Visual Metaphors: When Words Alone Are Not Enough (HLOL #178)

Alex Thomas MDand Gary Ashwal MA are co-founders of Booster Shot Media. Alex is a board-certified pediatric allergist/immunologist and a cartoonist/illustrator with more than 20 years’ experience. Gary is a health communication specialist and multimedia producer of healthcare content. With 15+ years of creative partnership, Alex and Gary apply their combined experience to produce comic books, animation, and other visual projects to teach people of all ages about complex health topics.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Alex Thomas and Gary Ashwal about:

  • Communicating in non-traditional ways as with comics, animation, and whiteboards
  • Examples of using visual metaphors to help explain complex medical concepts
  • Tips for creating and using visual teaching tools in your healthcare practice

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 14, 16, 25, 28, 31, 38, 42

Read this podcast transcript. 

Talking About Ticks and Other Environmental Health Concerns. (HLOL #173)

Aaron Frechette’s background is in journalism. Starting as a teenager, Frechette has worked in both radio and newspaper as a reporter and editor. He also is experienced in facilitating public forums about issues that affect the community. Frechette now brings this wide array of communication skills to his work at the Rhode Island Department of Health. In this podcast, Aaron Frechette speaks for himself and his views do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.

In this podcast, Aaron Frechette talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why it’s important to talk with the public about ticks and other environmental concerns. And reasons that doing so can be difficult.
  • Effective strategies to communicate environmental health messages–even when the science is hard to understand, issues may be controversial, and resources are limited.
  • Resources to share, build upon, and use in collaboration.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 13, 27

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Using Technology to Share and Communicate the Experience of Illness (HLOL #166)

Pamela Katz Ressler MS, RN, HNB-BC, is the founder of Stress Resources in Concord, Massachusetts, a firm specializing in building resilience for individuals and organizations through connection, communication and compassion. Ressler teaches in the Pain Research, Education and Policy Program at Tufts University, serves on the Executive Board for Medicine X at Stanford University, and speaks about resilience at conferences worldwide. Pam Ressler also is an expert on using social media in healthcare.

In this podcast, Pam Ressler talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How digital communication is helping people connect and share their experience of illness. And why this matters.
  • A rapid evolution from blogs to tweets and online peer-to-peer communities.
  • Ways that these forms of communication help patients make meaning of their illness and recovery, and move toward personalization and action.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 34, 41

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Each Patient’s Information Journey (HLOL #165)

Andy Rosenberg has over 25 years of experience as a political lobbyist, Capitol Hill staffer and former congressional candidate. In 2010, he helped create a health policy and government affairs firm called Thorn Run Partners. More recently, Andy founded a startup company called Reponsum that is developing an innovative educational tool for people with chronic diseases.

In this podcast, Andy Rosenberg talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • While the Internet may first seem like a wealth of information, patients and caregivers can easily get overwhelmed with outdated, non-customized content.
  • Responsum, an upcoming online tool with curated patient education.
  • Lessons learned from mapping patients’ information journeys. Includes 5 stages of patient centered-ness: noticing symptoms, getting a diagnosis, searching and researching, deciding about treatment, and living with a chronic disease.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 5, 13, 32, 34, 39

Read the transcript of this podcast. 

Deconstructing Stigma: A Very Public Multimedia Project about Mental Illness (HLOL #162)

Adriana Bobinchock is the senior director of Public Affairs and Communications for McLean Hospital, the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Bobinchock has worked in healthcare communications for more than 17 years and has a keen interest in educating the public about mental health. In 2016, Bobinchock along with her colleague Scott O’Brien, spearheaded McLean’s national public awareness campaign Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Change a Life.

In this podcast, Adriana Bobinchock talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Deconstructing Stigma. What this project is, why it got started, who’s involved, and how it is helping educate the public about mental illness.
  • Ways this project uses photos, personal stories, statistics, social media, partnerships, and public space to convey a difficult, yet important, health message.
  • Suggestions about ways to create innovative, meaningful educational projects of your own.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 13, 19, 31, 38, 40

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Open Notes: Building Transparency, Trust, and Better Health Outcomes (HLOL #154)

WoodsSusan Woods, MD, MPH, is a seasoned health care and technology executive with broad experience spanning private and public sectors. Dr. Woods not only is a general internist but also consumer informatics expert and Director of Patient Experience for the Connected Care Office at the Veterans Health Administration. Her work focuses on using technology to engage patients and families in health and healthcare. One way is by patients accessing their notes in medical records, otherwise known as Open Notes.

In this podcast, Dr. Susan Woods talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Open Notes, a way for patients to electronically and securely access their own clinical notes thought a patient portal.
  • How Open Notes benefit patients and providers through transparency, trust, and better health outcomes.
  • What to do even if your healthcare system does not yet use Open Notes.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 11, 13, 2736

Read a transcript of this podcast. 

Children, Media, and Positive Health Messaging (HLOL #147)

Dina and friendDina Borzekowski, Ed.D., is the Interim Director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Health Literacy. She also is an international expert on children, media, and health. Borzekowski’s research explores how children and adolescents use media as well as media’s effect on the health and well-being of youth.

In this podcast, Dina Borzekowski talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The intersection of children everywhere with media in its many formats.
  • Research about positive and negative effects of media on children of all ages.
  • Recommendations for developing media messages that can improve children’s lives.
  • Ways professionals and parents can help when it comes to media messages.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Borzekkowski DLG, Cohen JE, “International Reach of Tobacco Marketing Among Young Children,” Pediatrics, Volume 132, Number 4, October 2013.
  • Borzekowski, DLG, “Considering Children and Health Literacy: A Theoretical Approach,” Pediatrics 2009;124;S282.
  • Borzekowski is happy to chat about health literacy or children, media, and health. Feel free to contact her by email at dborzeko@umd.edu

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 13, 17, 40.

Read the transcript for this podcast. 

Health Literacy & New Technology: An App Challenge (HLOL #115)

LierLanghansODPHPTo reach and teach people “where they are,” the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services challenged designers to create a “health literate app” for use on mobile devices (cell phones and tablets). This builds on health content from ODPHP’s consumer-oriented website about prevention, www.healthfinder.gov

This podcast is with the co-leader’s of ODPHP’s Mobile App Challenge:

  • Ellen Langhans (right, in the photo) is the healthfinder.gov Program Manager at ODPHP. Her role is to ensure the use of plain language and health literacy principles in healthfinder.gov along with its outreach and marketing materials.
  • Silje Lier is a Communication Advisor at ODPHP. She manages the outreach community for healthfinder.gov. She also supports outreach for many ODPHP initiatives including Healthy People 2020, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy.

In this podcast, Ellen Langhans and Silje Lier talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • How people use mobile devices to access health information.
  • What ODPHP’s Mobile App Challenge was and how it led to the development of an app that is creative, functional, and consistent with health literacy principles.
  • Good app features to include action-oriented content, longevity (capacity for the app to grow and change), and functions that keep users engaged.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 27, 34, 36.

Read the podcast transcript

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