Health Communication

  • MET HC 550: US Healthcare System
    This course provides students with basic knowledge of how the health care system in the U.S. is structured, and the policies, stakeholders and complexities impacting access to care, costs, quality and equity among various populations. Drawing on multiple views and opinions, students build on their perspectives as they critically analyze pros and cons of health system fundamentals. Students then apply their knowledge to a series of practical written assignments that help build a strategic plan for improving the health outcomes of an underserved population in their home state. An emphasis is placed on written and oral delivery of final project campaigns.
  • MET HC 559: Health Communication Principles and Strategies
    This foundational course examines and bridges the theory and practice of interpersonal, organizational, mass communication, and digital media relevant to the professional communicator and health practitioner alike. It reviews strategies of persuasion, the relationship between attitudes and health behavior through the lifespan, and the changing nature of health, illness and health delivery in local and global arenas. Students consider how the Social Determinants of Health (where we live, learn, work and play) impact health behaviors and outcomes for diverse populations. Starting with the history of health communication, students gain insight into the evolution of this emerging discipline, from public health education to its broader place in the marketing mix through recent decades. Guided by case studies, research and analysis, students explore the health communication cycle and strategic planning process using frames, channels and tools best suited for reaching behavioral, social, and organizational objectives. The course shifts from theoretical to practical, giving students hands-on experience developing a strategic health communication campaign that considers culture, age, gender and health literacy, to effectively -- and measurably -- influence health outcomes for its intended audience.
  • MET HC 560: Research Methods for Health Communication
    There is a growing demand for professionals with the skills to collect, analyze and interpret data. This course prepares students with essential knowledge of primary research methods, and how to apply them -- accurately and ethically -- to the practice of health communication. Beginning with the basics of research design and evaluation, the course progresses through qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, survey design, descriptive statistics, focus groups and other approaches, with the goal of helping health communication professionals create meaningful, data- driven strategies, stories and content. Students will practice analyzing, interpreting and writing about various health studies presented throughout the course. Also emphasized is the application of research to advertising messaging and public relations strategies.
  • MET HC 561: Writing for Health
    Clear and concise writing is arguably the most fundamental tool in the health communicator's toolbox. Effectively communicating knowledge, methods, language and terminology from the complex fields of health, science and medicine -- and writing about them plainly -- requires an advanced command of language, and proficient use of health literacy principles. If writing does not come naturally to you, this course will introduce you to those health literacy principles, as well as formats and processes for developing materials with confidence. If you're a more experienced writer, get ready to hone your skills using best practices for creating various kinds of health content. Throughout the course you'll analyze different audience needs and refine writing strategies, style, voice, and vocabulary to accommodate each audience. You'll also practice and further develop essential writing qualities, including clarity and brevity, alongside advanced grammar, sentence structure and writing mechanics. Along the way you'll practice writing, revising, and editing clear, accurate, audience-appropriate content that includes: * Journalistic news reporting * A print brochure to educate patients * Narrative storytelling through a feature story * Writing your own health blog * Scriptwriting a public service announcement for television * Social media writing to promote your content
  • MET HC 651: Epidemiology for Health Communication
    This course is recommended for students who are not Epidemiology concentrators. The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic principles and methods of epidemiology and demonstrate their applicability in the field of public health. A further objective is to provide an introduction to the basic skills needed to critically interpret the epidemiologic literature relevant to public health professionals.
  • MET HC 652: Biology of Disease
    This course, designed for students who have little or no background in the biological sciences, provides a foundation in the biological mechanisms and principles underlying major health problems. Selected health problems are explored from a biological perspective in order to provide fundamental information about infectious and non-infectious agents of disease, disease transmission, biological defense mechanisms, co-evolution of man and microbes, the effects of nutritional deficiency and excess, effects of respiratory exposures, the biology of cancer, aging, and other topics. Each student completing this course should be able to knowledgeably participate in a discussion of related health problems with a basic understanding of the terminology, and the underlying biological mechanisms.
  • MET HC 655: Healthcare Marketing Strategies
    This course provides an in-depth understanding of the essential concepts of marketing and their application to health care. Students gain a working knowledge of marketing tools (such as pricing, promotion, channels, consumer behavior, brand equity, and segmentation) and how to use them. Students build practical applied skills in analyzing marketing problems and developing marketing programs and strategies, with particular attention to health care and its organizational structures, financing, technologies, market demands, laws, and regulations. Students also expand their understanding of the differences and similarities between marketing in for- profit and not-for-profit health care organizations, and they increase their appreciation of the role of data collection, analysis, interpretation, and management in marketing decisions.
  • MET HC 656: Healthcare Public Relations
    Provides an overview of the professional principles and practices in public relations for corporate, governmental, agency and nonprofit organizations. Includes history, organization, and scope of the field; its roots in social science; types of campaigns and programs; and professional ethics. Theories, strategies, and tactics in current practice emphasized and applied to health communication. Explores opportunities and requirements for work in the field. Students will learn to apply the basic public relations campaign planning model and examine public relations specialty practice areas including media relations, community relations, government relations, crisis communication, investor relations and employee communication.
  • MET HC 657: Digital Marketing for Healthcare
    An overview of the theories, practices, and techniques in the dynamic field of interactive marketing communications (IAMC). Students gain an understanding of the strategy and tactics of IAMC and its place in the more comprehensive field of marketing communications. In addition, students review IAMC's relationship to and its effects on society, culture, and the economic system. The course will explore almost all the ways interactive marketing can be practiced via the Internet: historical introduction, dotcom era, basic principles, database marketing, etail, email, search (SEO & SEM/PPC), display advertising, social networking, gaming, mobile, et al.
  • MET HC 658: Media Relations for Healthcare
    Students learn publicity techniques used in mass media communication, including working with daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film and online media. The course will examine the principles and practices of working with mass media ""gatekeepers"" to accomplish campaign objectives as well as strategies and tactics for communicating directly with audiences through new media. Students will develop knowledge and skills related to the production and use of media relations tools with a focus on health communication. Case studies will be employed to understand the challenges and opportunities inherent in working with mass media as well as the special demands and practices associated with crisis communication. The course will also explore the roles of interactive and social media.
  • MET HC 762: Visual Communication in the Digital Health Age
    Over the past two decades, the power of visuals in learning and retention has been increasingly recognized -- attributing as much as 80% of retention to information that is visually communicated. In a recent study, 85% of working professionals agreed that creative thinking is critical for problem solving in their career, and 71% say creative thinking should be taught as a course, like math and science. The efficacy of the use of visual symbols has also been recognized for bridging language barriers in health care settings. This course provides health communication professionals the fundamental principles of design and how these relate to effective communication, particularly in health education and delivery applications. Course lectures and resources will guide students from visual design theory, straight through content creation and measuring effectiveness of visual messaging. Students will explore various media and tools used to create digital images and get hands-on practice in the image editing process. Topics include conceptual design, critical thinking in the creation of practical design, how design relates to industry, human perception and the visual process, and the use of symbols for immediacy and to bridge cultural and literacy divides. In addition to exploring popular digital vehicles for visual storytelling, such as infographics, data visualization, video and mobile, the course will also present real- world challenges, such as ethics and regulations in digital communications, as well as business processes. Course requires access to a smartphone with camera and video capability or a digital camera/video.
  • MET HC 763: Social Media Strategies and Tactics for Healthcare
    The course examines how healthcare organizations are tapping the power of social media to listen, learn, engage and act. This course helps students understand the power and importance of this fundamental shift in communication, and how savvy health care organizations are turning this shift into a strategic advantage. Together, we will examine the impact of the communication technology revolution on the field of health marketing and communication. Through extensive readings, case studies, project assignments, hands-on use of social media and weekly discussions, students will explore the extraordinary health communication challenges and opportunities driven by social media -- as well as the new and daunting problems and threats social media present to healthcare organizations. Students will learn how social media is used in health care and why using it effectively and efficiently has become a necessary skill for many health care professionals. As part of this course, students have the opportunity to earn the Mayo-Hootsuite Social Media Basics Certification, and participate in the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network community.