Selena Simmons-Duffin Selena Simmons-Duffin reports on health policy for NPR.
Selena Simmons-Duffin
Stories By

Selena Simmons-Duffin

Olivia Falcigno/NPR
Selena Simmons-Duffin
Olivia Falcigno/NPR

Selena Simmons-Duffin

Health Policy Correspondent

Selena Simmons-Duffin reports on health policy for NPR.

She has worked at NPR for ten years as a show editor and producer, with one stopover at WAMU in 2017 as part of a staff exchange. For four months, she reported local Washington, DC, health stories, including a secretive maternity ward closure and a gesundheit machine.

Before coming to All Things Considered in 2016, Simmons-Duffin spent six years on Morning Edition working shifts at all hours and directing the show. She also drove the full length of the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 for the "Borderland" series.

She won a Gracie Award in 2015 for creating a video called "Talking While Female," and a 2014 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for producing a series on why you should love your microbes.

Simmons-Duffin attended Stanford University, where she majored in English. She took time off from college to do HIV/AIDS-related work in East Africa. She started out in radio at Stanford's radio station, KZSU, and went on to study documentary radio at the Salt Institute, before coming to NPR as an intern in 2009.

She lives in Washington, DC, with her spouse and kids.

Story Archive

President Biden announces more tests, masks and emergency hospital staff

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1072867985/1072867986" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies at a Senate hearing. The agency has come under criticism for not holding regular briefings. This week, Walensky pledged to hold regular briefings moving forward. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

CDC is criticized for failing to communicate, promises to do better

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1071449137/1071594367" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Isolation rule changes are the latest case of the CDC's problems with messaging

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1070849364/1070849365" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Yaritza Martinez developed a Zika virus infection in 2016 when she was pregnant with her son Yariel, who is now 5 years old. Yariel is enrolled in a long-term study following a group of babies in the U.S. and in Colombia to see how they have been developing. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

5 years later, researchers assess how children exposed to Zika are developing

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1062696181/1068356398" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Biden addressed growing concerns about the omicron variant in speech

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1066493407/1066493421" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

What the White House is doing as omicron begins to take off in the U.S.

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1066017107/1066017123" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly across the US

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1065477141/1065477142" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

White House issues a warning to unvaccinated Americans as concerns about omicron grow

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1065312060/1065312061" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

People wear face coverings inside Grand Central Market on Wednesday in Los Angeles. California residents, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, are required to wear face masks in all indoor public settings beginning Wednesday. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mario Tama/Getty Images

As omicron spreads, health experts push for mask mandates. But few states have one

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1064668750/1065401021" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

People wear face coverings inside Grand Central Market on December 15, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. California residents, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, are required to wear face masks in all indoor public settings beginning today. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mario Tama/Getty Images

As omicron spreads, public health advocates urge states to reinstate mask mandates

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1064614652/1064614653" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), holds up a model of COVID-19, known as coronavirus, during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Washington. Saul Loeb/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Saul Loeb/AP

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins served for 12 years under three presidents and presided over an expansion of the agency's budget and efforts to develop new cures to diseases. Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The NIH director on why Americans aren't getting healthier, despite medical advances

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1061940326/1062182544" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dr. Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis, who directs the St. Louis Department of Health, has turned to social media platforms this week and to local clergy and community groups — the sort of trusted messengers people turn to in times of uncertainty — to help get the right sort of early word out about the omicron variant. Conveying what's known and what's still to be learned are both important, she says. Brian Munoz/St. Louis Public Radio hide caption

toggle caption
Brian Munoz/St. Louis Public Radio

Sending the right message about the omicron variant is tricky

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1060596067/1060707869" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">