • She wrote several features for the Reporter, the monthly newsletter of the Association of American Medical Colleges, including a 2015 feature on suicide among medical professionals.
  • Since 2015, she has been coeditor of the "More Voices" section of Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine, an online magazine published by Albert Einstein College of Medicine that highlights the human side of medicine.
  • In 2017, she edited a number of case studies analyzing the 2008 financial crisis for the Yale Program on Financial Stability.
  • She has written a number of pieces for the Dartmouth College online news site, including "Focus on Faculty" Q&As with social marketing specialist Punam Keller, religion professor Susan Ackerman, and American literature expert Don Pease; profiles of neuroscientist Adina Roskies and digital music graduate student Andy Sarroff; and a short feature on the use of social media in language classes.
  • In 2015, she oversaw a thorough revamping of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Section of Cardiac Surgery website, from reworking its structure to doing all the research and writing for the new site. (The site has since undergone further changes, but much of the 2015 content remains in place.)
  • She wrote the all contents for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 issues of Impact, the annual philanthropy report for the Yale School of Management.
  • She edited several publications for the California Health Care Foundation, including "Fundamental Concepts for Managing Risk and Understanding the Total Cost of Care," a lexicon of terms regarding value-based health-care payment models.
  • In 2016, she edited a "Guide to Outbreaks of Emerging Infectious Diseases" for journalists, a companion to a PBS documentary titled Spillover—Zika, Ebola & Beyond.
  • Since 2017, she has consulted on the conception and realization of plenary sessions and other high-level programming for the Association of American Medical Colleges' Learn Serve Lead annual meeting, including "Trading Places," a panel discussion led by Anna Quindlen with doctors who suddenly became patients, and "The Extra Mile," a panel discussion led by Tamron Hall with doctors who faced extraordinary hurdles en route to medical school.
  • Since 2018, she has been a communications consultant to the associate dean of strategic communications and marketing at Columbia University School of Nursing and an editorial advisor for Columbia Nursing magazine.

Dana holds an AB in political science from Brown University and in 1999 completed the Stanford Professional Publishing Course, a program for mid-career publishing professionals. She was also the 2012 winner of the National Punctuation Day Contest.

She has long been involved in civic activities as well, including serving on her town's school board for nine years and public library board for three years; serving for 13 years on the board of the Upper Valley Educators Institute; teaching in an extracurricular journalism program for elementary schoolchildren; judging an annual regional robotics tournament; and volunteering as a nationally certified track and field official at the high school, college, and masters levels. In addition, she volunteered from 2012 through 2018 for a maternal and child health program in Kosovo, advising the organization's staff on communications strategies.

Dana can be reached by e-mail at Dana.C.Grossman@Dartmouth.edu.

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College