How health care workers assess their own communication with language-diverse patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

Written by Cindy Brantmeier, PhD, professor of applied linguistics, global studies and Institute faculty scholar, and Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. George Bernard Shaw A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, led by Institute Faculty […]

Commentary in Science suggests “three steps to a better pandemic response” (Links to an external site)

How can we help the public understand and more positively react to social media messages and medical experts about national crises’ such as COVID-19? An editorial commentary recently published in the journal Science makes recommendations about how adding a “new lane” of implementation science can improve the way we manage crisis’ like COVID-19 moving forward. […]

COVID-19 lost in translation

Written by Lingzi Luo, MSW/MPH, Clinical Research Coordinator at WashU School of Medicine; Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public and Global Health Track alumnus Wuhan (China) is my hometown. To me, the COVID-19 outbreak has already lasted more than two months. I did not just go through one outbreak. I went through […]

Communication is key

Written by Lyndsey Armes, BS  in biology candidate at University of Kentucky and participant in the 2019 Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public & Global Health Track Many researchers will tell you that they decided to go into a specific field because of their love for the subject matter, their curiosity, or their desire to […]

The shift from health researcher to health communicator

Written by Suraj Arshanapally, MPH, ORISE Health Communication Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and alumnus of the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public & Global Health Track I find public health communication to be one of the most exciting fields to work in. With the fast-paced nature of […]

Law, religion and health in the United States (Links to an external site)

Should physicians be required to disclose their religious beliefs to patients? How should we think about institutional conscience in the health care setting? How should health care providers handle situations in which a family refuses treatment based on religious objections?  These questions and more are tackled in a new book co-edited by an expert on health law at Washington University in St. Louis. Read the full story…

The Discharge Summary Tracking System project: Ensuring community health center providers can care for patients after hospital discharge

Written by the Discharge Summary Tracking System project team [1] Our local community health centers are bustling with the activity of  primary care providers answering their patients’ vital inquiries. But what happens if their question regards a hospital visit of which the provider was never informed? “My patient exclaimed, ‘I’ve been shot!’” said primary care doctor […]

Enhanced Cultural and Linguistic Services standards: Not just language anymore

In 1997, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) undertook the development of national standards to provide organizations and providers with guidance on the implementation of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Three years later, the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (CLAS) were entered into the Federal Register [1]. […]

It is an opportune time for public health to engage young people on social media

Written by Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine Social media use has surged over the past decade especially among young adults and teenagers. Consumer surveys indicate that up to 80% of US adults are on social media and this prevalence is heavily driven by its popularity among […]

Socialize your research: Tips for sharing ideas and evidence on social media

Each day, millions of users log on to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the continuously growing list of social media platforms. In 2015, 65% of adults in the United States had a social media presence.(1)  As the number of adults using social media has grown, so has the number of researchers using various platforms. A study […]

Creating global health messages that work

One of the key components of any health program is communication. How do we let people know what we are trying to do? How do we get people involved? How do we get people to change? While every potential audience we work with is inherently different, many of the same principles apply when we talk […]

Improve health literacy, save lives

Health Literacy Missouri aims to “partner with health care providers, advocates and organizations who want patients to feel better, systems to work and flow better, and materials to make more sense.” The organization offers a host of excellent resources for individuals, clinicians, and organizations to help improve health literacy.  Their “Learn the Facts” page outlines […]

Resource: Communicating for health

Washington  University’s Bernard Becker Medical Library offers a special program titled Communicating for Health. As noted on their website, this program: Offers customizable presentations, tailored trainings, and consultations in the areas of health information, health literacy, and health communication. Programming can be tailored to fit a variety of audiences, time constraints, learning styles, and areas […]

Helping patients and clinicians manage uncertainty during clinical care

I once counseled a patient who was struggling to understand her breast surgeon’s words: “Studies show some benefit in some women…”. The surgeon’s statement was accurate. But they didn’t answer the kinds of questions my patient had. Questions like: Would she be one of the women who benefitted from the proposed treatment plan? What does […]

Contagion! Back to the past

Words carry the past. – I was reminded of this recently as I watched Contagion, a 2011 movie that follows a team of medical experts as they battle to stop a lethal airborne virus before it wipes out all of humanity. Who will win: the experts or the virus? We never find out, nor should […]

Language resource: Canopy medical translator app

The Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health has received free access to the NIH-funded Canopy Medical Translator premium app. Providers across the globe can communicate with patients/communities in 15 languages. The app includes translation help for phrases medical personnel use the most, and a live medical interpreter is available when you need […]

What you can do to support health literacy

Written by Heather Jacobsen of ClearApple Health Writing Language matters. Just ask the 6.4 million Americans receiving a subsidy to help pay for their health insurance through federal health exchanges. In King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court focused on the meaning of 6 words – “an exchange established by the state” – in the Affordable […]