Communicating to the Public

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Public Communication of Risk in 21st Century: Promises and Challenges

K. Viswanath, PhD
Competency 2.2 – Use principles of crisis and risk communication.

This course addresses the principles of public communication. The goal of the course is to improve one’s ability on how to communicate risk, recognize people’s reactions to risk information, understand the role of social contextual factors in generating and receiving risk information, and recognizing challenges associated with communicating risk in the 21st century. Learning objectives focus on ‘using principles of crisis and risk communication,’ which is competency 2.2 under Communicate and Manage Information.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand what “risk communication” is and how to communicate risk
  2. Recognize how people react to risk information
  3. Understand the role of social contextual factors in generating and receiving risk information
  4. Understand the challenges in communicating risk in the 21st Century

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Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication for Health Educators

This course is dividend into three parts:

Part A: Recognizing Reactions

Danielle Blanch Hartigan, PhD, MPH
Competency 2.2 – Use principles of crisis and risk communication.

This course is designed to present the participant with information on risk communication during emergency situations with a particular emphasis on how a health educator can play an integral role in effectively communicating health messages or preventive measures during a crisis, and what challenges she/he may face. Learning objectives focus on ‘using principles of crisis and risk communication,’ which is competency 2.2 under Communicate and Manage Information.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To define crisis and emergency risk communication
  2. To recognize common emotional, physical, interpersonal and cognitive reactions during emergency and crisis situations

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Part B: Understanding Your Role as a Health Educator

Sarah Massin-Short, MPH
Competency 2.2 – Use principles of crisis and risk communication.

This course is designed to present the participant with information on risk communication during emergency situations with a particular emphasis on how a health educator can play an integral role in effectively communicating health messages or preventive measures during a crisis, and what challenges she/he may face. Learning objectives focus on ‘using principles of crisis and risk communication,’ which is competency 2.2 under Communicate and Manage Information.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To identify the important role of health educators in crisis and emergency risk communication

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Part C: Communicating the Message across Different Segments of the Population

Elena Savoia, MD, MPH
Competency 2.2 – Use principles of crisis and risk communication.

This course is designed to present the participant with information on risk communication during emergency situations with a particular emphasis on how different segments of the population are exposed to and processing the messages.

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Bird Flu Research: Dangerous Information on a Deadly Virus

Competency 2.1 – Manage information related to an emergency.

This Forum event, presented in collaboration with Reuters, examined questions raised by the publication of possibly dangerous information and the security issues faced by labs legitimately working with the Avian Influenza virus. Worries that the data and research being published could lead to a blueprint for a bioweapon or an accidental pandemic have fueled concerns and media attention. During the forum, issues related to the publication of the findings of recent studies and communication to the public were discussed. The Forum experts discussed issues such as national and international security and communication among the scientific community.

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Bath Salts Epidemic in Maine

Shawn Yardley, MS, LSW
Competency 1.3 – Facilitate collaboration with internal and external emergency response partners.

This case study addresses the rampant use of Bath Salts from May through October 2011 and the resulting challenges in Bangor, Maine.  This case study focuses on response efforts to the wide spread use of Bath Salts and the lessons learned about coordination of efforts between public health and public safety.

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Human mobility and the worldwide impact of intentional localized highly pathogenic virus release

Alessandro Vespignani, PhD.
Competency 2.1 – Manage information related to an emergency.

During this presentation Dr. Vespignani  describes the impact of human mobility on an outbreak of smallpox.   He demonstrated that using a large-scale structured metapopulation model to simulate the global spread of smallpox after an intentional release event, index cases and potential outbreaks can occur in different continents even before the detection of the pathogen release. The results could be used in defining contingency plans at the National and International level.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the impact of human mobility
  2. Identify and interpret measures of human mobility

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