Joe Neel is NPR’s deputy senior supervising editor and a correspondent on the Science Desk. He was the moderator for the Forum’s discussions on Sports and Health, What Shapes Health, The Ebola Disaster, The Health Burden of Stress, Health Care Inequalities in America, Health in the American Workplace, and Childcare and Health in America.
As a leader of NPR’s award-winning health and science coverage, Neel focuses on stories about medical research and health-care delivery. Neel assigns stories to reporters and correspondents, helps them produce the stories and edits the pieces for broadcast or publication on NPR.org. He is a frequent guest or contributor to NPR’s programs, blogs, and podcasts.
Currently, Neel oversees the Monday “Your Health” segment on Morning Edition. He supervises the NPR-Kaiser Health News-Member Station Reporting Project on Health Care in the States, which aims to strengthen and deepen local coverage of health care issues. Neel directs coverage of breaking news in health and science including the swine flu pandemic, medical relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake and cholera outbreaks, and health concerns after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Neel led the network’s coverage of the debate over the 2010 health care overhaul in Congress and he continues to direct coverage of the law’s implementation and efforts to overturn it. He edited series including “Are You Covered? A Look at Americans and Health Insurance.” In recent years, Neel launched NPR’s “Your Health” podcast and helped launch and grow “Shots,” NPR’s health blog.
During his tenure as editor, NPR’s health reporters and correspondents have won numerous awards, including the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society for Professional Journalists, the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Journalism Prize, and the Association of Health Care Journalism award. Neel won the prestigious Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellowship in 2007.
In 1994, Neel started filing stories about medicine and health as a freelancer for NPR and joined staff two years later.
Neel earned bachelor degrees from Washington University in St. Louis in both biology and German literature and language. He studied biology at the Universitaet Tuebingen in Germany.