Friday, March 25, 2016

McGovern Lecture in Health Communication

Below is a wonderful talk about media coverage of Zika, and broader lessons to be learned about covering health issues as a journalist. This was the McGovern Lecture in Health Communication hosted by the UT Center for Health Communication.

Monday, March 21, 2016

UT Center for Health Communication: Visit from the Surgeon General

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that the US Surgeon General made a visit to UT, including a town hall hosted by the UT Center for Health Communication and Moody College of Communication. The video of the town hall is below.

I really appreciated his thoughts on advertising, and what advertisers do well and get right that those working in public health could learn from. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

UT Center for Health Communication: Health Communication Leadership Institute Early Bird Registration Extended

I've written about this here before, but this is an event I am VERY proud to co-direct with Jay Bernhardt. The early bird registration was just extended to April 1, so if you're interested in health communication professional development and looking to make a fun trip to Austin - this is the event for you! Here's more info about the HCLI.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Formative Research to Identify Perceptions of E-cigarettes in College Students: Implications for Future Health Communication Campaigns

Here's an article I'm excited about coming online at the Journal of American College Health, which you can get here. The abstract:

Objective: This formative study examined perceptions of e-cigarettes in college students with the goal of informing future health communication campaigns. Differences between e-cigarette users and non-users were also examined. Participants: Thirty undergraduate students were recruited from a large Southwestern public university (15 users, 15 non-users). Methods: Structured interviews were conducted and transcripts were coded for themes. Results: While users had more favorable attitudes toward e-cigarettes, both users and non-users believed that e-cigarettes produce water vapor and reported that e-cigarettes were less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Potential health consequences and addiction concerns were the most common perceived threats for both users and non-users. Both non-users and users cited social stigma as a perceived disadvantage of e-cigarette use. Conclusions: Ultimately, themes with particular relevance to future health communication campaigns included negative perceptions of e-cigarette users and social stigma, as well as harm perceptions and potential health consequences associated with e-cigarette use.

Monday, March 14, 2016

4th Annual Health Literacy Symposium - Knowledge to Action: Unifying Health Literacy Efforts in Texas

I'm on the speaker list for the fantastic UNT Health Science Center health literacy conference. I've been this event several years in a row, and it's always great - a lot of great speakers and people, every time. I'll be speaking about health literacy and stigma, a topic I've been doing more work on the last couple years and find to be particularly interesting and worthwhile.

For more info about the conference, head to: 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Reply All: Milk Wanted

I still need to type up (a lot of thoughts) about two great speakers the UT Center for Health Communication hosted last week. Those will be coming soon with my next post.

Until then, I wanted to share a great episode of one of my favorite podcasts (Reply All) on selling breast milk. It's titled Milk Wanted, and it's definitely worth a listen if you're interested in maternal and child health. (Or good storytelling, since Reply All is always a great story.)


Friday, March 4, 2016

Surgeon General Vivek Murhty's Visit to UT

Yesterday I had the good fortune to hear Vivek Murthy do a town hall moderated by the new Moody College of Communication dean Jay Bernhardt. It was a wonderful event with 300+ students who got to hear Murthy talk about prevention and then ask some questions of him.

If there was one thing that stood out for me, housed in a School of Advertising & Public Relations, it was the way in which Murthy acknowledged and embraced principles of advertising - connect with people, they make decisions based on their hearts, health has a branding problem - in a way that was really refreshing coming from a major public health official.

The video of his talk will be online within a week or so, I'll be posting here. You'll enjoy it, I know I sure loved my hour in that forum!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From Ebola to Zika: Lessons learned from reporting on public health emergencies

I don't know how many readers might be in the Central Texas area, but we have a great presenter coming next week to give the McGovern Lecture in Health Communication. The flyer is below, and I'll be posting something about it after the talk, too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FDA Tobacco Fellowship – Spread the Word!

Saw this and thought it might be of interest, full info here:


The application remains open until March 1 for FDA’s Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship.

Fellows will spend a year with the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) in Maryland and be part of CTP’s mission to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products and educate the public about tobacco products and their dangers.

CTP is seeking mid-career professionals from a range of disciplines, including:

Behavioral Science
Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Science
Business Administration
Communications / Advertising / Marketing
Consumer Education
Legal / Law Enforcement
Medicine / Nursing
Physical Science and Toxicology
Political Science
Public Health, incuding Public Health Ethics
Public Policy / Public Administration
Public Relations / Journalism
Social Sciences, such as Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology
Each fellow will be awarded up to $95,000 based on salary history. Fellows may choose to enroll in a health insurance plan through the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), which administers the program, or get reimbursed for a COBRA plan. Fellows with a sponsoring institution may be compensated for fringe benefits.

We hope you will share this information with people in your professional network and help us recruit excellent candidates for this fellowship. .

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Participants needed for a Research Study - Bridging the Gap: Chronic Disease Self-Management Transitions.

Our study is using social media to recruit research study participants.  Please feel free to share this information through your own social media accounts.

The objective of this study is determine the information that patients need and want during hospitalization to help them plan for discharge. Self-management of cancer, as a chronic disease, is the focus of this study. To participate you must live in the United States, be at least 18 years old, currently or previously been diagnosed with cancer, and have been hospitalized after you received a diagnosis of cancer. The hospitalization does not have to be directly related to cancer. You will be asked to recall how information was shared with you during your hospitalization, if you had the information you needed when you got home, and how you think information sharing during hospitalization can be improved.  Your participation in the study will contribute to a better understanding of how healthcare providers can meet the information needs of patients during hospitalization.

Please visit our webpage for more information; or directly access the survey:

The principal investigator for the research study is Dr. Marge Benham-Hutchins, PhD, RN, an assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin. For questions regarding the study please contact her at (512) 475-6351 or