Making Health Communication Strategies Work for Your Program

Course Overview


Welcome to Making Health Communication Strategies Work for Your Program. This course, led by instructors from CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT), was first introduced at The Institute, a nationwide conference for state-level public health professionals held in Atlanta, Georgia. The in-person course has been adapted into easy-to-navigate online modules, complete with video, handouts, and useful tools and information. This course can be viewed in its entirety, or one module at a time, at your convenience. You can apply what you learn in the course to what’s happening in your state and get real-time feedback from the course instructors through an interactive online community. It takes about three hours to view the entire course, but it may take more time if you choose to complete the activities and get real-time feedback through the online community. We hope you enjoy this dynamic experience!

Course Introduction

What do you think of when you hear “health communication”? Media campaigns? Working with the news media? Brochures? Health communication is much more. Done well, health communication is both a creative and a scientific process that motivates individuals, influences health care systems, and impacts policy and environmental change.

This course will give you a framework for planning and evaluating your health communication activities that is grounded in the day-to-day realities of public health program work. While diabetes prevention and control examples are used in this course, the concepts that are covered apply to health communication for any program. After completing this course you will be familiar with the skills, knowledge and resources needed to implement effective health communication strategies in all of your work.

Topics Covered:

Course Objectives

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

Before You Begin

Course Prework

Before beginning this course, please review the Needs Assessment. This will help you understand your current needs, knowledge, and skills related to planning and implementing health communication activities. It will also give you the chance to explore with your stakeholders the challenges and opportunities related to health communication. As you go through the course, the needs assessment will provide context to your work and help you focus on the content that will be most relevant to you.

Get Connected

You don’t have to take this course alone! Join other public health professionals who are taking the course by joining the online community Making Health Communication Plans Work for Your Program in phConnect. This online community provides tools, resources, activities and support as you complete this online course. After watching each module, you will be asked to log onto phConnect to complete an activity using a problem from your own state or from the case study. You will also find a summary of key points for each module and discussion questions. The course instructor and community moderator, Alexis Williams, will review and respond to all posts, so this is you opportunity to ask questions and get input on how these concepts apply to your state. You can post your plans, materials, and activities for feedback anytime during or after the course, and the site is updated often with new tools and resources.

How to Join phConnect

Step 1: Join phConnect. Click here for instructions. [It can take up to 24 hours to get access to phConnect, so be sure to do this right away. You may want to begin watching the modules below while you wait to be granted access.]

Step 2: Once you have access to phConnect, join the community Making Health Communication Plans Work for Your Program. Take a couple of minutes to explore the community. On the lower right hand side of the page you will see links to a case study, information on social media best practices, and pages for each of the five course modules. You'll also notice on the bottom of the page a community discussion board where you can post comments and questions.

Step 3: After you complete each module below, re-visit the community for a summary of key points, supplementary resources, and an opportunity to discuss the modules with peers and the instructor. You will also be able to complete an activity to apply what you learned.

For questions about navigating this course, including joining the phConnect community, please contact


Begin the Course

Course Modules

To view a module, click on the first link in each blue box below. The module will begin playing in a separate window. You may want to download the handouts prior to viewing each module. Once you have viewed a module, return to this main page to continue to the next module or to visit phConnect.