Editorial Policy

HealthCentral: Where Chronic Meets Life

Hi, there! Thanks so much for stopping by to learn why and how we do what we do at HealthCentral. After all, without you, there would be no us. Our entire reason for being is to help people with chronic and other serious illnesses (as well as those who love them) to not simply live with their condition, but to thrive in ways they may have never thought possible. And that doesn’t necessarily mean being “grateful” you got sick or climbing a mountain because of it. Instead, we’re here to help you create your best life, whatever the heck that means for you. Did you walk down the driveway and back today? Woo! Did you make it through story time with your kids without falling asleep first? Power! Like we said, your job is to decide what awesome is. Ours is to help you get there, and we do it in all sorts of ways:

1. We provide information that’s accurate, up-to-date, and evidence-based so you can make the most informed decisions about your care.

That means our journalists tap the top experts in each condition area they write about—whenever possible, our sources must be affiliated with a medical school, hospital, advocacy or government agency—and they rely on current peer-reviewed research (that means a board of uber-experts in the field review studies before they’re accepted for publication) to identify trends, discover the latest thinking, and present the best advice.

You'll also notice that all of our latest content includes a dedicated “Check Out Our Sources” section so you can see exactly where we found our information.

Similarly, we update our stories regularly, and especially when there’s a relevant change in the standard of care, new guidelines, drug approvals or recalls, or reader feedback. In fact, if a reader discovers an error, outdated info, or even confusing explanations, we take action immediately to review the content and update the article accordingly.

And just a last note about who our writers are: HealthCentral’s editors tap a network of highly experienced health journalists who often have decades of experience writing for a consumer audience. And whenever appropriate, we invite patient advocates to share their stories, insight, and advice in their own words.

2. Our articles are reviewed by an extensive team of medical experts.

The HealthCentral Medical Review Board includes more than 35 (and growing) physicians, nurses, mental health pros, physical therapists, dietitians, and other health care professionals who each specialize in treating patients living with one or more of the dozens of conditions we cover. Most important: We ensure that the person reviewing each story is an actual expert in that particular condition. In other words, you won’t find an ophthalmologist giving the ok on a lung cancer story.

3. The Healthcentral Patient Advocate Board also double-checks our content.

One of our top priorities is to make sure our content is sensitive to and accurately reflects the truth of what it means to live with a chronic illness. To help deliver on that, we established a patient-advocate approval process in late 2019. So far we have advocates covering rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, bipolar disorder, breast cancer, and depression with plans to expand to other top conditions in 2020. We are the only health site to offer this level of approval.

4. We speak to you like a human.

Are you a robot devoid of feelings? Didn’t think so. Having any chronic or serious illness like cancer is scary, especially in the beginning before you really know what’s what. You have a million questions, and you really don’t need to be freaked out more than you already are, right? Right. That’s why we’re committed to translating the medical jargon into clear, relatable content that gives you the context that’s so often missing in health information. We won’t sugarcoat it, but we will deliver hard-to-read-about details in the same way your most honest—and warmest—friend would.

5. Our tent is open to everyone.

While our content is designed to be relevant to a wide audience, we take care to be conscious and inclusive of all the amazing differences that make each of our readers unique. Wherever it’s appropriate, we aim to address issues that apply to people of different ages, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

6. We’re transparent about our advertising and affiliations.

HealthCentral accepts advertising (hey, it helps keep the lights on) but we maintain strict separation between editorial content creation and the ads that support our business overall. Our editors and writers create the best stories for our readers—period. Any editorial content that is, in fact, directly sponsored by one of our clients is clearly labeled “sponsored.” You can check out our full advertising policy here.

We hope this information gives you insight into how we approach content creation at HealthCentral. If you have any questions, thoughts, or even great story ideas, we want to hear about them! You can contact us here.