Colleen Frankhart

Writing, Editing, Good Counsel

I've been a professional writer for more than 25 years, first at a communications consulting startup, then as a writer/editor/publicist for a major public-radio network, and later as a senior copywriter at a marketing agency.

Since 1997, I've been a full-time freelancer specializing in corporate and nonprofit communications.

I help my clients identify the stories they want to tell — and then I tell them in ways that speak to the customers, employees, donors and community members they need to reach.

You'll find a few work samples below; I'd be glad to send you more upon request. I'd be glad to put you in touch with some of my happy long-term clients, too.

And I'd love to talk with you about how I can help your organization tell its most important stories. Click on the email icon below to drop me a note.

(Banner image photo of Bill Holm by Jonathan Chapman)



"Helping new immigrants like me was my dream"

During Somaya's first year in Minnesota, she's been serving in Resettlement Corps, where she's been able to connect fellow refugees and immigrants to what they need.

RUSH University System for Health
RUSH BMO Institute for Health Equity 2022 Annual Report

The RUSH BMO Institute for Health Equity coordinates RUSH's health equity work, convenes partners, builds relationships and collaborations, evaluates program effectiveness and scales programs that get results.

REACH 2022 Annual Impact Report

The RUSH Education and Career Hub (REACH) provides innovative, hands-on STEM learning for underrepresented students to increase postsecondary achievement and diversity in health care and STEM professions.

UChicago Medicine
Profile: Candace Henley

Bronzeville resident and cancer survivor Candace Henley knows firsthand how a cancer diagnosis can upend lives — and she doesn't want anyone else to go through what she went through. That's why she's helping to shape the creation of the city's first freestanding clinical cancer center as part of UChicago Medicine's Community Advisory Council (CAC).

University of Chicago
UChicago programs aim to help build the quantum workforce of the future

Quantum technology is on the verge of changing the world, according to David Awschalom, Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME). PME programs are helping to encourage and develop a quantum-trained workforce to bring the revolution to life.

University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement
Opening Doors: Polsky Fab Lab and the Brazier Foundation

When the pandemic shut down a Woodlawn industrial robotics training program, the partnership between the Bishop Arthur M. Brazier Foundation and the University enabled trainees to keep learning.

University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement
Michelle Mills Clement

Michelle Mills Clement was already an accomplished leader in her field when she joined the 2019-2020 cohort of the Chicago Urban League's IMPACT Leadership Development Program -but the program helped her become a better leader for Chicago, she says.

Rush University System for Health
Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that looks different in everyone who has it - and you may know more people who have it than you think. According to Thomas Shoemaker, MD, a Rush neurologist and MS expert, the disease "is much more common than people appreciate."

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics
Interventional Cardiology

Living with a heart condition can have a big impact on every part of your life. Many of the leading-edge treatments offered by the University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center interventional cardiology team can help you feel better right away.

Rush University System for Health
Researcher Aims To Diversify Alzheimer's Data

According to some estimates, Black adults in the United States have more than double the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than their white counterparts. What accounts for the gap?

Rush University System for Health
Leonard's Story

Rush experts in neurology and minimally invasive cardiology procedures teamed up to prevent future strokes in a patient with a rare disorder.

Rush University System for Health
COVID-19 and Health Equity at Rush

In 2020, the pandemic starkly illustrated gaps in health equity as the virus disproportionately affected Black and Latinx communities. Rush took this moment and transformed it into a movement to double down on commitments to health equity.

University of Chicago
Quantum Leap: Researchers and South Side teachers team up to engage students

The quantum revolution is coming in nearly every industry, from information technology to medicine to manufacturing. In a pilot program originating at UChicago, quantum researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) are helping South Side high school teachers introduce their students to quantum concepts, positioning them to be part of a quantum-ready workforce.

University of Chicago
PAL program builds trust between South Side youth and UChicago Police officers

Playing basketball with police officers is one of Tawrence Walton's fondest memories from growing up in Englewood: "I always saw the officers as being part of the community - not just chasing bad guys, but being somebody you could relate with. If anything ever came about that you needed, you knew they were there to serve and protect."

Rush University System for Health
What Happens After a Screening Mammogram Callback?

If you get called back for additional tests after a mammogram, there's no need to panic. That advice comes from Jennifer Yanak, MSN, MBA, FNP-BC, the nurse practitioner who manages the high-risk breast clinic at Rush Copley Medical Center. "That callback doesn't automatically mean breast cancer," Yanak says.

Rush University System for Health
Diversity Strengthens Us

A comprehensive report that details Rush's diversity, equity and inclusion progress and plans.

University of Chicago
UChicago Poverty Lab and community partners team up on recommendations to slow COVID-19 spread

By May of 2020, Katya Nuques and her colleagues at Enlace Chicago in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood had been "panicking for weeks," she said. Members of the community, where 84% of residents are Latinx, were testing positive for COVID-19 at a rate almost three times the state average, and the Little Village ZIP code had the highest number of virus cases in Illinois.

University of Chicago
IMPACT Leadership Development Program

The Chicago Urban League's IMPACT Leadership Development Program was launched in 2014 to give midcareer African American professionals tools to thrive in increasingly responsible leadership roles, both in their careers and in the community.

Health Care and Wellness

Rush University System for Health
Health Benefits of Coffee

The composer J.S. Bach spoke for a lot of us with his Coffee Cantata lyric: "Without my morning coffee, I'm just like a dried-up piece of roast goat." Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day, or 146 billion cups each year.

Rush University Medical Center
John's Story: A Rare Tumor, A High-Tech Approach

When a rare head and neck tumor brought 81-year-old John Scambler, DDS, to Rush, the head and neck cancer team used transoral robotic surgery (TORS) to both remove the cancer and preserve John's ability to lead a full, active life.

Rush System for Health
Rush Cosmetic Surgery website

Appointments with Rush's cosmetic surgery providers skyrocketed after the launch of this boutique site in 2020.

Rush University Medical Center
Preventing Golf Injuries

Rush orthopedic surgeons are the best in the business at treating injuries, but they're happy to share advice about how to avoid getting injured in the first place.

Civic and Community Engagement

Rush University Medical Center
Rush Health Equity Report

Rush works to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities it serves. The first step is understanding who Rush patients are.

University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement
The heart of Hyde Park

With UChicago support, Black-owned businesses thrive on 53rd Street.

Community Benefits Report

This publication reports on progress toward the goals laid out in Rush's Community Health Implementation Plan.

Saint Paul and MInnesota Foundations
MNSights: By the Numbers

The MNSights By the Numbers feature presents quick-hit data in a fun, graphic way.

Rush University Medical Center
REACH Annual Impact Report 2019

The Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH) provides STEM education to Chicago students from pre-K through college.

Rush University Medical Center
Leading the Country in Strengthening Communities

Rush University Medical Center is an "anchor institution" on Chicago's West Side — and is a national leader in channeling its economic power for the benefit of the community.

Minnesota Philanthropy Partners
MNSights donor publication

Donors to Minnesota Philanthropy Partners learn about community initiatives through MNSights.


University of Chicago
Dwayne Johnson

People who come to the University of Chicago Medicine emergency department (ED) after experiencing trauma need world-class care to heal physically - and they need expert help to heal emotionally, too.

University of Chicago
Kady McFadden

"At age 26, I was managing eight staff, helping to manage a $1 million organization, lobbying, convening with elected officials, working with donors - and no one had taught me how to do any of that," says Kady McFadden, deputy director of the Sierra Club's Illinois chapter.

University of Chicago
Kemati Porter

Porter heads eta Creative Arts Foundation, a home for the performing and visual arts on Chicago's South Side.

University of Chicago Community Programs Accelerator
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

A 2003 National Endowment for the Arts report on nonprofit dance companies noted ruefully that "dance companies of all genres face the reality of a ruthlessly short lifecycle." Now celebrating its 25th year of presenting world-class dance in Chicago and around the globe, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater has defied that trend through thoughtful leadership and planning.

University of Chicago
Akanksha Shah

Akanksha Shah '17 wanted a flexible work opportunity that aligned with her passion for education and with her UChicago class schedule. She couldn't find one — so she started one.

University of Chicago
Camille McKenzie

Every time Camille McKenzie and her daughter pass a construction site, the five-year-old says, "That's where Mommy works!"


National Opinion Research Center
NORC 75th Anniversary timeline

NORC delivers insight, impact and innovation that has shaped research and policy all over the world.


Foodservice News
Top Chefs Chicago

Foodservice News asked me to choose, profile and photograph 10 Chicago chefs who deserved recognition.

University of Chicago
Graham School viewbook

I researched and wrote this piece for the University of Chicago's Graham School, celebrating its history and looking to its future.

American Library Association
Banned Books

I revamped and edited this edition, winner of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table's 2018 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award for the best published work about intellectual freedom.


Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. for Life: A Banana Republic Vet Shares How He Got Started

Banana Republic Kirk Pestlin has built an amazing career at Gap Inc., rising to become Senior Director of Merchandising for Banana Republic - but, he says, some part of him will always be the teenage Gap sales associate who loves coming to work to learn and grow.

RED, Target Corporation
CityTarget: A Day in the Life

My articles for RED kept Target's 350,000 employees informed — in a fast, fun and friendly way — about what was happening around the company.