Health Communication Concentration
Bring Clear Communication to a Complex Industry
Improve Patient Care and Outcomes
Prepare concise, powerful communication to the increasingly complex healthcare industry, where stakes are high, lives may be at risk, and good communication can make the difference. You’ll improve interaction with teams both inside and outside your organization, as well as industry stakeholders, care providers, government agencies, and patients.
Gain Career-Ready Skills
The Health Communication concentration is comprised of 9 credits over 3 courses. By the end of the program you understand specifically how to:
- Identify relevant theories and principles of leadership, organizational communication and data-informed communications planning in a healthcare setting
- Understand how communication can increase team productivity
- Develop comprehensive internal and external healthcare communications plans
- Construct a communications plan to achieve a leadership position in a marketplace
- Advise peers and colleagues as they work through their own communication challenges
- Identify communication strategies to communicate with executives when stakes are high and explain the role of leadership and culture in global strategic communication
Careers in Health Communication
Any organization devoted to health promotion requires solid communicators who can speak simply and clearly about complicated subjects. Overall, healthcare occupations are projected to grow 18 percent by 2026, a rate that's nearly three times the average for all occupations.
The incredible growth rate of the industry amounts to 2.5 million new jobs, mostly due to the baby boomer population living longer, more active lives and requiring healthcare services.1
With a master's in communication focused on health communication, you can tap into this incredible growth without becoming a patient-facing medical professional.
A Health Communications Specialist with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), for instance, is focused on planning, managing and evaluating public health communications and campaigns devoted to disease prevention. The average salary for an CDC HSC is $78,113.2
Examples of other companies requiring Health Communications Specialists include3:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Other government agencies
- Biotech firms
- Medical device manufacturers
- Health insurance companies
- Security companies
- Healthcare publishers
Take these two courses.
This course considers how federal, state, and local policy influence health status and health improvement. Through this course, students gain an understanding of the role of health communication campaigns in health advocacy efforts. To engage their understanding, students will apply an advocacy campaign model to address a relevant health issue.
The healthcare environment is increasingly complex and poses many challenges for communication professionals seeking to improve communication with key health industry stakeholders, including patients, providers, payers, government agencies, and others.
Choose a third course.
Public Health Administration
An introduction to the principles of management as applied to public health organizations, particularly local health departments. Topics include the organization of the U.S. public health system, legal and ethical obligations of public health administrators, the public health workforce and human resource issues, public health budgeting and finance, and leadership in the public health agency. The course is designed to introduce master's level students in public health to the management skills necessary to successfully implement a public health program.
Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior
Coursework examines the theoretical foundations of health behavior. Students explore the development of a conceptual framework for understanding and facilitating behavior enhancement, elimination and/or maintenance in health promotion and education. Topics include current theories regarding health-related behaviors.
Design and Analysis of Public Health Interventions
This course addresses professional competencies in design, implementation, evaluation and diffusion of health interventions in community settings. Program planning paradigms, determinants of health behavior and behavior change strategies serve as a basis for analyzing health interventions.
Fundamentals of Epidemiology
This course is an introduction to epidemiology, the study of the patterns, causes, and impact of disease in populations. Epidemiology comprises an important part of public health and medical surveillance and research, and is a key tool for health policy development. This course will discuss the basic principles and methods of epidemiology, including measurements of disease occurrence and association, study designs, and determination of causality. Contemporary examples will be used to illustrate the application of these concepts.
NOTES AND CONDITIONS - PLEASE READ
1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 April). Healthcare Occupations. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm.
2 Glassdoor (n.d.). Center for Disease Control and Prevention Health Communications Specialist Salaries. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Centers-for-Disease-Control-and-Prevention-Health-Communications-Specialist-Salaries-E14107_D_KO43,75.htm.
3 Glassdoor (n.d.). Salary: Health Communications Specialist. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/health-communications-specialist-salary-SRCH_KO0,32.htm.