Based on an ecological model of health, the mission of this focus is to educate public health professionals to use communication and marketing as strategic tools to influence people, places, and environmental conditions in ways that advance public health objectives.
Goals of Health Communication
Our graduates will possess the skills necessary to become highly effective public health practitioners and leaders. Their specific expertise in the strategic use of communication and marketing tools will enable them to work collaboratively with a broad range of other public health experts to plan high-impact health enhancement initiatives, and to implement or supervise the implementation of the communication and marketing components of public health initiatives.
Health Communication Degrees
Students that are interested in a health communication degree should explore the health communication focus area offered through the online Master of Public Health program, MPH@GW.
Health Communication Careers
Public Health Communication careers range from private consulting firms to large government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health and Human Services. Insurance companies, wellness centers, as well as health care organizations are other fields with a need for health communication. With the advancement and rapid evolution of social media, careers in this field are on the rise.
PubH 6056: Leadership Seminar
This course provides students with the opportunity to learn leadership lessons from the careers of a diverse group of leaders who are successful executives and entrepreneurs from multiple sectors, including corporate, government, nonprofit and the arts. It will present the chance to discuss and reflect on leadership styles, provide exposure to leadership theory, assist in the development of effective networking skills, and prepare students for effectively engaging with their peers, personal network, potential employers and business partners. The Leadership Seminar deliberately provides a unique setting for students to consider themselves as leaders in their personal lives and their careers.
PubH 6430, Global Health Communication Interventions
This seminar provides students a foundation in key behavior change and communication theories relevant to global health communication interventions. Case studies in lectures and readings illustrate the application of theory in the development, implementation, and evaluation of health communication programs. Skills attained will enable students to apply theory to public health practice within a global context. In addition, students will practice essential communication skills for public health practice.
PubH 6514, Preventing Health Disparities
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how social, political, and economic factors contribute to disparities (e.g., racial/ ethnic, gender, geographical) in health and health care and how to use evidence-based approaches to prevent or address health disparities. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand, define, measure, and develop methods to address health and health care disparities. This course will review theoretical frameworks and methodological tools for students to conduct research and develop interventions to reduce health disparities. The main objectives for this course include examining personal attitudes, acquiring knowledge, and gaining the skills to evaluate, discuss, and develop the programs/interventions/policies designed to prevent or address disparities in health and health care.
PubH 6571, Social Marketing
This course focuses on the use of marketing to change the behavior of people, populations, and policy makers in ways that are in their, and society’s, best interest. Students in this skills-based course will study and work in teams to apply a range of marketing strategies to a real-world situation.
PubH 6572, Marketing and Research for Public Health
This course focuses on the use of marketing research techniques to better understand customers of public health programs, and thereby to improve program design, implementation, and effectiveness. A range of qualitative and quantitative techniques will be studied for their relevance to program planning, development, continuous improvement, and outcome evaluation.
In the commercial sector, the purpose of marketing research is to help managers and marketers know their (prospective or current) customers, so that they can develop products and services that will provide value to – and be valued by – their customers. In public health we must always keep in mind that, for the most part, public health programs are voluntary in nature. That is to say, our prospective customers are free to accept or reject the products or services that we offer them. Our success therefore typically hinges on our ability to design products and services that benefit populations and are valued by beneficiaries in our intended target audience. This course is intended to teach you how to use marketing research techniques to do just that.
Electives are typically offered every other term. Some electives are offered in Spring 1/Summer terms, while others are offered in Spring 2/Fall terms.