The communication of science, and health policy in particular, to the public is a major policy issue. Examples in diverse settings such as the MMR crisis in the UK, or messaging on the safety of vaccination in the developing world, demonstrate that the dissemination of accurate information on health policy matters is critical to improving population health and well-being. As well as public health messages, governments and health system leaders need to communicate the rationale and need for innovation and change in healthcare delivery models in a dynamic and fast-changing political, social and media environment.
This Forum will examine the role of mass media and social media in societal debate on issues of health policy, and also consider the science of rumors with reference to health and healthcare.
Forum Chair: L Suzanne Suggs, PhD, MS, CHES Associate Professor of Social Marketing and Head of BeCHANGE Research Group, Institute for Public Communication at the Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
L Suzanne Suggs, PhD, MS, CHES, is an Associate Professor of Social Marketing and Head of the BeCHANGE Research Group, Institute for Public Communication at the Università della Svizzera italiana, (USI), Lugano, Switzerland. Her principal research focuses on health behavior social change using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and innovative communication strategies. Her endeavors also relate to how to use this research in order to improve health status, health outcomes, and health policy.
Prior to joining the faculty at USI, she was Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Health Communication, Department of Marketing Communication at Emerson College, and Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. She was formerly Associate Director of Research at HealthMedia (Ann Arbor, Michigan) and worked at the Oregon Center for Applied Science (Eugene, Oregon). She has taught courses in Social Marketing, Health Communication, Research Methods, m-Health, Social Media, Science Communication and Media Skills.
She is a co-founder and board member of the European Social Marketing Association and served on the organizing board for the International Social Marketing Association and is on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Health Communication. She earned her PhD in Health Studies from Texas Woman´s University and a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Evidence-Based Practice Centre, at McMaster University in Ontario.