Heather Boerner is an award-winning journalist and author based in Pittsburgh. Her work has been published in/on in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, NPR, PBS NewsHour, Medscape Medical News, Washington Monthly, Al Jazeera America and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. An excerpt of her book, Positively Negative: Love, Pregnancy, and Science's Surprising Victory Over HIV, ran on TheAtlantic.com. She has been a contributing editor to The Body/The BodyPRO, and is the HIV reporter for Medscape Medical News. Her work centers on linking science to culture, policy and people, primarily through interlinking narratives. Her specialties are women's health, infectious disease, and HIV.

She is the recipient of an Award of Excellent in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Best HIV Coverage Award from the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and of fellowships from AHCJ and the Center for Health Journalism. 


I had a sense that care for the undocumented took place in the shadows of the U.S. health system. How did people find care? Who provided it? Did barriers to care make them sicker? Perhaps most pressing to me as a reporter, why would any undocumented immigrant talk to me?

Undocumented patients and mixed status families pose special challenges for health care providers.

It's difficult for Norma Navarro to explain to her children why they get different treatment -- one was born in the U.S. and the other is undocumented. With implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the gap between their treatment may continue to grow.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the bulk of the Affordable Care Act last week was a victory for many people currently unable to access care. But one group was excluded from the innovations and improvement of access to care. Undocumented immigrants make up 11 million of U.S. residents.