Fall Recap

Fast and Fruitful: A Fall Recap From the Center for Health Communication 

By Mike Mackert 

This fall marked the first full academic semester of the Center for Health Communication (CHC) as a joint academic center between the Moody College of Communication and Dell Medical School. Reflecting on what has happened since the summer, when we began to plan for this extremely busy fall, we’ve seen…

New team members join the CHC, including Jessica Hughes Wagner (Assistant Director), Laura Brown (Postdoctoral Fellow), Kendra Lewellyn (Senior Graphic Designer), and Susan Kirtz (Director of Special Projects).

We took on a new project related to the opioid crisis in Texas, and we will be designing a state-wide campaign to promote the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program to prescribers across the state. The project involves faculty from across campus with relevant expertise, ranging from social media analytics to population health.

The CHC also awarded its first round of interdisciplinary CHER grants, designed to facilitate new partnerships between communication and medical faculty and grad students. We’re excited about these projects and look forward to seeing what the investigative teams discover.

Those are the highlights, but it’s also worth celebrating many small steps to becoming a center that operates within two colleges on campus. It’s everything from defining a visual identity that reflects the dual nature of our center to becoming involved in the leadership of both colleges.

This past week the founding director of the CHC, and now Dean of the Moody College of Communication, Jay Bernhardt, joined us for our December all-hands meeting. He said that the CHC is further along right now than he could have hoped when he came to Austin to found the CHC in 2014. We’re excited and proud of what we’ve all done so far, but we are collectively looking ahead to even more this coming spring and beyond.