Program Income: Advancing Health Communication Research through the KCHC-DCHC Conference Series

Grants and Contracts Details


This R13 renewal application requests support to continue the high level Kentucky Conference on Health Communication (KCHC)—District of Columbia Health Communication (DCHC) scientific health communication conference series. The overall goal of the annual KCHC-DCHC conference series is to promote health communication research and practice in order to advance our understanding of behavioral and communication science; such advanced understanding will, through translational research, subsequently enhance the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote health and prevent illness. The specific aims, which have evolved based on our experience over the past five years of the conference grant, are to expand the impact of KCHC-DCHC through 1) enhancing dissemination by publishing more formal conference proceedings online and expanding our social media presence; 2) increasing participation by early career scientists, graduate students, and underrepresented groups through targeted recruitment and reduced registration rates for students; 3) enhancing training by building in mentoring sessions with senior scholars; 4) increasing innovation by scheduling special interactive sessions focused on partnered initiatives with AACH; 5) increasing international impact through opportunities for discussion built into conference programming and increased promotion in international arenas; 6) continuing emphasis on scholarly excellence by inviting distinguished speakers and making scholarly awards. Across all six aims, our goal is to positively influence the field of health communication and increase its impact by enhancing dissemination of leading research and promoting the career development of early career scientists, particularly those from underrepresented groups. This emphasis on health message design and dissemination is relevant to the mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) given our goal to apply our knowledge “to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability”.1 This scientific focus is consistent with the aims of the U.S. government, which has recognized the importance of communication in promoting the health and well-being of our nation in its Healthy People publications. Our three-day international, interdisciplinary conference encompasses several disciplines representing communication, social, behavioral, and health sciences. Topics addressed at the conference include interventions designed for health risk behavior reduction in areas such as cancer, diabetes, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS; community, media, and technology-related issues; and methodological issues in behavioral/social science research. Such health communication-focused inquiry is now recognized as instrumental in promoting public health.3 Past conference attendance has averaged approximately 250 participants. The audience primarily includes graduate, postdoctoral, and academic faculty researchers, although the conference also attracts healthcare practitioners, clinical researchers, and government officials; we emphasize participation by graduate students and early career scientists. This audience composition allows the conference series to support one of NIH’s goals: “to develop, maintain, and renew scientific human…resources that will ensure the Nation’s capability to prevent disease.”1
Effective start/end date4/19/123/31/23


  • National Cancer Institute: $49,010.00


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