Category: Communication

Primary Competency Area

Health Literacy: What is it? Why does it matter to health disparities? What can you do about it to advance health equity?
Word Health Highlighted in Pink

Course Objective

  • Define health literacy
  • Characterize the health outcomes associated with low health literacy
  • Identify strategies to communicate with low-health-literacy audiences

Date: April 7, 2015

Gretchen Van Wye, PhD, MA
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Sociomedical Sciences, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Vital Statistics
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

This webinar is an introduction to health literacy and why it is so important for health outcomes. This webinar also provides strategies public health workers can use to communicate with low-literacy audiences.

Risk Communication: Working with the Media During Public Health Emergencies
Tree in Fallen Wet Road

Course Objective

  • Discuss communication challenges for the spokesperson during a crisis
  • Identify strategies to develop messages and deliver messages
  • Illustrate the role of non-verbal communication

Date: December 2, 2014

Laura Taylor, PhD, MCHES
Research Scientist/Health Educator
New Jersey Department of Health

Tom Slater
Risk Communication Specialist
New Jersey Department of Health

This workshop was designed for public health professionals to learn (or update their knowledge) about risk communication and how to work with the media during public health emergencies. Presenters will identify tips and strategies to create message and deliver messages during times of high stress associated with public health events. Examples of how risk communication has been used during previous public health events in NJ will be addressed.

Communicating Public Health: Message Design Strategies to Promote Awareness and Action to Address the Social Determinants of Health
Colorful Illustration of Heads and Thought Bubbles

Course Objective

  • Explain the importance of considering social determinants of health when creating health-related messages
  • List techniques for developing targeted messages that increase awareness and promote action to address the social determinants of health
  • Describe research findings that demonstrate how personal ideology impacts how individuals receive, process, and interpret messages
  • Identify barriers to creating effective messages and media campaigns

Date: October 24,2014

Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Communication
Cornell University

Dr. Niederdeppe discusses discuss public health advocates can use message framing, narratives and visual imagery to shape public opinion and debate on the social conditions that shape the health and well-being of populations. Neiderdeppe focuses on public health campaigns that have worked to increase awareness and promote action to address social determinants of health. He discusses how public health messages aim to target policymakers and the public (both those in support and those in opposition) in order to achieve the goal of a health campaign aimed to reduce health disparities. It is argued that simply raising awareness about a health issues is not enough to address disparities; messages also need to also make connections to broader concepts and values within society in order to be effective.

Participants will learn about the following three lessons about public health communication:

  1. Education and awareness may not be enough to address social determinants of health;
  2. It is important to connect messages to broader values;
  3. and Opposing messengers are a challenge.
Region 2 Public Health Training Center