From the obesity crisis, to the healthcare system, to scientific breakthroughs – health reporting has never garnered so much attention, or played such an important role in how we think, act, eat, move and govern.
…Which is why it’s never been so important to get your news from a trusted source.
As a health journalist and medical professional, my stories are different to the stock-standard.
Why? Simple: I’ve worked as a healthcare professional for more than two decades. As a highly trained cardiac perfusionist, I’ve spent over 21 years working side by side with some of the most gifted doctors, nurses and health providers in this country. And I’ve seen firsthand the blood, sweat and tears of patients, on what is – for many – the worst day of their lives.
This in-the-trenches experience means you can expect more from my stories: more perspective, more sources, more aha’s, more compassion. As well as getting the highest quality research and reporting, you’re also getting insights that can only come from an insider – someone who’s been there, done that, and got the scrubs to prove it.
So what is a cardiac perfusionist?
If you’ve never heard of cardiac perfusion before, you’re certainly not alone!
Cardiac perfusionists are highly trained members of the surgical team. We’re the professionals who operate the heart-lung machine for patients undergoing heart surgery.
Basically, our job is to facilitate the blood bypassing (or detouring) the heart, so the surgeon can operate on it while it’s perfectly still, not beating like usual. The machine we operate (technically called a ‘cardiopulmonary bypass pump’) oxygenates the blood, then pumps it through the body – essentially performing the exact same role that a properly functioning heart would.
It takes at least four years of university study to become a perfusionist, followed by extensive clinical training in hospitals, national board certification, licensure and continual ongoing study.
And let me tell you: it’s not a role for the faint of heart! (Pun intended!) With surgeries up to 12 or more hours in duration, multiple variables in play for every case, and the patient’s life quite literally in your hands, it can be a highly intense role… but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
So why journalism?
I went into the healthcare profession after high school because I wanted to help people, and it’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life.
But after two + decades in the trenches, I came to realize there was an aspect of my skillset that kept rising to the surface, tugging at my heartstrings, and refusing to be ignored!
See, I’ve always loved connecting with my patients – breaking down complex concepts for them, translating complicated data patterns into usable nuggets, and decoding ‘science speak’ so that they can make informed decisions. As it turns out, this is my true zone of genius. And in true Rosemarie-style (just ask my poor parents!), as soon as I realized this, I decided to go all-in – committing fully to this new direction, and determined to make communication my full-time career.
With some experience in acting and presenting ‘back in the day’, I knew what I wanted to do: journalism. Cue two years at Columbia, a bunch of intern- and cadetships (including at NBC’s Today Health), and way too many late nights spent translating the latest PubMed research into everyday English, and I finally achieved my goal!
These days, I get the best of both worlds.
I get to work as a presenter, reporter, host, panelist and writer on the kinds of topics that I’ve been passionate about (and working in) for years – everything from emergency room etiquette, to raising a child with a genetic disorder, to the safety of healthcare workers.
So many of the qualities that make a great perfusionist also make a great journalist – think: impeccable research, high level interviewing skills, making complex topics accessible to the public, and (of course) having the utmost compassion and integrity.
In fact, in many ways, this ‘second act’ of my career feels less like a ‘180’ and more like a natural progression.
So thank you so much for stopping by my site, and taking this time to get to know me. I can’t wait to share my next story with you!
- Are you an editor or producer? Check out Rosemarie’s portfolio.
- Love reading about healthcare issues? Check out my latest stories.
- Got a lead for a story? Get in touch here.