The 6th Annual National Summit for Health Communication

June 14th, 2022

 Watch recordings from the Summit here!


The 6th Annual National Summit for Health Communication will take place virtually and on-site on June 14, 2022 and we will be partnering with the UT-Austin Center for Health Communication Health Communication Leadership Institute.

We are excited to feature solution-based discussions, best practice sharing across industries, practical applications for health communication professionals, and explore important and emerging topics including big data, health equity and the intersection of public health and climate change.



Moody College of Communications 
The G. B. Dealey Center for New Media 
University of Texas at Austin
300 W Dean Keeton St, Austin, TX 78712

Additional location information can be found here


All times are Central.

Monday, June 13

7:00 – 8:00 PM  Society for Health Communication Networking Event [onsite session only]
Acre 41 - The Otis Hotel (1901 San Antonio St, Austin, TX)

Tuesday, June 14



  • Michael Grela, President, Society for Health Communication; EVP, Head of Reputation & Social Impact, Evoke KYNE

9:15 – 10:15 AM PANEL DISCUSSION: Improving Mental Health and Resiliency in the Age of COVID
As we battle the ongoing effects of a years-long global pandemic, we will discuss new strategies, tactics and programs aimed at improving individual and community mental health and equitably building resiliency through better health.

  • Moderator: Jennifer Bishop, ScD, Director, Division of Health Promotion & Communication, Office of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • Panelists:
    • Jennifer Berktold, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, NORC at the University of Chicago
    • Thomas Dang, Deans Scholar, Global Researcher, The University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2023
    • Tarun Galagali, MBA, Founder, Mandala; formerly Talkspace and Google

10:15 – 10:30 AM BREAK

10:30 – 11:30 AM KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Amy McGeady, PhD, CEO, It's Time Texas
Dr. McGeady, an award-winning social scientist, will discuss the organization’s mission to create a culture of health and how their innovative approach to partnership-building has helped raise knowledge, awareness, beliefs and behaviors about health, especially among historically marginalized communities.

  • It's Time Texas: A Nonprofit's Unique & Innovative Approach to Building a Culture of Health in Texas

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Networking Lunch [onsite session only]

12:30 – 1:30 PM PANEL DISCUSSION: Coming Back from COVID: How Do We Rebuild Trust in Health Communication? [onsite session only]
Through an interactive panel discussion and think tank breakout sessions we will work to determine how our field regains trust, working through tangible suggestions from leaders in a variety of industries with unique perspectives.

  • Moderator: Shelly Spöeth, Principal Associate, Abt Associates; Member-at-Large, Society for Health Communication
  • Panelists: 
    • Jay Bernhardt, PhD, Professor and Dean, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin; Founder, Society for Health Communication
    • Matthew McCurdy, MPH, Co-Founder, BLKHLTH
    • Darcy Sawatzki, MA, EVP, Head of Public Health, Evoke KYNE

1:30 – 2:15 PM THINK TANK BREAKOUT SESSION [onsite session only]

2:15 – 2:30 PM BREAK

Each talk will serve as a brief case study of how communication professionals have addressed diversity, equity and inclusion in their work.

Introduction: Erin Norvell, Digital Director, CDC Foundation

  • Bisma Anwar, LMHC, Talkspace (virtual)
  • Tamara Maze Gallman, Founder and Executive Director, Disability Partners

Reflections: Ashani Johnson-Turbes, PhD, Vice President, Society of Health Communication; Vice President & Director, Center for Health Equity Research, NORC at the University of Chicago

3:15 – 4:15 PM PANEL DISCUSSION: Big Data in Public Health: Using Big Data to Promote Health Equity
The panel will discuss the current and future use of “big data” and data science. Topics include understanding socio-political issues and their impact on health disparities; promoting health knowledge and awareness to advance equity and catalyze social change to promote health and wellbeing; and innovating and providing insights for communication campaigns/interventions to promote health for historically marginalized people and communities.

  • Moderator: Ashani Johnson-Turbes, PhD, Vice President, Society for Health Communication; Vice President & Director, Center for Health Equity Research, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Panelists:
    • Tanya Balsky, MPP, Senior Manager, Government & Public Services, Deloitte
    • Heather Cole-Lewis, PhD, Clinical Scientist, Health Equity, Google
    • Anjum Khurshid, MD, PhD, Co-Chief, Health Informatics, Data Science and Epidemiology Divison, Department of Population Health and Inaugural Director of Data Integration at Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin


  • Shelly Spöeth, Member-at-Large, Society for Health Communication

5:00 – 7:00 PM Networking with Health Communication Leadership Institute Attendees [onsite session only]
University of Texas Club (2108 Robert Dedman Dr., Austin, TX)


Events listed in bold are for onsite attendees only.

About the Event


To register for the Summit, click here.

  • Virtual $75
  • On-site $200

Hotel information

The Hampton Inn & Suites Austin at The University/Capital is the official hotel for the Summit.

Complete information on Summit hotel recommendations can be found here.


Summit Sponsorship

Sponsorship allows you visibility to our 4,000+ members and an expanded opportunity for branding. In addition to the benefits listed, sponsorship also includes free registration for up to five people in your organization based on the sponsorship level.

1 free registration

Advocate- level               
3 free registrations

5 free registrations

For more information on sponsorship, click here.


Who Should Attend

We welcome anyone working in or dedicated to the field of health communication. Our mission is to bridge the gap between public health, healthcare, digital health, academia, and research. If you work in communications, behavior change, health literacy, or related fields, we want to engage with you at Summit!

What Our Attendees Had to Say

We asked participants at past Summits to describe the benefits of attending, and here's a small sampling of what they had to say:

  • “Collaboration and new ideas generated – fantastic day!”
  • “Hearing about the variety of topics and diversity of sectors.”
  • “It’s a candid approach to the challenges facing the field.”
  • “Opportunity to hear the issues that others are concerned with.”
  • “It was inspiring to see people from so many areas come together and share their passion for HCOM.”

Email Us with Questions

Email us at [email protected] if you have questions about the event. Follow us on Twitter @healthcommsoc for updates. We hope to see you at the Summit!