Announcement from National News Editor Steven Ginsberg, Deputy National News Editor Lori Montgomery, Health and Science Editor Stephen Smith and Health & Science Deputy Editor Carol Eisenberg:

We are excited to announce that Akilah Johnson is joining The Post’s Health and Science team to cover health disparities, a crucial area of coverage as the coronavirus pandemic continues to strike especially hard in communities of color.

Akilah comes to The Post from the Washington newsroom of ProPublica, where for the past year she has written memorably about the intersection of health, politics and race. She and a colleague were among the first to chronicle the effects of the pandemic in African American communities, showing how the crisis compounded longstanding disparities borne of economic dislocation and systemic racism. Akilah and a team of reporters then examined the first 100 coronavirus deaths in Chicago, revealing that 70 of those who died were Black. Earlier, she illustrated the heartbreaking consequences when recipients of Medicare and Medicaid are erroneously excised from the rolls.

Before ProPublica, Akilah spent eight years at the Boston Globe covering politics and immigration; she was part of a Spotlight team that was a Pulitzer finalist for its examination of race in Boston . Akilah spent the better part of 2012 living in a Boston neighborhood riven by gun violence for a series about the people living in those 68 blocks. And she covered the protests that swept Ferguson, Mo., and the aftermath of the racist massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Akilah also spent seven years at the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where she helped establish a schools blog that garnered substantial readership.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, Akilah was a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Miami, where she studied journalism, English and multimedia studies.

Please join us in welcoming Akilah to The Post. After finishing projects at ProPublica, she will start Jan. 11.