Health Communication Research and Practice at the Level of Government, Foundations, Public Policy, and NGOs

Authored by: Bradford W. Hesse

The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367488956
eBook ISBN: 9781003043379
Adobe ISBN:


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Public service has the power to transform. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) illustrated this point at the turn of the millennium by declaring to the president of the United States that investment in health communication research and practice constituted an “extraordinary opportunity” for reducing the nation’s burden from cancer. Pursuant to its proclamation, the NCI adopted a strategic framework for transformational impact that would serve as a model for future work in the public sector in the years to come. The framework called for coordinating health communication investments in (a) basic science, (b) intervention research, (c) surveillance research, (d) application and program development, and (e) knowledge synthesis. NCI leaders encouraged transformation in a rapidly changing communication environment by fostering an ethos of transdisciplinarity and comprehensiveness within the field, by taking the lead in nurturing a robust and innovative portfolio of investigator-led research projects, by taking an “open science” approach in connecting the dots in communication surveillance, and by serving as the catalyst for efforts to synthesize findings and set priorities for future funding. Arguably, these efforts have served to transform investments in health communication as a science and—more critically—in directing those efforts toward crucial societal goals.

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