Sept. 13, 2022 – Pensacola, Fla:

BioNews announced today that Hawken Miller, a staff writer and columnist on its website Muscular Dystrophy News Today, is the recipient of a Rare Disease Journalism Fellowship by the National Press Foundation (NPF). Miller was selected as one of just four Americans for the prestigious fellowship aimed at providing professional development opportunities for journalists covering rare diseases.

Miller, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare disease itself, was selected along with 24 other journalists throughout the world to take part in the program. 

“Learning about collaborative research and data-driven science is important for the rare disease community and the broader public. It is ultimately the future of medicine and will affect everyone,” Miller said. “I hope to weave personal stories of scientists aimed to improve the quality of life for people with rare diseases.”

The NPF fellowship commences in October and will consist of online briefings from Oct. 17-19 and question-and-answer sessions from leading world experts in rare diseases, diagnostics, targeted testing, drug development, and genetic counseling. The journalists will also hear from leaders of patient advocacy groups and journalists who have been covering the issues.

“This is an incredible achievement and honor for Hawken both as a journalist and as a representative of the rare disease community.”said Kellie Benn, vice president of content for BioNews, Muscular Dystrophy News Today’s parent company. “As someone living with a rare disease, Hawken understands how important access to accurate and trustworthy information is for these often-underrepresented and underserved communities, which is a crucial part of BioNews’ mission.” 

The National Press Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to “make good journalists better.” The NPF educates journalists on the complex issues of the day and trains them to use the latest reporting tools and techniques. The foundation recognizes and encourages excellence in journalism through its awards and fellowships.

BioNews is the parent company to more than 60 rare disease-specific websites and social media channels. Its mission is to hire 1,000 people diagnosed with a rare disease by 2026.