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Communicating about public health fraught with challenges

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The healthcare industry in America is a multi-billion dollar behemoth. It’s a high-stakes arena where the quest for newer and better pharmaceuticals collides with government regulation and a relentless profit motive. However, what is sometimes lost in the dialogue is the messaging aimed at helping the patient take charge of their own health.

Dr. Glen Nowak’s is the director of the Grady College Center for Health and Risk Communication at the University of Georgia. He was also director of media relations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, Nowak is a senior communications consultant for the Task Force for Global Health.

Nowak says that health risk communication happens on many levels, from conversations with health care providers to efforts by commercial companies to reach out to consumers. Consumers are bombarded with information and advice, often with more emphasis on benefits than risks.

Dr. Nowak is speaking about health risk communication tonight at Michigan State University as part of the College of Communication Arts and Science Brandt Lecture Series

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