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The Importance of Health Literacy in Today’s Health Care Landscape

The Importance of Health Literacy in Today’s Health Care Landscape

Share Health literacy is essential to meaningful health communication and informed health decision making. “That health literacy is explicitly mentioned several times within the Affordable Care Act demonstrates how important it is to the rapidly evolving healthcare field,” says Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine and Director of the Health Literacy Leadership Institute at Tufts. Sabrina provides both upcoming and currently-practicing health communications professionals with the tools and skills they need to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Faculty, Health Literacy, Health Messaging

Seven Tips for Developing a Coherent Digital Health Strategy

ShareLisa Gualtieri, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine and director of the Certificate in Digital Health Communication, shares these tips on developing a digital health strategy. Take the time to step back and think about what you do and why it is beneficial to your audience; Realistically assess your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; Develop a set of goals so you’re clear on what you’re trying to accomplish; For each goal, make sure you have metrics and time frames so you can measure how successful you have been; Develop a set of personas to focus on your target audience’s needs and what they are seeking from you; Conduct competitive analyses to borrow what your competitors do well, avoid what they do poorly, and distinguish yourselves based on your strengths; Revisit, revise, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Digital Health Communication, Faculty

“Where Are They Now?” HCOM Talks to Alum Heather Angstrom, MS’10

“Where Are They Now?” HCOM Talks to Alum Heather Angstrom, MS’10

Share What were you doing before enrolling in the Master of Science in Health Communication?  Before and during the program, I worked full-time for the Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) and the interdisciplinary Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) graduate research and education program on Tufts’ Medford campus. Why did you choose Tufts’ Health Communication program? As an undergraduate student, I double-majored in Studio Art and Women’s Studies, and I was looking for a graduate degree that would … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alumni

Master’s in Health Communication a Laughing Matter for Cartoonist

Master’s in Health Communication a Laughing Matter for Cartoonist

Share I didn’t expect that grad school would be a step on my path to becoming a better cartoonist, but here I am! I’m finishing up my master’s degree in health communication, and the Tufts program has been exactly what I needed. I’m an indie cartoonist and a member of the local comics collective Boston Comics Roundtable. I’m also an employee at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a few years ago, I started introducing healthcare themes into my comics. Then I attended … Read entire article »

Filed under: Digital Health Communication, Health Messaging

Can a New Mirror Motivate Us to Diet and Exercise?

Can a New Mirror Motivate Us to Diet and Exercise?

Share I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed one day, when I read a status that truly horrified me. A friend had written, “Since I started working out, I feel better and look better, but my weight on the scale hasn’t gone down, and I feel really sad.” This statement really stuck with me, even more so when she admitted she was addicted to her scale and couldn’t possibly throw it out. Therefore, when the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Mobile Health Design

New tool for health communicators: the Patient Activation Model

New tool for health communicators: the Patient Activation Model

ShareA growing body of research points to the Patient Activation Model (PAM) as a promising new method to improve health outcomes and lower health care costs. PAM takes a health communication approach to engage patients with the knowledge and confidence to maintain health behaviors. What is the patient activation model? The Patient Activation Model is based on four levels of patient beliefs and knowledge of their health. At Level 1, people identify as passive recipients of care. During Level 2, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Get Covered Guide: An interview with Lucy Berrington

The Get Covered Guide: An interview with Lucy Berrington

ShareThis week I spoke with Lucy Berrington, MS HCOMM ’13, co-author of the Get Covered Guide: Understanding the New Health Insurance. She wrote the guide in spring 2013 as her Applied Learning Experience (ALE). How did you begin the project? My preceptor at Enroll America needed an environmental scan of existing outreach and enrollment tools and materials relating to Medicaid, CHIP and SNAP. We were looking at what could be repurposed for the Affordable Care Act effort. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Affordable Care Act

Keeping Pace with Health Communication in the Digital Age

Keeping Pace with Health Communication in the Digital Age

Share Did you know?? The Mayo Clinic posts recipes, fitness tips and information on health topics to its 9,000 Pinterest followers. The Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners Healthcare, Boston’s largest healthcare system, personalizes text messages for diabetic patients. HRSA (U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration) uses YouTube to teach providers the basics of clear health communication. An array of digital channels—websites, social media, mobile apps, text messaging, and so on—represent unprecedented avenues for disseminating health information, engaging … Read entire article »

Filed under: Digital Health Communication

9M and Counting: The Affordable Care Act

9M and Counting: The Affordable Care Act

ShareOn January 10, 2013, the total ACA enrollment totaled 9 million, following a cascade of education campaigns from health insurers, employers and federal and state governments. Getting the word out beforehand was a gargantuan effort. BACKGROUND At the federal level, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)website includes steps to coverage via the marketplace, specifics of coverage changes for different groups (e.g. women, those with pre-existing conditions) and key elements of the law. HHS has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Affordable Care Act

I’m Beautiful the Way I Am

I’m Beautiful the Way I Am

Share This fall, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a new public health communication initiative, I’m a Girl. The campaign aims to enhance young girl self-esteem and counter the unrealistic images of women portrayed by media. It’s a collaborative effort of several city agencies including the Human Resources Administration, The Center for Economic Opportunity., The NYC Commission on Women’s Issues, The Administration for Children’s Services, The Department of Youth and Community Development, The Department of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Health Messaging