Publication No. 1

Creative Works

Media Production: Web Development


 Co-Principal Investigator and Co-founder: Lamb, Yanick Rice


I’ve been involved in research and development of a digital network that addresses health disparities by targeting African-American women age 35 and older. The core of the network is a health and wellness website,, which is supplemented by face-to-face interaction, social media and eventually customized apps. Fierce also puts us at the forefront of digital media entrepreneurship at a time when African Americans are woefully under-represented and overlooked.


When it comes to health and many other areas, women are the decision makers and influencers. Healthy women mean healthy families and healthy communities. Fierce is an exciting, digital network that fills a void in the media landscape by helping busy, dynamic black women in the prime of their lives be healthy, fit and fabulous. Fiercehelps women and their families break the cycle of health disparities, which is literally a matter of life or death in many cases.

Impact/Recognition is revolutionary because women’s magazines and websites tend to focus disproportionately on beauty, fashion and entertainment. In this youth-obsessed world, they are also lacking in content and images featuring black women who are 35 and older. My co-founder and I bring years of trust and experience in health journalism from publications ranging from Essenceand Heart & Soulto Healthand Scientific American. For years, women have been begging us to develop the equivalent of a “black Moremagazine.” (Morefocused primarily on white women over 40.)

No other media outlets offer the in-depth, journalistic analysis on health and well-being that Fierce provides, along with consistent access to leading health experts, such as those on the advisory board. For example, Fierce published an in-depth series on fibroids— a woefully under-covered topic that greatly affects African American women. If and when other news outlets report on fibroids, it’s just one article that skims the surface. This series also launched “Living Well: Fierce Reports on Black Women’s Health.”We are also partnering with a non-profit to increase the number of in-depth reports and to train journalists in covering black women’s health. The goal of the partnership is to raise the representation and expertise of African Americans in health journalism, broadening coverage of health disparities, and offsetting myths and stereotypes.

In November 2013, we began conducting an open beta test of Fierce to gauge response and determine the best way to develop the network. The site has been gaining traction and has been well received by women and the health community.

My research and development of meets criteria No. 6, 7, 8 and 9 set forth on pages 9 and 10 in Appendix A of Recommendation 305-2015as an Exemplary Creative/Professional Activity:

Criteria No. 6.Editing/producing a website that is nationally or internationally recognized and that is updated at least weekly for a minimum of nine consecutive months.

  • Fierce has been updated at least weekly for most of the last five years, particularly the 24 consecutive months from 2013 to 2015 during the open beta testing period

Criteria No. 7. A level of excellence that exceeds professional norms that enhances professional discipline and that is nationally or internationally recognized.

  • Fierce has been praised by such organizations as the National Black Women’s Health Imperative and has collaborated with the American Heart Association.
  • It has won awards and peer review from the Association of Women in Communications and the National Association of Black Journalists.
  • Fierce was a finalist for grants from the International Media Women Foundation; Pipeline Angels; and the NewU program sponsored by the Ford Foundation and Unity Journalists for Diversity.

Criteria No. 8.Development or application of technology for communication enterprises or for the educational community, including new and existing websites; regularly maintained and nationally recognized web logs (blogs) and video logs (vlogs).

  • Successful application of Word Press technology, including Divi modules, along with open-source and social media tools
  • Developing customized apps to serve African-American families, employing health informatics

Criteria No. 9.Strategic media/business plan that has achieved industry-standard measures for best practices.

  • Initial indicators:
    • 10,000 unique web visitors; currently more than 100,000 (Source: Alexa Internet)
    • 4 million Facebook and Twitter impressions
    • 945k Outbrain impressions
  • Praised for successfully establishing a niche audience and engaging readers
    • Fierce outperforms leading health sites in engaging readers. This includes Essence, Fitness, Shape, Selfand Women’s Health, according to Alexa Internet Inc.
      • Page views per visit: 3.6 pages for Fierce readers vs. 1.59 to 2.22 for the national competitors named above: Essence, Fitness, Shape, Self and Women’s Health.
      • Daily time on site: 4.3 minutes for Fierce readers vs. 2.17 to 2.53 for the national competitors.
    • “Congratulations! You’ve created a wonderful site!”
    • “Engaging, inspiring, necessary.”
    • “This is excellent and has been missing from the market for us!”
    • “Beautiful!”
    • “This new venture is so exciting — and welcomed! I look forward to watching it grow and prosper.”

What Fierce women are saying:

  • “Congratulations! You’ve created a wonderful site!”
  • “Engaging, inspiring, necessary.”
  • “This is excellent and has been missing from the market for us!”
  • “Beautiful!”
  • “This new venture is so exciting — and welcomed! I look forward to watching it grow and prosper.”

Posted on

June 22, 2018

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *