Making Health Communication Work for Your Program

Community Profile

Making Health Communication Work for Your Program

This is a learning community for participants in the National Diabetes Education Program's How to Make Health Communication Work for Your Program course.

Members: 37
Latest Activity: Aug 27

Course Desccription

Welcome to the learning community for Making Health Communication Work for Your Program! You can now take this complete course online through the Diabetes Training and Technical Assistance Center (DTTAC). To take the complete course, go to the Products & Tools pageof the DTTAC website and click Making Health Communication Strategies Work for Your Program. Watch the video for each module, link back to this page in phConnect, and click on the corresponding pages below for additional resources and activities for each module. Then be sure to join the conversation by asking questions and leaving comments. We hope you enjoy this dynamic course!


Course Overview

What do you think of when you hear “health communication”? Media campaigns? Working with the news media? Brochures?  Health communication is much more. Watch the TedTalk video by Sendhil Mullainathan in Module 1. In it he discusses "last mile problems" which are problems where effective solutions exist, but the challenge is persuading people to change their behavior. This video places health communication in a context where it is part of a comprehensive approach to move people towards changing their behavior.  


Done well, health communication is both a creative and a scientific process that motivates individuals, influences health care systems and impacts policy and environmental change. This engaging and interactive course will give you a framework for planning and evaluating your health communication activities that is grounded in the day-to-day realities of your diabetes prevention and control work. You will leave with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to implement effective health communication strategies in all of your work.


What topics will be covered?

  • How to plan your health communication activities so they have a better chance of making a difference 
  • How to use health communication strategies to influence individual, health systems, policy, and environmental change
  • How to use audience segmentation data to address diabetes and other chronic conditions
  • How to make health communication programs work with limited resources
  • How to evaluate your health communication program activities
  • You will also receive tools you can use to plan and implement health communication activities including;
    • Audience segmentation data on people with diabetes and other chronic conditions
    • Planning tools and checklists


Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define health communication.
  • Identify appropriate uses for and limitations of health communication in diabetes programs.
  • Identify opportunities to integrate health communication into chronic disease activities
  • Identify opportunities to integrate health communication into health systems activities and policy/environmental change activities
  • Identify the stages of the health communication planning process.
  • Develop a plan for a diabetes health communication program.
  • Identify key elements of health communication program evaluation.
  • Describe how to adopt and adapt NDEP resources for health communication activities.

Community Discussions and Documents

looking for feedback on diabetes prevention campaign website 4 Replies

Hello,I am working on a campaign to educate people in Nebraska on their diabetes risk and what they can do to prevent it. …Continue

Started by Andrea Riley. Last reply by Alexis Williams Feb 23, 2012.

Pew Fact Sheet on the Impact of the Internet on Health Communication

Some interesting data from the Pew Internet and American Life project.Continue

Tags: social media

Started by Alexis Williams Feb 14, 2012.

New NCI Workbook on Communicating Data

NCI has relseased a workbook called "Making Data Talk" designed to help public health practioners communicate data to the general public. It provides practical suggestions and examples for…Continue

Tags: health literacy, health numeracy, plain language

Started by Alexis Williams Dec 7, 2011.

Communicating Health Information 1 Reply

In this video, Thomas Goetz discusses the importance of presenting health information in a way that people can understand it and act upon it. How can we present information in ways that feel more…Continue

Tags: plain language, health literacy

Started by Alexis Williams. Last reply by Andrea Riley Dec 7, 2011.

CDC's Health Out Loud: A blog devoted to discussing best practices and questions about health communication, social marketing, and health marketing.

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Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Making Health Communication Work for Your Program to add comments!

Comment by Linda Carter on July 15, 2013 at 5:00pm

enjoyed the webinar!!

Comment by Alexis Williams on March 6, 2012 at 9:06am

Upcomming Webinar: Creating Customized Health Materials for Your Community

Make it Your Own (MIYO): Creating Customized Health Materials for your Community
Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Developing, tailoring, and promoting health materials for your community and audience is not often an easy process. Effective and sustainable promotion strategies are needed to assure that all Americans benefit from important cancer information across the continuum. Make It Your Own (MIYO), created in 2008 by the Health Communication Research Lab at Washington University in St. Louis, is a web-based system that gives community partners the tools to create customized, culturally appropriate health materials targeted to their audience without having to develop them from scratch.
Currently, MIYO is being used by the CDC-funded Colorectal Cancer Control Programs to enhance the effectiveness of its outreach, education, and recruitment activities by providing them access to evidence-based interventions to promote screening. However, the evidence-based tool has also been used for a variety of health topics, including clinical trials accrual, HPV vaccine, and others in the past.
The National Cancer Institute’s March Research to Reality cyber-seminar will explore how this tool can be used to help communities and organizations adapt and tailor small media and client reminders for their audience. Dr. Matthew Kreuter, one of the MIYO developers, will provide an overview of the tool, explaining how it can be used and the potential benefits for communities and organizations. Additionally, Gena Hodges and Angela McFall will join the seminar to share their experience using MIYO in their colorectal cancer control programs in Iowa and Michigan, respectively, discuss their lessons learned, and provide their thoughts on implications of this resource for other health departments and organizations.

Matthew Kreuter, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Director
Health Communication Research Laboratory
George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Washington University in St. Louis

Gena Hodges, B.A.
Project Manager
Iowa Get Screened: Colorectal Cancer Program
Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
Iowa Department of Public Health

Angela McFall, M.S. (subject to change)
Public Education Coordinator
Cancer Prevention and Control Section at the Michigan Department of Community Health
Register Now!
Please click on the following link for more information and to register for this event:
Following registration, you will receive a confirmation email with the toll-free number, web URL, and participant passcode. This cyber-seminar will be archived on the Research to Reality website at approximately one week following the presentation.
Cyber-Seminar Archive
If you have missed any of the past cyber-seminars, you can view them all on the R2R Archive. Watch the presentations, and join in the discussions.
For more information on the cyber-seminar series, please email

Comment by Alexis Williams on February 28, 2012 at 3:28pm

The Call for Abstracts for CDC's National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media is now open. This conference is an excellent opportunity to meet others working in this area and learn about the latest innovations in the field. The conference usually includes preconference workshops that can help develop your knowledge and skills in this area. Click herefor more information.

Comment by Betsy Rodriguez on September 26, 2011 at 4:36pm
 Great Video, good information, Betsy

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