Online Program

Research-based Messaging and Communications to Engage the Public on Health and Climate

Monday, November 2, 2015

Caroline Hodge, B.A. Psychology, Stanford University, Research Division, ecoaAmerica, San Francisco, CA
Jennifer Tabola, M.Ed., Harvard University, Climate for Health, ecoAmerica, Washington DC, DC
At this point, many public health professionals have an understanding of the health-related impacts of climate change likely to occur not only across the United States, but also within regions and very specific communities. Now, they are tasked with the challenge of implementing policies and plans that will protect and prepare local communities for these changes. While public health officials can create structures and systems to facilitate protection and preparation, successfully operationalizing these plans will require action on the part of individuals and community members. This means that public health officials need to be able to effectively reach, communicate with and educate their communities about the health impacts of climate change and the steps they can take in their own lives to prepare for them and protect their health.

This presentation will equip public health leaders with the know-how and research-based messaging they need to effectively engage communities on the critical links between climate change and health. Providing the latest health and climate messaging findings, this research was jointly conducted in 2015 by ecoAmerica, a national nonprofit, and Lake Research Partners, a nationally-recognized political polling and strategy firm. A coalition of nationally-renowned health, public health and healthcare leaders and organizations including APHA, CDC, the Trust for Public Health and others, informed the research. The research methodology included a suite of research methods, such as focus groups, online dial tests, and traditional phone polling, to develop and test messages that effectively communicate about climate change, climate impacts, climate solutions, and the relationship between climate change and health. Presenters will share top-line thematic findings, as well as specific words, phrases, and talking points that public health professionals and advocates can use to successfully connect with local communities, policymakers, and the general public, to more effectively engage them in protecting their health.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe Differentiate

Keyword(s): Climate and Health, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I authored an honors thesis on climate and environmental messaging in Stanford’s psychology department that was awarded the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Research. I have co-authored and served as research manager for several large scale research projects at the nexus of climate change and social science, including, “Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication” and “Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change."
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.