Media research shows that, in the United States, minorities use social media as much--if not more--than most for connecting with friends, family and community. On the other hand, health disparities research finds that minorities do not receive the healthcare that they need. Furthermore, they disproportionately suffer from chronic, serious illnesses that impact their quality of life and the future of the US healthcare system. Since social connections play a vital role in patient awareness and maintenance of health, social media seems ripe for helping alleviate some of the health disparity, particularly given its pervasiveness in communities of color. This session will cover current uses of social media toward this end, discuss the problems and potential of these applications, and share opportunities and incentive programs for developers.
Aimee Kendall Roundtree is an Associate Professor in the Professional Writing Program at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she teaches courses in medical and science writing, social media, hypermedia and technology, Web publishing and accessibility, visual design, and technical communication. She also serves as a medical writer and qualitative researcher in the Texas Medical Center. She has participated on research teams at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies. She has served as a scientific investigator for the Houston Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics. She has also covered medical issues and health news as a communications specialist for the Texas Medical Foundation and an assistant editor at Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. Her research and publications examine scientific discursive practices, the impact of new media on communication, patient attitudes on health utilization and health-related quality of life, and the rhetoric of visual design and information technology. She is currently working on a book project about the rhetorical nature of computer simulations and research projects examining health-related applications of Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
Greg Beets is the Public Information Coordinator for the HIV/STD Program at the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin. He is responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of statewide communication and health promotion initiatives for the program, including media campaigns, social marketing initiatives, print- and web-based products and awareness events. Greg is also a freelance writer, regularly contributing to The Austin Chronicle and serving as Austin correspondent and Dallas city editor for Boston-based go2 Media, the mobile web’s largest local entertainment guide. Greg earned a Bachelor of Journalism and an MA in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jen McClure is a communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in all facets of media and communications, and is a recognized expert in the field of social media and new communications. Her career includes work in journalism, market and media research, media relations, public relations, strategic communications, publishing and broadcast media.
She is the founder and president of the Society for New Communications Research, a global, nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank focused on the latest developments in new media and communications and their impact on business, culture and society.
In 2008, Jen helped launch Redwood Collaborative Media, a new media company. She served as the company's CMO until early 2010. Jen co-founded and was CEO of Albrycht McClure & Partners, a strategic communications firm. She managed public relations for Ziff Davis Events and was marketing director for ZD Education Associations. She also worked with Ketchum Public Relations, and was a business reporter for five years in New York. In the early 1990s, she led research and publishing for New Electronic Media Science (NEMS), a media/marketing research and consulting firm, which explored such topics as audience segmentation, HDTV, and interactive media. Jen is a member of the Cisco Learning Network Strategy Committee, an associate member of the Future of Work Network, and member of the Arts and Media Node of the Millennium Project.
She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, earned her masters degree at Stanford University, and a graduate certificate in History, Politics and Society from Oxford University.
Maryland Grier has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She currently manages media and public relations programming, public events and annual reports. Grier also manages special public events and the sponsorship program, which supports community relations, disseminates information through publications and the website, and researches emerging health policy trends. She also provides communications-related technical assistance to the foundation's grantees.
Prior to joining CT Health, Grier held several positions at the Institute for Community Research (ICR) in Hartford, including associate director of the communications office, project director of a federally-funded community-outreach HIV/AIDS prevention research project, and evaluation coordinator for an AIDS prevention education project. She also directed a statewide professional development program for underserved artists and arts organizations. Prior to ICR, she was marketing specialist at the National Alliance of Business in Washington, D.C.
Currently, she devotes the majority of her volunteer time to numerous roles that combine social justice and health, and currently serves as board chair for Zezzo House, a residential facility for those affected by HIV/AIDS and chair of Worldwide Missions Ministry. The 2007 Health Leadership Fellow, also served on the boards of the Central Area Health Education Centers, Connecticut AIDS Action Council, Hartford Interval House, and numerous cultural organizations.
Wen-ying Sylvia Chou, PhD, MPH, is Program Director in the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the NCI, where she oversees a portfolio of research on new media, patient-provider communication, and mixed methods research. As a sociolinguist, she has published analyses of patient-provider interactions, illness narratives, and social media use in the US. She is continuing several multidisciplinary research projects on the role of new and social media on health communication, specifically documenting health-related Internet use across the population. At the NCI, she is leading the effort to develop funding initiatives to examine the changing communication landscape brought on by social/participative media, including implications on health disparities.
Dr. Chou came to the HCIRB from the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the NCI (2007–2010). Information National Trends Survey, patient-provider communication about colorectal cancer screening, cross-cultural communication in survey design. Her doctoral dissertation examines end-of-life discourse through an ethnography and linguistic analysis of interactions between cancer patients and caregivers. She has maintained an active role in community-based organizations, including in the Chinese American community.
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