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Photo by Tyson Stevens

Sara Israelsen-Hartley is a policy journalist who writes about public health problems and solutions.

She is currently a Research and Writing Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab.

She recently completed a master's degree at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy with a concentration in health policy. She studied nutrition security, social determinants of health, dental and mental health and their impact on chronic absenteeism, medical misinformation, and vaccine hesitancy and reporting. 

The MPP degree complements Sara's two decades as a reporter. She has won numerous awards for her coverage of COVID-19, radon gas exposure, teens and anxiety, gender-based wage inequalities, divorce reform, abortion legislation and pornography. Her favorite projects are those that involve community engagement.


A native of Missouri, Sara and her family now call North Carolina home. When she's not writing, she's probably on a walk or identifying backyard birds with her husband, Jon, playing games or reading books with their three increasingly tall boys, or getting stuffed under the basketball hoop.

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