The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Lenny Bernstein takes on new role on the Health and Science team

The Washington Post Lenny Bernstein (The Washington Post)

Announcement from National Editor Matea Gold, Deputy National Editor Philip Rucker and Health and Science Editor Stephen Smith:

We are thrilled to announce that Lenny Bernstein is taking on a new role on the Health and Science team exploring how the chase for profit in medicine undermines patient care.

As part of this line of coverage, Lenny will cover how largely hidden financial incentives and conflicts of interest distort the practice of medicine and help feed this nation’s unsustainable health costs. This beat builds on work that Lenny has long mined as a medical reporter, exploring chronic problems in the organ transplant industry and how easy money led drug companies and doctors to ignore their responsibility to police misuse of prescription opioids. His work with a team of Post and “60 Minutes” reporters on efforts by drug distributors and their allies in Congress to undermine the DEA’s efforts to stop the diversion of prescription opioids to the black market won Polk, Emmy, Peabody and other awards.

Lenny will tackle both short and longer-term enterprise and news about the medical-industrial complex, demonstrating the same tenacity he showed when venturing inside a Brooklyn hospital early in the coronavirus pandemic to chronicle the stories of overwhelmed medical workers and going to Liberia in 2014 to cover Ebola, one of the most ferocious pathogens known to humankind. In 2020, Lenny won the paper’s Ben Bradlee Award for Courage in Journalism, along with videographer Jon Gerberg, for their courage in taking readers inside the hot zone, showing the devastating toll exacted by covid-19 and always doing so with an abiding sense of humanity.

Lenny has been at The Post since 2000 as both a reporter and editor on National, Metro and Sports. He edited terrorism and civil liberties stories during the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for that coverage. He started The Post’s “To Your Health” blog. His freelance “MisFits” column in Local Living focused on trying to stay in shape.

Before coming to The Post, he worked at the Los Angeles Times and the Hartford Courant.

Please join us in congratulating Lenny.

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