Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science: Using Improv to Communicate with Your Audience in Effective and Engaging Ways (HLOL #176)

The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science is located at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY. As stated on its website, The Alda Center “empowers scientists and health professionals to communicate complex topics in clear, vivid, and engaging ways.”

Laura Lindenfeld, PhD, is Director of the Alda Center and Professor in Stony Brook’s School of Journalism. As a communication researcher, Lindenfeld helps scientists communicate in direct and engaging ways. Her goal is to advance meaningful, productive interactions with communities, stakeholders, and decision-makers by strengthening linkages between knowledge and action.

Susmita Pati, MD, MPH, is Chief Medical Program Advisor at the Alda Center. She not only is a practicing pediatrician but also a nationally-recognized expert in population health analytics, innovation, and system transformation. Pati knows well how important clear communication is to everyone in healthcare including patients, parents, physicians, and other clinicians.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Laura Lindenfeld and Susmita Pati about:

  • Alan Alda, and why he founded The Center for Communicating Science.
  • What improv is. And how this acting technique can help scientists and health professionals better communicate spoken and written messages.
  • How empathy, listening, sharing stories, being fully present, and other such skills help build connections with colleagues and the audience.
  • Ways these skills also help professionals rediscover their passion for this work.

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: 11, 13, 24, 31, 41

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Creating Videos of Patients’ Stories to Inspire and Remind Caregivers About Why Their Work Matters (HLOL #143)

2015 headshotChad Brough is Executive Director of the Office of Patient Experience at Cone Health in Greensboro, NC. While his accomplishments are many, Chad succinctly summarized his work in words he uses as his Twitter profile, “Chad Brough stands for healthcare that is more compassionate, less complicated, more affordable, and more predictable.”

In this podcast, Chad Brough talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How patients’ stories help inspire caregivers about the importance of caregiving.
  • Why patients so willingly share their stories as a way to give back and say thanks.
  • Good, better, and best ways to help tell patients’ stories. From reading heartfelt letters, to sharing family photos, to producing videotaped stories.
  • Recommendations, lessons learned, and stories about storytelling in healthcare.

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: 4, 13, 27, 31, 33, 40, 41.

Read the written podcast transcript.

Power of Stories in Patient and Family-Centered Care (HLOL #72)

Marlene Fondrick helps patients share their stories as a way to advance the practice of patient and family-centered care. This work builds on Fondrick’s clinical and administrative experiences as a nurse and hospital vice president. Fondrick adds to this mix her perspective as grandmother of a young child who was diagnosed with cancer.

In this podcast, Marlene Fondrick talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The power of stories in patient- and family-centered care.
  • Examples of real-life stories that have made a difference in patient care.
  • Ways to help patients share their stories, including the most important questions to ask.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. Available at http://www.ipfcc.org/
  • Crocker L, Johnson B, Privileged Presence: Personal Stories of Connection in Health Care. 2006, Bull Publishing Company.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words…Tool of Change: Telling and Listening to Stories,” On Call, October 16, 2008. Available at http://healthliteracy.com/telling-stories

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 11, 31, 41.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Folktales as Tools for Healing (HLOL #37)

Wendy Welch PhD is a folklorist and storyteller. She is on the faculty of the Healthy Appalachia Institute and teaches Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Wendy has served on the Board of Directors for the US National Storytelling Network and was on the National Storytelling Board in the UK.

Beyond these many professional achievements, Wendy co-owns a used bookstore, tours as storytelling performer and instructor, and is an accomplished craftswoman. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about using folktales, personal stories, fairy tales, and urban legends as tools for healing. Topics include:

  • Using folktales with people of all ages, abilities, and cultures.
  • Using folktales to motivate behavior change.
  • Using folktales in community based participatory research.
  • Using folktales in your practice and getting more involved with research.

More ways to learn:

  • Wendy Welch welcomes hearing your story about using folktales as tools for healing. You can email Wendy directly at wow6n@uvawise.edu
  • Healthy Appalachia Institute, http://www.uvawise.edu/health
  • National Storytelling Network, http://www.storynet.org
  • Osborne, H “In other words…Tools of change: Telling and listening to stories,” On Call magazine, October 16, 2008. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=8051
  • Pantheon and Dolch are publishing houses that do and did (respectively) collections of fairy tales and multicultural folktales. Welch advises that if you find collections from either publisher (at a second-hand bookstore, perhaps) then you can rest assured they will be good.

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

Teachable Moments: Using Celebrity to Teach About Health (HLOL #32)

Michele Berman, MD is a pediatrician who has practiced in hospitals and pediatric centers across the United States. She also has authored numerous articles, many of them about the practical side of parenting.  But now Dr. Berman is taking on a new role as Managing Partner and Chief Medical Officer of the website, Celebrity Diagnosis.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about ways to make the most of teachable moments and use celebrity news to teach about health.

Topics include:

  • How “teachable moments” provide context for new learning
  • Why and how this website connects celebrity with health
  • Lessons learned that all health communicators can apply

More Ways to Learn:

Why Health Literacy Matters: A Podcast with Many Voices (HLOL #26)

HLMonth1October is Health Literacy Month. This is the 11th year that advocates everywhere are raising awareness about health literacy and ways to improve understanding. This year, we decided to focus on stories – stories about why health literacy matters to healthcare providers, policy makers, researchers, educators, students, patients, families, and all others who care about health.

In this special edition podcast, you will hear six people share their stories about why health literacy matters. I recorded this podcast in May when I was giving a workshop at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s (or IHA) 8th Annual Health Literacy Conference.

This is the second of two Health Literacy Month podcasts. In this one, you will hear from:

  • Arthur Culbert, Health Literacy Missouri Foundation
  • Stacy Bailey, Northwestern University
  • Mary Ann Abrams MD, Iowa Health System
  • Roberta Dickman, Advocate Healthcare Lutheran General
  • Gloria Mayer, Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA)

More ways to learn:

  • Health Literacy Month website. Thanks to a team of remarkable volunteers and amazing authors, each day in October there are one or more health literacy stories posted at www.healthliteracymonth.org.
  • Health Literacy Out Loud. Hear interviews with those in-the-know about health literacy by going to www.healthliteracymonth.org
  • Health Literacy Consulting. Find out more about Helen Osborne’s work and background by going to www.healthliteracy.com
  • Institute for Healthcare Advancement. Find out about this organization and its upcoming health literacy conference by going to www.iha4health.org

Teaching & Singing About Health in South Africa (HLOL #25)

On a recent trip to Indermark (a village in Northern South Africa), I was privileged to talk with a group of community healthcare workers. They shared ways of teaching about health and nutrition. Two workers sang health songs they wrote. In this podcast you will hear them sing these songs in English, Zulu, and the native language Sepedi.

Here are photos of them listening to this recording:
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Why Health Literacy Matters: A Podcast with Many Voices (HLOL #23)

October is Health Literacy Month. This is the 11th year that advocates everywhere are raising awareness about health literacy and ways to improve understanding. This year, we decided to focus on stories – stories about why health literacy matters to healthcare providers, policy makers, researchers, educators, students, patients, families, and all others who care about health.

In this special edition podcast, you will hear five people share their stories about why health literacy matters. I recorded these in May 2009 when I was giving a workshop at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s (or IHA) 8th Annual Health Literacy Conference.

This is the first of two Health Literacy Month podcasts. In this one, you will hear from:

  • Michael Villaire, Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA)
  • Cindy Brach, AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
  • Michael Wolf PhD, Northwestern University
  • Beccah Rothschild, Health Research to Action at UC Berkeley
  • Jutta Ulrich, Health Guide America

More ways to learn:

  • Health Literacy Month website. Thanks to a team of remarkable volunteers and amazing authors, each day in October there are one or more health literacy stories posted at www.healthliteracymonth.org.
  • Health Literacy Out Loud. Hear interviews with those in-the-know about health literacy by going to www.healthliteracymonth.org
  • Health Literacy Consulting. Find out more about Helen Osborne’s work and background by going to www.healthliteracy.com
  • Institute for Healthcare Advancement. Find out about this organization and its upcoming health literacy conference by going to www.iha4health.org

Selina Maphorogo Talks About Community Health Education in South Africa (HLOL #20)

Selina Maphorogo has been a community health worker in Northern South Africa for many years. She recently retired from the Elim Care Group Project where she worked with health professionals, volunteers, and community leaders to help eradicate the blinding eye disease trachoma.

Selina is recognized for her outstanding work. In 1996, she received the Community Builder of the Year award. In 1997, she was a finalist for the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights.

I first learned about Selina when reading the book, The Community Is My University: A Voice from the Grass Roots on Rural Health and Development. On a recent trip to South Africa, I had the privilege of speaking with her and recording this podcast.

In this podcast she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What trachoma is and how it is passed from one person to another.
  • Strategies to educate a community about disease prevention.
  • Using song, dance, role-play and other ways to teach about health.

 

More Ways to Learn:

Read a transcript of this podcast.

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