Our Affiliates

Center Director

Dr. Mackert's current research focuses primarily on the strategies that can be used in both traditional and new digital media to provide effective health communication to low health literate audiences. Of particular interest are approaches that go beyond "clear and simple" messages which can create increased engagement which will translate to improved health behavior and outcomes over time. His research has appeared in Health Communication, Patient Education and Counseling, Journal of Health Communication, Qualitative Health Research, and the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
mackert@utexas.edu

Founding Center Director

Jay M. Bernhardt serves as the Dean of the Moody College of Communication and Founding Director of the Center for Health Communication. He is a tenured Professor with appointments in Communication Studies as well as Advertising and Public Relations. He has served as faculty at the University of Florida, Emory University, and the University of Georgia, and previously led the National Center for Health Marketing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.
moody.dean@austin.utexas.edu


If you are interested in becoming a Faculty or Adjunct Affiliate of the Center, please click below.

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Steering Committee

Mary Beth Benett

Mary Beth Bennett, MA

Incoming MS2 at Dell Medical School as of July 2018

Mary Beth Bennett completed an MA in Advertising in 2011 with a focus on Nonprofit Communications, published a Master’s thesis on the Texas Women’s Health Program, and is likely to pursue an MPH during the 3rd year of medical school to continue working on improved public health education in Texas.

Rene Dailey

Rene Dailey, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Dailey’s interests in health communication center on how families communicate about weight management. Her research has mainly focused on how romantic partners facilitate (or hinder) individuals’ weight loss in order to develop recommendations on how family members can be incorporated into intervention programs to maximize success.
rdailey@austin.utexas.edu

Erin Donovan

Erin Donovan, PhD

Associate Director, Center for Health Communication
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Moody College of Communication

Interpersonal Communication and Health Communication are Dr. Donovan's areas of expertise. She specializes in how people communicate while coping during times characterized by stress, illness, and uncertainty. Several of her current projects address the efforts involved in managing information and relationships across the cancer trajectory, as well as navigating challenges of informed consent.
erindonovan@utexas.edu

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Mackenzie R. Greenwell

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Communication Studies
Moody College of Communication

Mackenzie's research interests intersect at interpersonal and health communication. She is particularly involved with the exploration healthcare provider and family communication about mental health and illness, including disclosure decisions, coping and supportive communication, message features, and stigma.
mackenzie.greenwell@utexas.edu

Brad Love

Brad Love, PhD

Associate Director, Center for Health Communication
Associate Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations; Center for European Studies
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Love’s primary research interests include investigating the public health capabilities of mass media, particularly for marginalized groups such as young adults affected by cancer. This includes examining the social and psychological elements necessary to improve well-being and the influence that communication can have on health outcomes.
lovebrad@utexas.edu

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Jennifer Lyon Gardner, PhD

Assistant Vice President for Research
The University of Texas at Austin

Jennifer Lyon Gardner strategically oversees campus-level initiatives that promote collaborative research, including the UT Pop-Up Institutes and UT’s campus-wide research grand challenges initiative, Bridging Barriers. She leads the VPR’s Research Development team, which provides competitive intelligence and tactical proposal development support to cross-college teams of researchers pursuing center grants and other major external funding. Dr. Gardner and her team facilitate collaborative relationships among faculty through a research mentor-pairing program, and organize faculty development events that enable motivated, early-career researchers to seek advice from successful PIs. Dr. Gardner received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and worked as a research faculty member and unit- and college-level research development professional prior to joining the VPR office. She is also a board-certified Editor in the Life Sciences and Certified Research Administrator.
lyon@austin.utexas.edu

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Chris Moriates, MD

Assistant Dean for Healthcare Value
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Dell Medical School

Dr. Moriates is focused on communicating how patients and clinicians can work together to improve health care value – achieving better outcomes that matter to patients at lower costs. This work includes discussing areas of harmful overuse in medicine and principles of the Choosing Wisely campaign.
CMoriates@austin.utexas.edu

Kate Pounders

Kate Pounders, PhD

Assistant Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Pounders examines the efficacy of emotional appeals and other message strategies in health communication. In addition, she is interested in understanding the role that emotion, coping, and identity play in understanding women’s health issues. A current project investigates how breast cancer diagnosis and treatment influences gender identity among female adolescents and young adults, and how these young women cope with these issues.
kate.pounders@austin.utexas.edu

David Ring

David Ring, MD, PhD

Associate Dean for Comprehensive Care
Dell Medical School

Dr. David Ring, Associate Dean for Comprehensive Care, Dell Medical School – The University of Texas at Austin, is interested in establishing trust and engagement of people seeking care. Dr. Ring hopes to bolster resiliency and help people take an active role in their health. His work is guided by the idea that effective communication strategies are the heart of helping people get and stay healthy. He believes that satisfaction with care, adherence to recommendations, and effective self-care all hinges on trust and connection with clinicians. So when the path to good health is clear and matter-of-fact, people will take better care of themselves. They can avoid care that may do more harm than good or use resources in an unhelpful way.
david.ring@austin.utexas.edu

Cathy Stacy

Cathy Stacy, PhD

Senior Director for Strategy and Operations
Department of Psychiatry,
Dell Medical School

In her role in the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Stacy is involved in multiple education, clinical and research projects that involve health communications goals. Stacy would like to strengthen her knowledge of current research in this area so she can be a better advocate for best-practices.
cathy.stacy@austin.utexas.edu

Chris Webb

Chris Webb, PhD

Associate Dean for Research
Chief Research Officer
Dell Medical School

In Dr. Webb's current positions he spends his time crafting strategies that enable investigator and school success in research and development. In seeking ways that will advance the pace and efficiency of research to improve health, Chris is developing an efficient and supportive operational infrastructure that will allow investigators to focus on collaborative research endeavors, not administrative minutiae.
chris.webb@austin.utexas.edu

Affiliates

Renee Acosta, M.S.

Assistant Dean for Admissions and Advising
Clinical Professor, Health Outcomes and Pharmacy Practice
College of Pharmacy

Renee Acosta teaches the Nonprescription Pharmacotherapeutics and Self-Care sequence. In these courses, she instructs student pharmacists on how to interact with patients in an over-the-counter pharmacy (OTC) setting. Her area of interest is in pharmacist-patient communication in the OTC aisle of the local pharmacy, as well as general pharmacist-patient communication as it relates to OTC products regardless of the setting.
renee.acosta@austin.utexas.edu

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Abigail Aiken, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor
LBJ School of Public Affairs

Abigail Aiken is an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. She completed her MD at the University of Cambridge, her MPH at Harvard University, and her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Her current projects include examining women's experiences obtaining safe abortion in contexts where access is restricted, evaluating programs and policies affecting access to contraception, and investigating the determinants and impacts of unintended pregnancies through a health equity and reproductive justice framework.
araa2@utexas.edu

Ron Anderson

Ron Anderson, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
Moody College of Communication
rba@austin.utexas.edu

Lucy Atkinson

Lucy Atkinson, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Atkinson (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin – Madison) studies the connections between mass media, consumer culture and environmental sustainability, with attention paid to environmental and political communication’s role in fostering forms of sustainable citizenship. She focuses on the ways message components (like visual elements, argument frames, source factors) in environmental communication campaigns interact with other message components to influence environmental attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Current projects look at the role of positive and negative emotions in climate change communication, the impact of moral licensing in environmental consumer behavior and the use of celebrity endorsements in green advertising.
lucyatkinson@austin.utexas.edu

Donna Ballard

Dawna I. Ballard, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Organizational Communication and Technology
Moody College of Communication
dballard@austin.utexas.edu

Joshua Barbour

Joshua Barbour, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Organizational Communication and Technology
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Barbour recognizes the importance of healthcare organizations as sites of organizational communication phenomena such as interprofessional communication and organizational change. He is also interested in health stemming from organizations, exemplified by his work on the communicative accomplishment of safety, reliability, and resilience in complex industrial systems.
barbourjosh@utexas.edu

Jessica Barr

Jessica L. Barr, MSN, RN

Instructor in Clinical Nursing
School of Nursing

Jessica "Jess" Barr is a member of the UT School of Nursing faculty as a clinical instructor. While her primary focus is pediatrics, she has experience with various levels of care across the lifespan. Jess has a passion for organ donation, addiction and recovery, genetics/rare genetic diseases, and kids. She's partnered with the CHC on the Men's Pregnancy Playbook financial calculator, the CDC Tips from Former Smokers sentiment analysis, and the Substance Abuse and Recovery Pop-Up Institute.

jbarr@nursing.utexas.edu

Carrie Barron, M.D.

Director of the Creativity for Resilience Program
Dell Medical School

Dr. Barron serves as Director of Creativity for Resilience Program in addition to instructing in the Department of Psychiatry. She is passionate about helping people address psychological concerns through blogs, conversations and programs. She believes strong relationships, cultural involvements and insight have a huge impact on recovery, resilience and health.
carrie.barron@austin.utexas.edu

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Sarah Kate Bearman, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education

Sarah Kate Bearman, PhD, leads a research program focused on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based mental health interventions for children and families in low-resource settings. Two complementary objectives of her work are to increase access to effective intervention for children and families, and to promote adoption and implementation among providers. Prior work has focused on using provider co-design to increase the user appeal of evidence-based interventions, using video-guided intervention to increase cultural relevance and fidelity of mental health intervention, and the use of electronic measurement feedback systems to guide provider decision making about mental health intervention. Currently, she is developing a brief e-health intervention to promote positive parenting practices for high-risk families in primary care settings.
skbearman@austin.utexas.edu
https://sites.edb.utexas.edu/leap/

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Marge Benham-Hutchins, P.h.D., RN

Assistant Professor
School of Nursing

Dr. Benham-Hutchins’ current research examines the relationship of provider communication patterns and patient outcomes in the hospital setting. Research interests include the influence of technology on provider communication, chronic disease self-management, and patient access to health information across the continuum of care, including during inpatient hospitalization.
mbenhamhutchins@austin.utexas.edu

Mary Bock

Mary Angela Bock, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Bock, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism, is interested in women's health, social equality, and healthcare access; the latter two being essential for the well-being of individuals and the community. Her work investigates the way visual media can better serve health-providers and their stakeholders. She is also interested in the way journalism can mediate effective health communication. Dr. Bock's notable courses include Qualitative Methods and Critical-Cultural Theory for Graduate Students, Visual Media & the News, and Gender & the News for Undergraduate Students.
mary.bock@austin.utexas.edu

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Elisa Borah, P.h.D.

Research Associate Professor
Steve Hicks School of Social Work

Dr. Borah's interests include engagement with stakeholders to improve mental health care systems; Improved access to evidence-based mental health care treatment options and support for military and veteran populations; Development of peer support and other supportive programming for veterans, veteran spouses and their families.
elisa.borah@austin.utexas.edu

Courtney Byrd - Executive Director

Courtney Byrd, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Director, Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute
Moody College of Communication
courtney.byrd@austin.utexas.edu

Sierra Castedo

Sierra Castedo

Director
The Center for Students in Recovery

As Director of the Center for Students in Recovery (CSR), Sierra’s health communication interests include addiction, recovery, emerging adults, and combating the negative public perceptions that surround those affected by addiction.scastedo@austin.utexas.edu

Cowthan

Stephanie Cawthon, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education

Stephanie Cawthon, P.h.D., focuses her research on the accessibility of information to diverse learners, particularly deaf individuals with a range of educational, social, and workplace experiences. Health communication is one area of growing interest in the field due to the detrimental impact of information deprivation on physical, emotional, and psychological health of deaf individuals.
stephanie.cawthon@austin.utexas.edu

Wenhong Chen

Wenhong Chen, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Radio-Television-Film
Moody College of Communication

A media sociologist, Dr. Chen examines health implications of communication and media technologies from a network perspective. Her work on causes and consequences of informational and participatory eHealth behaviors has been published in top-ranked journals in communication, sociology, and information science.
wenhong.chen@austin.utexas.edu

Kasey Claborn

Kasey Claborn, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Dell Medical School

Dr. Claborn’s research focuses on improving care coordination and communication between clinicians and patients. She utilizes digital technology and clinician training modalities to decrease stigma, improve provider-patient interactions, and increase access to care for highly vulnerable populations. She specifically focuses on improving care for people who use drugs and those living with HIV.
http://sites.utexas.edu/BHIP/
Kasey.claborn@austin.utexas.edu

Valerie Danesh

Valerie Danesh, P.h.D., RN

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Valerie Danesh, P.h.D., RN studies clinical deteriorations and subsequent interventions across the continuum of care (e.g., acute, subacute, home health), and clinician communication and competencies using telemedicine. Her current research interests include adverse events in hospitals, ICU survivorship, and telemedicine.
vdanesh@nursing.utexas.edu

Anthony Dudo

Anthony Dudo, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, Science Communication
Moody College of Communication

Anthony Dudo (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) researches the intersection of science, media, and society. He is particularly interested in scientists’ public communication activities; media representations of science, health, and environmental issues; and the contributions of informational and entertainment media to public perceptions of science. His recent work has examined factors influencing scientists’ likelihood to engage in public communication, the effects of television entertainment programs on public attitudes toward science, and media depictions of health pandemics and controversial biomedical and technological innovations. Dr. Dudo’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, and he is a Kavli Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He also currently chairs the Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division of AEJMC, and won the UT system’s Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016.
dudo@utexas.edu

Lauren El-Assad

Lauren El-Assad, LCSW

Program Manager, Center for Health IPE

Communication is a central component of the IPEC core competencies that frame our center’s work and programming, so being affiliated with a center dedicated to advancing communication is extremely relevant to us. As an LCSW, I’m a strong advocate for advancing thought leadership and practice in health communication in order to give clients/patients better experiences and more effective treatment, as well as empowering them to make sound decisions regarding their health.
lauren.el-assad@austin.utexas.edu

Dr. Leanne H. Field, Ph.D.

Leanne H. Field, P.h.D.

Director, Infomatics and Health IT

Dr. Field is interested in Health Infomatics and Health IT.
field@austin.utexas.edu

Michelle Harrision

Michelle Harrison, P.h.D.

Director, Health & Integrative Physiology Laboratory
Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, Exercise Science
College of Education

Michelle’s research interests revolve around the interaction between lifestyle behaviors and risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Her primary focus is on identifying specific biomarker ‘fingerprints’ that have the potential to be diagnostic and/or to guide treatment options including lifestyle modification strategies. She believes that there needs to be a shift in emphasis from a ‘reactive’ to a ‘preventative’ health care system and the way to do that is through education. Those involved in health communication play an integral role in relaying evidence-based messages that lifestyle choices have a direct and significant impact on overall health.
michelle.harrison@utexas.edu

Traci Harrison

Tracie Harrison, P.h.D., RN

Professor
School of Nursing

Dr. Harrison's interest in health communication lies primarily in the communication of health related materials to people who are blind or visually impaired to a degree that prevents their interaction in ways that sighted people use during their regular health-related routines.
tharrison@mail.nur.utexas.edu

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Keli Hawthorne, MS, RD

Director of Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics
Dell Medical School

Ms. Hawthorne directs the pediatric clinical research interests for Dell Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics, including training faculty and staff to effectively execute high-quality protocols, aligning collaborators and students together, organizing monthly research seminars, and promoting current research efforts to the community.
keli.hawthorne@austin.utexas.edu

Lucas Hill, PharmD

Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy

Dr. Hill is a clinical educator and primary care clinician who specializes in chronic disease management and harm reduction advocacy. He is the director of Operation Naloxone, an interprofessional collaboration to prevent opioid overdose deaths in Texas. In this role, he coordinates overdose prevention and response education for health professionals and community members across the state. Check out OperationNaloxone.org for more information!
lucas.hill@austin.utexas.edu

Michael Hole

Michael Hole, M.D., MBA

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics & Population Health
Dell Medical School & LBJ School of Public Affairs

Social worker turned pediatrician and entrepreneur, Michael Hole teaches public policy, cares for high-risk street youths, and builds antipoverty organizations helping children get and stay healthy.
michael.hole@austin.utexas.edu

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Lori K. Holleran Steiker, P.h.D., ACSW

Distinguished Professor, School of Social Work

As a researcher and practitioner in the area of youth and substance use disorders, treatment and recovery, and as a liaison with community agencies and Dell Medical School around bridges to community, Dr. Holleran Steiker is interested in the following health communication factors: Lowering stigma associated with substance use disorders and recovery, interdisciplinary exploration of addiction and recovery solutions, dissemination of impact of recovery on academic variables and efficacy of recovery schools (e.g., University High School, Austin’s first sober high school; UT Center for Students in Recovery, etc.) and ways to involve UT students in solving the problem of youth substance use, opioid epidemic, and the need for overdose prevention initiatives on and off campus.
lorikay@mail.utexas.edu

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Sheryl Innerarity, P.h.D., RN

Associate Professor
School of Nursing

Dr. Innerarity works to communicate the latest research on advances in healthcare to both students and patients. Her interests include medicine prescription, evidence based theories regarding diet and weight loss, as well as herbals and supplements. She serves as Vice President for Texas Nurse Practitioners, Chair for the APRN Division of the UT School of Nursing (AGCNS program, FNP Program, Psych Mental Health NP Program, and Pediatric NP Program), and has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She received the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Clinical Excellence Award for Texas in 2014.
sinnerarity@earthlink.net

Barbara Jones

Barbara Jones, P.h.D.

Professor, Assistant Dean for Health Affairs
Co-Director for The Institute for Palliative Care and Family Survival
School of Social Work

Dr. Jones serves as Associate Dean of Health Affairs for the School of Social Work, Co-Director of the Institute for Collaborative Health Research and Practice, and Associate Director of Social Sciences and Community Based Research for LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes and the Dell Medical School. She is particularly interested in pediatric, adolescent, and young adult oncology along with prognosis, palliative care, and patient-family-provider communication. Dr. Jones feels that focusing on palliative care and patient-family-provider communication can lead to improved outcomes, quality of care, and quality of life. As a professor of both Social Work and Population Health, Dr. Jones leads courses such as Foundations of Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (Transformative Teams in Health Care), Interprofessional Seminar on Psychosocial Oncology, Living with Dying, and Social Work in Health, Grief, and Loss.
barbarajones@mail.utexas.edu

Lee Ann Kahlor

Lee Ann Kahlor, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Kahlor's primary research interest is in health and environmental risk communication with an emphasis on information seeking and processing. A secondary interest is in cultural and racial norms related to health behaviors and message processing. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Center for Induced Seismicity at UT, and the Department of Energy. Her research has been published in Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Science Communication, Communication Research and elsewhere.
kahlor@austin.utexas.edu

Deena Kemp

Deena Kemp, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Kemp's health communication interests include emotion and information processing, strategic message design, attentional processes, and behavioral decision making as they apply to vulnerable and underserved populations, adolescent risk behavior, and global health development issues.
dkemp@austin.utexas.edu

Anjum Khurshid

Anjum Khurshid, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Data Integration, Assistant Professor Population Health at Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Khurshid's interests are in the application of communication sciences to health and particularly focused on health information and communicating data results through effective communication strategies. He is also the Principal Investigator of CHER grant on lead poisoning prevention and health communication in 2018.
anjum.khurshid@austin.utexas.edu

Cont.

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Kristie J. Loescher, M.P.H.

Sr. Lecturer, Management
McCombs School of Business

The main area of interest for Kristie Loescher is healthcare delivery systems. She teaches courses in healthcare systems management for both BBA and MBA students. Her academic publications and consulting focus on healthcare management and reform, process improvement, change management, and diversity management. Prior to her career in academia, she earned an MPH from the University of Michigan and worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years in the areas of quality assurance, utilization management, and clinical research. She is currently the director for curriculum and community engagement for the McCombs School of Business Healthcare Initiative.
kristie.loescher@mccombs.utexas.edu

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Matthew S. McGlone, P.h.D.

Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Persuasion and Social Influence
Moody College of Communication

Dr. McGlone (Ph.D., Princeton) is Associate Director of the Center for Health Communication. Dr. McGlone studies persuasion and social influence in health contexts. His current projects investigate persuasive technologies for promoting HPV vaccination and protecting seniors from financial exploitation; provider-patient conversations about acute and chronic pain; strategic language choices in advocacy of health ; police - social worker coordination of care for child abuse survivors; linguistic features of addiction/cessation narratives; public understanding of medical identity theft risk and self-protective measures.
matthew_mcglone@austin.utexas.edu

moriates

Chris Moriates, M.D.

Assistant Dean for Healthcare Value
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Dell Medical School

Dr. Moriates is focused on communicating how patients and clinicians can work together to improve health care value – achieving better outcomes that matter to patients at lower costs. This work includes discussing areas of harmful overuse in medicine and principles of the Choosing Wisely campaign.
CMoriates@austin.utexas.edu

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Dhiraj Murthy, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, School of Journalism
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Murthy is a media scholar interested in the ways in which social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook shape health communication. He has primarily studied social media in relation to cancer communities, tobacco cessation, and mental health outreach. He uses mixed methods, combining qualitative ethnography with big data computational analytics to gain insights into the emergent roles social media play in health communication.
dhiraj.murthy@austin.utexas.edu

Liesl Nydegger

Liesl Nydegger, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education
Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
College of Education

Dr. Nydegger is the Director of the Gender Health Equity Lab and her research interests focus on HIV and sexually transmitted infection prevention, substance use, and violence among those who experience health disparities. Dr. Nydegger’s interests in health communication are in developing culturally tailored HIV prevention interventions among women at high risk for HIV including messaging and healthy communication between partners.
Liesl.Nydegger@austin.utexas.edu

Jeeyun Oh, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Jeeyun Oh (Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University) specializes in the psychology of new media interfaces and health communication. Her experimental research explores the potential of interactive media technologies to enhance user engagement and persuade users with health messages, while delving into the intersection between health communication theories and interactivity research. Her current projects examine the persuasive effects of interactive anti-smoking websites and data visualization tools in obesity prevention websites.
jeeyunoh@utexas.edu

Brittany O'Malley

Brittany O’Malley

Manager, Office of Health Promotion, University Health Services
Division of Student Affairs

Brittany's interests lie in using social norms and social marketing to address college student health behaviors and environments.
b.omalley@uhs.utexas.edu

Keryn E. Pasch

Keryn E. Pasch, M.P.H., P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, Health Behavior and Health Education
College of Education

Keryn E. Pasch, M.P.H., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Health Behavior and Health Education in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas, Austin. She received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology with a minor in Interpersonal Relationships Research from the University of Minnesota and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research program focuses on the influence of marketing of products such as tobacco, alcohol, and unhealthy foods and beverages on youth and young adult risk behaviors as well as the factors that may alter the influence of marketing. Dr. Pasch instructs for both undergraduate and graduate students at UT Austin. Her notable courses include Social Determinants of Health, Impact of Marketing on Public Health, Adolescent Health Risk Behavior, and Foundations of Epidemiology.
kpasch@austin.utexas.edu

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Michael Pignone, M.D., M.P.H.

Chair and Professor of Internal Medicine
Dell Medical School

The research of Dr. Pignone is focused on chronic disease screening, prevention, and treatment, and on improving medical decision making, particularly in heart disease prevention, colorectal cancer screening, and management of common chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart failure. He is interested in developing interventions that mitigate literacy-related health disparities and improve the use of appropriate preventive services.
Assistant: Janis VanderBerg, jvanderberg@austin.utexas.edu
pignone@austin.utexas.edu

Stephen J. Pont, MD, MPH, FAAP

Stephen J. Pont, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP

Assistant Professor, Medical Director, Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity,
Medical Director, Austin ISD Student Health Services, UT Southwestern - Austin Programs, UT Austin
Department of Advertising, UT-Austin Department of Nutrition

Dr. Stephen Pont (BA UT-Austin; MD, UT Southwestern, MPH Vanderbilt) is the founding medical director of Dell Children’s Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, which includesa bilingual interdisciplinary weight managemnet clinic, individial and group family-based programs, and other education, advocacy, and research initiatives. Dr. Pont's research focuses on clinic and community-based interventions empowering healthy lifestyles. Health communication interests include health marketing/leanwashing, behavior change counselling techniques such as motivational interviewing, health promoting apps such as Choose Healthier, and weight stigma. Dr. Pont frequently contributes to health media stories in English and Spanish, including writing and delivering a monthly health segment on Austin Fox’s Good Day Austin, is a media spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is the recipient of the 2017 UT School of Public Health Texas Health Champion Award.

sjpont@seton.org

Tetyana Pudrovska

Tetyana Pudrovska, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Population Research Center
College of Liberal Arts
tpudrovs@austin.utexas.edu

Radhakrishnan

Kavita Radhakrishnan, P.h.D., MSEE, RN

Assistant Professor
School of Nursing

Dr. Radhakrishnan's interests include the use of technology such as telehealth, and digital games to communicate with and engage older adult patients with chronic disease self-management; socio-technical aspects of health technology, along with their sustainability; innovative communication strategies to engage Asian Indians in health promotion (including advanced care planning) behaviors.
kradhakrishnan@mail.nur.utexas.edu

Dan Richards, MD

Dan Richards, M.D.

Associate Chair for Education, Dept. of Pediatrics
Dell Medical School

Dr. Richard's interests include educational innovations in teaching, coaching, and assessing communication skills for the clinical setting. This includes communication between healthcare providers and patients and their families, as well as interprofessional communication within healthcare teams, to improve healthcare safety and value.
daniel.richards@austin.utexas.edu

William Sage

William M. Sage, M.D., J.D.

Professor of Law and Medicine, School of Law
Dell Medical School

Dr. Sage works broadly on health policy, health care redesign, and the regulation and ethics of professionals. His interests in communication center on health care teams, interactions between patients and health care professionals, population health interventions, and preventing and addressing medical errors through “communication and resolution programs.”
bsage@law.utexas.edu

Dixie Stanforth

Dixie Stanforth, M.S., Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
College of Education

Dr. Stanforth has been teaching at UT since 1985. She developed a successful curriculum for personal trainers, providing both theoretical content and practical experiences. She has been a fitness editor for Shape magazine and a 5-star presenter for IDEA, presenting extensively at both national and international conferences. Dr. Stanforth’s research generally involves current fitness topics and strategic health communication, including her work with the award winning Gatorade Replay on Fox Sports. She received the inaugural Departmental Teaching Excellence Award in 2011, was selected as a Provost's Teaching Fellow in 2015, and named as a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine in 2017.
d.stanforth@austin.utexas.edu

Steve Steffenson, M.D.

Chief, Learning Health System
Dell Medical School

The creation of a "Learning Health System" is dependent on the ability to apply the best evidence for the collaborative healthcare choices of each patient and provider. Effective communications is central to the success of this effort especially as Dell Medical School seeks to expand the scope of a Learning Health System to incorporate more community engagement that augments the work already being done in Central Texas to improve Health and Health Outcomes.

steve.steffensen@austin.utexas.edu

Mary Steinhardt

Mary Steinhardt, P.h.D.

Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
College of Education

Dr. Steinhardt is Director of the Stress Adaptation and Health Resilience Lab. Her research focuses on resilience-based diabetes interventions, specifically the effects of psychosocial resilience resources on type 2 diabetes health outcomes through behavioral and biological resilience pathways. Dr. Steinhardt’s interest in health communication stems from a belief that sharing our stories of adversity cultivates psychosocial resilience and improves mental and physical health.
msteinhardt@austin.utexas.edu

Keri K. Stephens,

Keri K. Stephens, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Stephens’s health-communication-related research focuses on the use of health-information technologies (HITs) including mobile devices, interprofessional communication, healthcare organizations, workplace wellness, crisis and emergency communication, and message designs that include identity, productive redundancy, and overload reduction. Dr. Stephens published 54 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, 16 invited book chapters/encyclopedia entries, 1 edited book, and 112 conference presentations. She has led or participated in funded projects from multiple non-profit, NGO, corporate, and academic entities. She has also partnered with the Austin community often, working with Austin Regional Clinic, CommUnity Care, and Dell Children’s Hospital.
keristephens@austin.utexas.edu

faculty headshot of Tanaka Hirofumi

Hirofumi Tanaka, P.h.D.

Professor and Director, Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory
Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
College of Education

Dr. Tanaka’s research interest is the influence of aging and lifestyle modifications on cardiovascular function and disease risks. Health communication is an integral component of his research interest because compliance and adherence to dietary, exercise, and psychological interventions hinge on the effectiveness of the communications between the investigators and the research participants. He is also actively engaged in the dissemination of health-related findings to the general public through major news media including New York Times.
htanaka@austin.utexas.edu

William Tierney, M.D.

Chair, Department of Population Health
Dell Medical School

As Chair of the Department of Population Health at the Dell Medical School, Dr. Tierney’s focus is on improving the health and wellbeing of the residents of Austin, Travis County, and Central Texas. As a general internist, health services researcher, and biomedical informaticist, he employs various tools, media, and approaches to help people get and stay healthy.
tierney@utexas.edu

Marian Trattner

Marian Trattner

BeVocal: The Bystander Intervention Initiative of The University of Texas at Austin
Division of Student Affairs

Marian’s interests include using health communication to increase bystander intervention behavior to create a culture of care and inclusion between faculty, staff, and students on the UT campus. Marian is also interested in how health communication can be utilized to promote and de-stigmatize mental health among college students.
mtrattner@austin.utexas.edu

Jeffrey W. Treem, PhD

Jeffrey W. Treem, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Moody College of Communication

Jeffrey W. Treem (Ph.D., Northwestern University) studies the relationship between technology use and social perceptions of expertise, primarily in organizational contexts. His interests include how scientists, physicians, and other health workers seek and exchange knowledge, and how this communication may influence collaborative work. Dr. Treem is currently involved in a project funded by the National Institutes of Health exploring the use of social media technologies by medical researchers.
jtreem@austin.utexas.edu

Kathlyn Tyner

Kathleen Tyner, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Radio-Television-Film
Moody College of Communication

Kathleen Tyner works internationally on projects related to media and information literacy and youth media education.
ktyner@utexas.edu

Carmen Valdez

Carmen R. Valdez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Population Health and the Steve Hicks School of Social Work

Dr. Valdez is interested in how families communicate about stress and psychological wellbeing. She developed a family-focused intervention for immigrant Latinx families, Fortalezas Familiares (Family Strengths). The intervention focuses on recognition and understanding of depression and stress within the family, and on families’ establishment of shared goals and needed supports via informal and formal communication channels. Dr. Valdez is also interested in how transnational families—those with ties with family members in the U.S. and in their country of origin—use communication via technology to foster family unity and support.
crvaldez@utexas.edu

Anita Vangelisti

Anita L. Vangelisti, P.h.D.

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Vangelisti's current research interests focus primarily on how human communication creates and reflects the emotions and interpretive processes that occur in intimate relationships. She is concerned with how people in close relationships talk, interpret interactions, and how their communication influences their physical and mental health.
vangelisti@austin.utexas.edu

Lorraine O. Walker, P.h.D.

Luci B. Johnson Centennial Professor
UT Austin School of Nursing

Dr. Walker's health communication interests include: Health screening and decision aids for behavioral and psychosocial care of postpartum women in clinical care and online resources; new mothers’ use of online resources for health information; and assessment of quality, accuracy, and readability of health-related website for consumers.
lwalker@mail.nur.utexas.edu

Janet Walcow

Janet C. Walko, P.h.D.

Executive Director & CTO, Drug Dynamics Institute and Clinical Professor, Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery
College of Pharmacy

Everyone gets sick. Thanks to medical innovations, many diseases and conditions have been either mitigated or even cured. Dr. Walkow creates opportunities for students, researchers, and the general public to understand the medicines they take so they can become more informed (and healthier) patients and consumers.
jwalkow@austin.utexas.edu

Karin Gwinn Wilkins,

Karin Gwinn Wilkins, P.h.D.

Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement and Strategic Initiatives
John P. McGovern Regents Professor in Health and Medical Science Communication
Editor-in-Chief, Communication Theory
Moody College of Communication

Karin Wilkins, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement and Strategic Initiatives, John P. McGovern Regents Professor in Health and Medical Science Communication is interested in both gender and women's issues. Her work focuses on the evaluation of health communication programs. Dr. Wilkins also serves as Editor-in-Chief of "Communication Theory."
karin.wilkins@austin.utexas.edu

Gary Wilcox, P.h.D.

John A. Beck Centennial Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
Moody College of Communication

Dr. Wilcox is a globally-recognized expert on social media, advertising research, and branding. His opinions and work have been featured in such national and local media as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Report, KUT public radio and AdWeek, among others. Dr. Wilcox holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and two degrees from UT Austin. His most recent interests include unstructured data analysis, social media analytic models and advertising's effects on alcohol products and brands. Dr. Wilcox was recently featured on The Academic Minute discussing his alcohol advertising research.
burl@mail.utexas.edu

Bo Xie, P.h.D.

Associate Professor, School of Nursing and School of Information

Dr. Bo Xie received her PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2006), her MS in Psychology from Peking University, and her B.Med.Sci. from the West China School of Medicine in Chengdu, China. Her research focuses on health informatics interventions that can promote older adults’ use of information and communication technologies for health information, communication and decision-making (i.e., e-health literacy) that may have important implications for patient-provider relationships and health outcomes. As Principal Investigator, she has been awarded a number of research grants from federal funding agencies including the NIH, NSF, and IMLS.
boxie@utexas.edu

Cara Young

Cara Young, PhD, RN, FNP-C

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Dr. Young’s program of research focuses on adolescent mental health promotion and prevention of mental health disorders, primarily in the primary care setting. In her work developing integrated behavioral and mental health mindfulness-based interventions for youth, she is interested in producing developmentally appropriate health communication for optimizing health and wellness.
carayoung@utexas.edu

Adjunct Affiliates

Brenda Berkelar

Brenda Berkelaar, P.h.D.

Research Consultant & Fellow, Center for Health Communication
Moody College of Communication and Dell Medical School

Brenda Berkelaar, PhD, studies work and technology—that is, given information and communication technologies, how does work, work? From health communication perspective, work and technology affect individual, organizational, and community processes, outcomes, and wellbeing. Current projects with the Center for Health Communication include: studying how electronic medical records affect the healthcare workflow and practitioners’ engagement, effectiveness, and efficiency; consulting with a cross-functional team to help nonprofit healthcare providers improve organizational communication processes and outcomes; and the development and delivery of health communication, leadership, and organizational training for professional and career development.
b.berkelaar@austin.utexas.edu

Allison lazard headsot

Allison Lazard, P.h.D.

Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Media and Journalism

Allison Lazard, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research and creative work revolves around a core interest in how visual and interactive design influences perceptions and impact of health messages. Dr. Lazard often collaborates with health experts in multidisciplinary approaches for effective communication design.
lazard@unc.edu

Shana Merlin

Shana Merlin

Founder, Improviser & Communications Trainer
Merlin Works

Shana founded Merlin Works Improv, in 2003 to provide custom training, interactive presentations, and comedy shows to businesses and organizations using improvisation. Some of her most requested programs are on the topics of team building, communication, sales, persuasion, leadership, medical communications, and creativity.
shana@merlin-works.com

Rob Milman headshot

Rob Milman, M.D.

Senior Clinical Advisor
Center for Health Communication

Rob Milman, MD is a retired radiologist and has a deep interest in promoting effective health communication. He received advanced health communication training from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. Dr. Milman is the Medical Communication Coordinator for Merlin Works, an applied improv company in Austin, TX. Dr. Milman holds additional academic appointments with the Texas A&M College of Medicine, UT Austin School of Nursing, and the University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston School of Medicine. He has given numerous health communication workshops for a wide range of audiences and presents regularly on various topics related to diagnostic imaging, clinical decision support, health communication, medical litigation and risk management.
robert.milman@utexas.edu