Sara Simon/Spotlight PA | PA Post

Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Sara Simon is a software engineer turned investigative data reporter. She comes to Spotlight PA from the New York Times, where she built research tools to assist reporters in the newsroom. Her data work at the Times spanned desks and beats, from homicide convictions in opioid deaths to state-level abortion restrictions to contestant patterns throughout Miss America pageant history. Previously, Sara was a web developer at Vermont Public Radio. She studied English at Wellesley College before heading to the Turing School of Software and Design.

Latest by Sara Simon/Spotlight PA


Pa. health secretary denounces transphobic attacks: ‘Our children are watching’

As the face of the state’s COVID-19 response, Health Secretary Rachel Levine has been the subject of numerous personal attacks.
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Citing ‘overwhelming’ spread, Pa. moves to add staff, app to trace the coronavirus

There are currently 661 contact tracers across the state. The health department wants to add potentially thousands more.
By Aneri Pattani/Spotlight PA and Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

UPMC’s claim of ‘less severe’ coronavirus strain in Pa. is not supported by science

The health system said a recent study backed up its assertion. But the study itself contradicts UPMC’s own takeaways.
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Health officials failed to safeguard trust in Pa.’s coronavirus data, sowing confusion

The pandemic posed a massive challenge for an underfunded public health system, but experts say officials failed to heed best practices when presenting the numbers.
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Pa.’s death toll for Philadelphia lags behind city’s count, part of state’s ongoing struggle to compile timely data

Just six counties, including Philadelphia, have their own health departments that perform their own COVID-19 case investigations.
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Pa. removes more than 200 deaths from official coronavirus count as questions mount about reporting process, data accuracy

The past five days have been a roller coaster of confusion involving the state health department, marred by retracted statements, reporting lags, and angry coroners.
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Pa. coroners, health department at odds over how to handle suspected coronavirus cases, potentially affecting death count

A lack of tests is just one problem the state's coroners are facing as they take on the coronavirus.
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Pa. eases rules for health care workers, others as coronavirus crisis reveals ‘inflexibility’ in professional licensing

Two state senators say that broader, more sweeping changes — like limiting which criminal convictions are considered disqualifying — are needed to tackle dual crises: the virus and the impending economic downturn.
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA

Funeral directors in Pennsylvania brace for grief as coronavirus limits services, viewings

Over the weekend, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association encouraged funeral homes to consider limiting services to immediate family and moving public memorials to a later date
By Sara Simon/Spotlight PA
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