Steve Sternberg is an independent journalist who has covered public health and clinical medicine for more than three decades at U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Miami Herald. A veteran investigative reporter, his most recent projects have focused on unsafe surgery in U.S. military hospitals worldwide, the dangers of doctor burnout, and preventable deaths among children undergoing complex congenital heart surgery in children’s hospitals. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Mother Jones, and Medical Economics and Science, among other publications. In 2020, Sternberg was a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists Dateline Award for Investigative Journalism for his series on military surgery. He has also received the Association of Health Care Journalist’s Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the Dag Hammarskjold Award for Human Rights Journalism, the American Heart Association’s Howard L. Lewis Achievement Award, the National Headliner Award, the Penney-Missouri Award, and the Global Health Council Media Award. In 1992, he was awarded John S. Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, where he studied health policy and genetics. A graduate of Ithaca College, he earned his masters in science writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Michael A. Schwarz
Michael A. Schwarz is an independent photographer and videographer based in Atlanta, Georgia, focusing on visual storytelling for nonprofits, corporations, and news media. Michael is a Baltimore native and a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
“As a journalist and documentarian, I am always grateful to the people who let me into their lives for the purpose of telling their stories, but none more so than Tom Fox and his family, whose grace and generosity in a time of tragedy still amazes me.”
MD, FAAFP, FASAM, AAHIVS
Dr. Cooke is proud to have graduated with honors from IU School of Medicine in 2001. He is now a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, specializing in Family Medicine, Addiction Medicine, and HIV Medicine. In 2015, Scott County, Indiana, was experiencing the largest HIV outbreak in rural America’s recent history with an HIV incidence higher than any country in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. William Cooke, at his practice, Foundations Family Medicine, was the only physician in the town of Austin during this outbreak. He led the successful response to the epidemic and brought healing and hope to his community of 4,200 people. He received national recognition for his innovative approaches to addressing the unique challenges of serving communities with limited resources, including being named Family Physician of the Year for Indiana in 2016 and the United States in 2019. He became the first physician to receive the National Pillar of Excellence Award by The Addiction Policy Forum. He also received the Doc Hollywood Award by the Indiana Rural Health Association for his service to rural Indiana, the Indiana State Health Commission’s Award for Exceptional Public Health Service, the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award, and the first ever Physician Pillar of Excellence Award by Addiction Policy Forum.
In addition to operating his rural health clinic, Dr. Cooke serves as the executive director of the nonprofit community organization Refresh (F5); as the medical director of Wooded Glen Recovery Center in Henryville, Indiana; and as co-director of the Rural Center of HIV/STD Prevention.
Dr. Cooke believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to equal access to hope, health, and opportunity. He is currently working on a book, Canary in the Coal Mine, which will explore this concept through the lens of the 2015 Scott County HIV outbreak.
Doug Bauder is an ordained pastor; founding director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center at Indiana University (1994–2019); father of two grown children; and author of an upcoming autobiography, The Privilege of Being Queer: A Life Full of Surprises.
“Coming out as a mature adult in the midst of the AIDS crisis was memorable in so many ways—challenging me to be responsible in expressing my new-found sexuality, raising my awareness as a political activist, and informing my spirituality as I provided support for friends who were dying of AIDS. All of those dynamics came together in moving to Bloomington in 1993 and meeting Bob and Doris Fox who were newly grieving the death of their son Tom.”
Claude Cookman enjoyed a professional career in journalism for more than 18 years, primarily as a picture editor at news organizations such as the Associated Press in New York, the Louisville Times, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the Miami Herald. While picture editor of the Times, he shared in the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Photography awarded to the combined Times and Courier-Journal photography staff. In the early 1970s, he earned an MS from the Columbia School of Journalism. He earned an MFA in art history (1989) and a Ph.D. in the history of photography (1994) from Princeton University. From fall 1990 through spring 2014, he taught visual communications in the School of Journalism at Indiana University, where he is now a professor emeritus. Claude served on the board of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction for six years, including two years as chair. He is a curator of the Tom Fox exhibition.
“When Tom Fox said he wanted to educate people about AIDS and what it meant to be a gay man, he was probably thinking of his story‘s immediate impact on the readers of the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I doubt he imagined his courageous gift would still be opening people’s minds more than 30 years later. As I studied Michael Schwarz’s photos and read Steve Sternberg’s article, I found my mind and my heart constantly being opened to a larger, more loving world.”