Health With a Capital H
10 Highlights From the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media
August 12, 2011
Contributed by Alexandra Bornkessel
“Let’s be unbelievable,” said Ileana Quintas, CEO of IQ Solutions, as she talked informally with a group of conference attendees. “It’s about the mission, the people—doing good work and making an impact,” she continued as she issued the inspiring challenge—be unbelievable.
But how do we as a field be unbelievable? We can start by “Listening for Change,” which was the theme of the 2011 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media.
In the spirit of listening for change, here are 10 highlights from the event, which drew over 1,000 attendees:
- Hospitals as a source of health are under transformation.
- Data can be fun, interesting, creative, and innovative. Get familiar with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Health Data Initiative.
- There’s a new way to talk about social determinants of health. Speaking of how we talk, storytelling may just be the next big thing…
- Speaking of the next big thing, mobile is here. 35 percent of Americans own smartphones, and Android leads the market. What’s your mobile strategy?
- Projects and programs can scale. For example, Womenshealth.gov took its Best Bones Forever! dance contest national!
- This discussion gets some much needed air time: What challenges and opportunities do state health departments face when it comes to social media? Along these lines, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shares its Public Health Social Media Directory.
- Also new from SAMHSA, the Text 4 Treatment initiative lets people find nearby treatment by simply texting their zip code. This is all part of the agency’s effort to show that behavioral health is essential to health.
- The big three—obesity, tobacco and dietary patterns—were hot topics throughout the event. One success story shared was how Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is going beyond the TV show and into the workplace. How? By applying design thinking to public health.
- The economic situation is taking its toll. Budgets are short. Resources are strained. People are stretched. How are we going to infuse hope and inspiration into a field that faces so many barriers?
- Enter Social enterprise: Businesses that serve more than a bottom line, as a possible solution. Revolution Foods, an organization highlighted during the closing plenary, served as a case in point.
These are just 10 of the highlights gleaned from three days full of exciting insights and ideas for improving public health. The conference was rich with both content and people and served as a catalyst for change.
So—let’s be unbelievable together.
Did you attend the conference? What was a highlight for you?