Credits: 3 credits
This course provides a foundation for understanding the concepts and best practices in health communication and for developing skills in building effective communication campaigns with multiple and culturally diverse audiences. Recognizing the importance of informatics in health communication, this course will also address skills in the use of information technology for the retrieval, management and dissemination of information that promotes population health.
This is a required course for the Master of Public Health Program. This is a skills-based course. At the end of the course, the learners will be able to design communication intended for three different audiences—community members who need to adopt and sustain healthy behaviors; policymakers whose support of policy change and practice change is needed; and professionals providing care for diverse populations. The skills required to complete communication with these audiences will be acquired through learning: communication theories and models; cultural competency theory; situation and audience analysis; action plan development processes; and process and progress evaluation. There is also a “Theory in Action” segment, where professionals provide guest lectures on issues important to communication. To adapt the changing environment of public health practice, students will also learn about public health informatics—how informatics is applied to areas of public health--including surveillance, prevention, preparedness, and health promotion. Throughout the course, students will be asked to consider various types of diversity (racial/religious/ethnic/economic/geographic/linguistic) in their design plan. Additionally, students will be asked to recall and employ the skills from previous courses (community assessment, social and behavioral, etc.) to help them develop a health communication plan that uses information from the text and from the experts presenting in the course.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able:
- Identify the advantages and disadvantages of the diverse communication options and demonstrate an ability to select the appropriate mix for the communication objective and the audience.
- Design communication messages and materials to address the needs of diverse populations.
- Explain and apply health communication theories to public health problems.
- Use appropriate strategies for community and audience needs assessment, campaign design, and evaluation.
- Effectively present and advocate for public health programs, resources and policies.
- Use the media, advanced technologies, and communication networks to communicate.
- Use the resources from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the health communication resources in Appendix B of the textbook.