dr george krucikGeorge Krucik—Director, Clinical Content

George rejoined Healthline in 2011, and is responsible for reviewing content and clinical applications on Healthline.com and partner websites for medical accuracy and relevance. Also, he works closely with the marketing and sales staff in preparation of advertising materials and proposals.

George has a dual career in both medicine and information technology. He practiced primary care medicine in the Bay Area for over 14 years and has served in an executive capacity for several public software companies including Autodesk Australia and EleTel. He has designed and brought to market healthcare applications as a senior product manager at salesforce.com and Healthline.com.

George graduated with a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics and an MD from the University of Manitoba, in Canada. He recently graduated with an MBA from the University of San Francisco.

George remains an avid computer geek, building his own computers and running a server farm at home for several non-profits. He enjoys classical music and opera and is a member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Pocket Opera.


Tracy Stickler—Editorial Director

Tracy Stickler joined the editorial team in 2010, and is responsible for overseeing the editorial strategy and execution of all content on Healthline.com. She manages a talented team of writers, editors, and producers.

Tracy has been working in online editorial production with a focus on health, science, and lifestyle content since 2006. She has gained significant experience in writing and editing original content, as well as working in online development and audience research. Before joining Healthline, Tracy worked as a content producer for the BBC Gardening website, where she was responsible for the editorial strategy and day-to-day management of the site. She wrote specialist gardening content and feature stories and produced a daily blog for the website.

Tracy graduated with a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She gained a postgraduate degree in botanical horticulture (Kew Diploma) from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London, and went on to complete an MSc in Ethnobotany from the University of Kent, Canterbury in the UK.


Charles Purdy

Charles Purdy—Managing Editor, Products

Charles joined Healthline in 2013. He manages the editorial development of Healthline's content products, including Healthline News and the Healthline Reference Library.

Charles has had a lengthy and wide-ranging career in publishing and content management. He is a former managing editor of Macworld magazine, a former senior editor for Yahoo! HotJobs, and a former contributing editor for Genre magazine. He has held senior editorial posts at Monster Worldwide, Redroom.com, and Walmart.com; has served on the board of directors of the Harvey Milk Institute; and is the author of the book Urban Etiquette (Wildcat Canyon Press, 2004). 


Rachael MaierRachael Maier—Managing Editor, Healthline.com

Since joining Healthline in May of 2010, Rachael has taken on a variety of roles and provided support across the company. She was promoted from the managing editor of HealthAhead, GE’s web portal, to the managing editor of Healthline.com in May of 2012. In addition to her editing responsibilities, Rachael also enjoys writing creative pieces for Healthline.

Previously, Rachael was assistant publicist at HarperOne, where she helped work on publicity campaigns for Sidney Poitier and Mariel Hemingway, among others. She has contributed to several online publications, including Yahoo! Health, Archetype Me, Thatsfit, and Examiner. In her early days, Rachael founded and self-published a magazine called Pleach. Currently, she publishes a blog about life in the Bay Area and “guest edits” friends’ manuscripts.

Rachael graduated with honors from Ithaca College with a BA in Sociology, Writing, and Art. A wide range of passions has led to forays in sheep farming, homeless advocacy, aromatherapy, acting, art instruction, and grape stomping. She enjoys yoga, travel, photography, art, and collecting records.


Brian KransBrian Krans—Senior Writer

Brian Krans joined Healthline as an assistant editor in May 2009. His journalism experience spans several topics from crime reporting to medical technology.

While studying journalism at Winona State University, Brian made waves with his investigative reporting for the campus newspaper, The Winonan, on controversial stories regarding campus policies and recruitment tactics. He was awarded the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Investigative Story of the Year in 2002. He was also a reporter for the Winona Daily News. Following school, he worked for the Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus as a staff writer. He won several awards while there.

A native of Wisconsin, Brian is also an avid columnist, novelist, and short story writer. He's been published in an array of publications from ONE Magazine toWired Magazine. When not writing, he's often skating through the streets of San Francisco and traveling around the country for freestyle rollerblading events.


Robert Hanson—Senior Editor, Content Marketing

Robert joined the editorial team at Healthline in April of 2012 and manages custom content initiatives as well as general content across Healthline.com. Prior to joining Healthline, Robert held several editorial and marketing positions at Yahoo! where he developed consumer-focused content for a number of Yahoo! properties, including Autos, Real Estate, Travel, and Tech as well as the Yahoo! homepage. Robert got his start as a writer and editor working in the music industry with Avid Technology and Penton Media.

Robert is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and has received awards from both the California Intercollegiate Press Association and Yahoo! in recognition of his writing and editing skills.


Michael Harkin—Assistant Editor

Michael Harkin joined Healthline in March 2012 as an Assistant Editor. He currently works on content solutions for Healthline.com, and previously helped with the preparation, launch, and management of Healthline News and the Healthline Reference Library.

Prior to joining Healthline, Michael worked for the Professional Golfers’ Association, helping with a comprehensive rewrite of their professional education program. He graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with a BA in English. In his free time, Michael plays baseball, runs a small vinyl record label, and writes about art, music, and culture for a variety of print and web publications, including XLR8R and The San Francisco Bay Guardian.


Heather Kathryn Ross—Assistant Editor

Heather Kathryn Ross joined Healthline in May 2012 as an Assistant Editor. Along with Mike Harkin, Heather is helping to launch and manage the Healthline News program.

Heather graduated with Highest Honors in December 2010 from UC Berkeley with a degree in American Studies. Her self-directed degree program focused on American literary history and popular culture and U.S. media depictions of minority groups. She has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including VIA magazine, The New Internationalist, The Berkeley Political Review, sinandsyntax.com, Diablo Magazine, and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. She has reported on topics ranging from California’s Proposition 8 and the Israel/Palestine conflict, to nuclear proliferation and authors’ rights in the e-book industry.

A fashion blogger, photographer, and ardent traveller, Heather can usually be found out and about with her camera or planning her next trip to Latin America, Europe, or the Middle East.

Fun facts: Heather is the only straight winner (ever) of the UC Berkeley Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association’s Leadership Scholarship for her reporting on and advocacy of LGBT issues. She was trained in opera singing as a child and performed in Dido and Aeneas at age 12. Her favorite all-time favorite TV show is Firefly.


erin petersenErin Petersen—Assistant Editor

Erin joined the Healthline editorial team as a production assistant in June 2012 and has since taken on the role of assistant editor working on partner content for Yahoo! and GE.

Erin comes to California by way of Wisconsin, where she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to the trek west, Erin was the managing editor of ThirdCoast Digest, Milwaukee’s premier online arts and culture magazine, where she produced the award-winning weekly podcast Backstage with Mark Metcalf and covered one of the biggest political stories in Wisconsin’s history. She’s also contributed to The UWM Post, Vital Source Magazine, The Queer Zine Archive Project, and Bust. Before coming to Healthline, Erin worked as a marketing assistant and proofreader at Aunt Lute Books, a nonprofit feminist press based in San Francisco.

Erin enjoys hiking, reading, pretending she can do yoga, leisurely bike rides, and exploring all that the Bay has to offer.


tracy rosecransTracy Rosecrans—Director of Marketing

Tracy Rosecrans joined Healthline as SEO & Social Media Manager in 2011. Prior to working at Healthline, Tracy served as principal at SF Web Consulting, where she helped a diverse clientele define and achieve their online marketing goals. While there, she consulted for large corporations such as CBS and New Resource Bank as well as surgeons, attorneys, wineries, small businesses, and non-profits. 

Tracy graduated with honors from University of California San Diego with a BA in Economics and a minor in Psychology. Immediately following college, she joined the US Peace Corps and served as a Microenterprise Development Volunteer in Costa Rica. On the side, she enjoys traveling, biking, practicing her Spanish, exploring San Francisco, and indulging in exceptional eats.  


Nelson Hernandez—Interactive Designer

Nelson is a graphic designer with more than 10 years experience and a strong curriculum that demonstrates conceptual problem solving in advertising. He is in charge of evolving the visual design and usability of Healthline.com, conceptualizing and designing editorial packages, and streamlining Healthline.com's clinical applications into a coherent and cohesive user experience.

Before joining Healthline, Nelson was the art director and lead-designer at MyPoints.com where he oversaw the creative resources, design aesthetic, and content objectives for all projects related to MyPoints.

Nelson also served as the principal for 3.6.75 Design, where he helped a diverse clientele to connect with their audience by creating exceptional online campaigns that viewers could relate to. His diversity, as well as his passion for arts and technology, has allowed him to work for and consult with clients such as The DVD Group at Universal Studios, Wells Fargo, Cisco, and AMD, among others.

Nelson holds two degrees in Digital Media and Film Production from Full Sail University in Orlando, FL., and a specialized degree in Audio Recording Engineering from El Taller de Arte Sonoro in Venezuela. He has also taken graphic design courses under the MFA Program of the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.


Michael Patton, RN—Director, Clinical Knowledge Representation

As Director of Clinical Knowledge Representation, Michael Patton oversees the work of four clinical terminologists.  Patton graduated from University of San Francisco (USF) in 1999 with a Baccalaureate in Nursing.  Shortly after passing the California Board of Registered Nursing exam he enrolled in the Masters of Nursing program at USF. Upon graduation with a Masters in Organizational Management and Informatics, he embarked on a medical and surgical nursing career. In 2005, Patton accepted a position within the Informatics Department at Healthline Networks. After two years of building the core taxonomy, Patton was recruited to build out the Clinical Quality Assurance Department where he assembled an international team of experts that provides daily clinical oversight.  Currently his team is part of the search R&D team, providing developers with algorithm rules, monitoring recall and precision and making taxonomy refinement.


Pragnesh HariawalaPragnesh Hariawala, MD, MBA—Senior Manager, Medical Informatics

Pragnesh Hariawala, MD; MBA heads a team of doctors in US and India, and is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of Healthline Networks medical taxonomy, which includes translation of medical concepts into consumer friendly names.  He comes to us from the windy city (Chicago) where he worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for nine years in the Health-care Management and Subscriber Services divisions.

As a Medical Informatics Specialist lead at Healthline Networks he is constantly involved in finding ways to incorporate disease prevention aspects into a patient's health care plan.  The core work involves organizing medical subjects and assigning appropriate concepts from medical terminologies.

Pragnesh obtained his medical degree (MD) from University of Mumbai, India.  Thereafter, he practiced as a family practitioner for two years and worked as a medical officer in a multispecialty hospital for four years.  Pragnesh earned his MBA in Healthcare Administration from Loyola University, Chicago.


Bijal Shah, MD, MPH, CPC—Clinical Informatics Specialist

Dr. Bijal Shah is a Clinical Informatics Specialist at Healthline Networks. She has a number of years of experience in the healthcare industry and has been working in the healthcare sector for over a decade.

After having practiced and worked in India as a clinician in a private hospital, she moved to California. Bijal worked at University of Southern California (USC); University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in various capacities ranging from Clinical Research to Clinical Revenue Cycle.

At Healthline Networks, she works in the Informatics team that works on organizing medical subjects and assigning appropriate concepts from medical terminologies; developing graphical representations of medical concept relationships; managing and transforming medical terminology.

She obtained her medical degree from Bombay (Mumbai) University, India and Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


Dr. Kenneth R. Hirsch, M.D.Dr. Kenneth R. Hirsch, M.D.

Ken earned his M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and did his postgraduate training in both Internal Medicine and Hepatology at UCSF.  He did additional postgraduate training at the NIH in Allergy & Immunology.  Subsequently, Ken worked as the Chief of Hepatology at the Washington DC VAMC and served on the faculties of the medical schools at both Georgetown and George Washington Universities.

He also has years of experience in pharmaceutical research in industry as well as serving on advisory boards for both national medical societies and regulatory bodies.

In addition to his medical pursuits, Ken has a longstanding interest in bioinformatics, applications of internet technologies for education, gourmet cooking, and organic farming.