The 7th Annual National Summit for Health Communication

June 12th and 13th, 2023



The 7th Annual National Summit for Health Communication will take place virtually and on-site on June 12 and 13, 2023. The Society will be partnering with the UT-Austin Center for Health Communication Health Communication Leadership Institute.

This year, we are adding some Pre-Summit workshops to be held on June 12. Summit Sessions will be held on June 13 and feature solution-based discussions, best practice sharing across industries, practical applications for health communication professionals, at The Intersection of Clarity, Creativity and Equity.

Registration will open in early March. Be sure to register early to take advantage of the Early Bird rates. Please be sure to follow us on LinkedIn for the latest updates. 


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


Book a hotel for the National Summit


All times are Central Daylight

Monday, June 12 

1:00 – 2:30 PM Workshops (ON-SITE)

  • Using Theory to Better Craft Health Communications
    • Theories are a useful tool in health communication practice – often serving as the backbone of an intervention or campaign. In this interactive workshop, we’ll review several leading theories that inform health-related message, campaign, and evaluation design, and share real-world examples of their application, both smaller-scale advertising messages and bigger-scale campaigns. Whether you’re new to the field or a seasoned professional, this workshop will help you understand how theories can serve as message design tools to create more effective and persuasive health communication campaigns. During this workshop, participants will:

      • Apply theoretical constructs that are continually supported by evidence to help develop health communication messages or campaigns

      • Gain an understanding of leading behavior change and health communication theories (i.e., the Health Belief Model, the Theory of Planned Behavior, and the Stages of Change or Transtheoretical Model) and suggest how they might be used in practice

    • Daniela DeLuca, 
      Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, 
      University of Texas at Austin

      Glen Nowak, PhD, 
      Co-Director, Center for Health & Risk Communication and Professor, Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication, 
      University of Georgia

  • Say More with Less: How to Apply the Principles of Clear Health Communication to your Work
    • This workshop will focus on how to communicate clearly about complex health topics. Drawing from health literacy best practices and behavior change theory, we’ll explore how to:

      • Write in plain language 

      • Write for equity and inclusion

      • Lead with empathy in health materials 

      • Explain numbers and statistics

      • Apply information design fundamentals

      Participants will have the opportunity to practice applying clear communication principles to real-life scenarios.

      Rachel Pryzby, MPH, CHES, 
      Vice President, 

      Andrea Mongler, MPH, 
      Senior Content Strategist, Content Team Lead, 

3:00 – 5:00 PM Workshop (ON-SITE)

  • Everyday Antiracism: Centering Equity in your Health Communication Practice
    • The purpose of this workshop is to build the capacity of health communications professionals to better understand and address racism within health communications research and practice. During this workshop, participants will learn about: 

      • Where racism operates within dominant approaches to health communications research and practice 

      • What critical perspectives to health communications are and their relevance to countering racism

      • How antiracism approaches can be used in health communications research and practice to advance racial health equity. 

      A guest speaker with critical health communications expertise will also provide real-world examples of the application of antiracism in the field. This workshop will be interactive and solutions-oriented, with participants getting the opportunity to identify strategies for incorporating antiracism practices within their own health communications efforts.

      Matthew McCurdy, MPH
      Co-founder and President

      Khadijah Ameen, MPH
      PhD Candidate

6:00 – 7:30 PM: Society for Health Communication Networking Event, The Moxy, 2552 Guadalupe St. Austin, TX 78705



Tuesday, June 13

  • 8:00 - 9:00 AM: In-person networking breakfast

  • 9:00 - 9:15 AM: Welcome and overview
    • Michael Grela, President, Society for Health Communication, EVP, Head of Reputation & Social Impact, Evoke Kyne

  • 9:15 - 10:00 AM: Keynote: Trends in Health Communication: How They Impact Our Every Day
    • Mary Schwarz, Managing Partner, ICF Next
    • From virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPTto new social platforms, channels and algorithms, to the proliferation of telehealth, how we communicate is constantly evolving. As health communicators, we must adapt and learn to be effective. This session will address the latest trends influencing our work and what they mean to our growing field.

  • 10:00 - 10:15 AM: Break

  • 10:15 - 11:15 AM: Panel Session: Communicating the Value of Public Health: The Role of Storytelling and Framing
    • Throughout the pandemic, public health professionals have been frequently marginalized, villainized, or worse. It’s time to change the narrative. This panel will explore the role of framing, messaging, and storytelling in health communication and how we can use it to advance health equity, uplift underrepresented voices, and shift the public health narrative.

      Moderator: Stacy Robison, MPH, MCHES, President and Co-Founder, Communicate Health, Member-at-Large, Society for Health Communication


      • Jhirma Alexander, MA, President and Executive Director, Public Narrative

      • Mark Miller, Vice President, Communications, de Beaumont Foundation

      • Carmen Valdez, PhD, Associate Professor, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin

  • 11:15 - 11:30 AM: Level Up Learning: The Good, Bad, and Ugly: Effective use of visual design and jargon-free language in communication
    • Michael Grela, President, Society for Health Communication; EVP, Head of Reputation & Social Impact, Evoke Kyne

    • Stacy Robison, MPH, MCHES, Member-at-Large, Society for Health Communication; President & Co-Founder, CommunicateHealth

  • 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Networking Lunch

  • 12:30 - 1:30 PM: Panel Discussion: Misinformation: Where, Why, How, and What’s Next
    • As the COVID-19 pandemic made abundantly clear, misinformation can have serious public health consequences. Identifying evidence-based, effective strategies to combat misinformation is an urgent priority for health communicators. This panel will explore why people believe misinformation, who is most susceptible, where it circulates, and what we can do about it.

      Moderator: TaWanna Berry, MA, Associate Director, Westat


      • Matthew Kreuter, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health, The Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis

      • Jessica Otero Machuca, CHES, Associate Clinical Research Coordinator, Mayo Clinic

      • Lisa Fazio, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology & Human Development, Peabody College of Education & Human Development, Vanderbilt University
  • 1:30 - 2:30 PM: Panel Discussion: What Our Kids Can Teach Us About the Future of Health Communication
    • Today’s teens are the next generation of consumers of health information, and they communicate with each other very differently than with adults. The way they access information, who they believe, and what channels they use all influences our work. This panel will discuss why understanding today’s teens and knowing how to communicate with them is critical to ensuring the future success of many health communication campaigns.  

      Moderator: Shelly Spoeth, Principal Associate, Abt Associates 


      • Melissa Pintor Carnagey, LBSW, Founder and Lead Educator, Sex Positive Families

      • Carrie James, PhD, Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Author, Behind the Screens: What Teens are Facing and Adults are Missing

      • Merve Lapus, Vice President of Outreach & Education Partnerships, Common Sense Education

  • 2:30 - 2:45 PM: Break

  • 2:45 - 3:15 PM: Spotlight Session: Climate Change and Public Health: The Role of Health Communication (virtual presenter)
    • Edward Maibach, PhD, Director, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University, Co-Director, Climate Change in the American Mind Polling Project

      This session will address how health professionals can serve as trusted voices to address the climate crisis. Effective messaging and best practices will be discussed to equip communicators to take on the important role of addressing the intersection of health and climate change.

  • 3:15 - 4:15 PM: Panel Disussion: Not So Strange Bedfellows: Politics, Policy and Public Health
    • In 2020 governments and organizations around the world used health communication to raise awareness, educate, counteract disinformation, and to support political and policy decisions. COVID-19 revealed a cross-sector communication crisis, demonstrating that greater learning and exchange is needed. This panel will discuss what these fields can learn from each other to avoid future missteps (e.g., partisan divides) and protect public health in the future.

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


      • Venice Haynes, PhD, Director US of Care, Adjunct Faculty, Emory University

      • Eduardo Salinas, PhD, Research Scientist, Center for Equity Research, NORC at the University of Chicago

      • Diana Yassanye MSeD, Co-Founder, Parasol Health Consulting
  • 4:15 - 4:30 PM: Reflection and Adjourn

  • 4:00 - 6:00 PM: In-person Networking with the Health Communication Leadership Institute Attendees
    Center for Health Communication
    Jesse H. Jones Communication Center - Building B CMB 3.218

All times are Central.

To view our list of speakers, please click here.



To register, click here.



$ 95


$ 250

Student Onsite

$ 150  



Health Communication Theory Refresher

  $ 75

Health Literacy and Clear Communication

$ 75

How to Center Antiracism in Your Communication Practice

$ 145 



View our list of sponsors.

Summit Sponsorship allows you to connect with today’s health communication professionals. The benefits of sponsorship include: 

  • Enhance your brand and increase market awareness among health communication professionals across many industries.

  • Gain visibility throughout the Annual Summit experience to promote your organization’s brand, products and services.

  • Network with health communication professionals to learn about emerging trends in the field.

  • Experience cutting-edge content from industry experts in a diversity of engaging sessions.

Society Summit sponsorship benefits ensure that your organization is recognized before, during, and after the event. The following levels are available:

Champion - $5,000
Advocate - $2,500
Patron - $1,250

A printable PDF with Sponsorship details can be found here.


Please reach out to Diane Brodalski ([email protected]) for inquiries and additional information.

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.”

Cancellation Policy

Refunds are limited to registration fees paid. To qualify for a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee, written cancellation must be received by the Society for Health Communication registration manager no later than Wednesday, May 24, 2023. No refunds will be given after May 24, 2023. Substitutions may be submitted at any time, but must be submitted to the registration manager in writing at [email protected]

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!