Merrill Clark – Independent Project

Merrill Clark – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

Unconsciously, every single American benefits daily from public health organizations, unbeknownst to many, public health initiatives are an integral aspect of maintaining national security and ensuring effective healthcare both publically and privately. Public health encompasses projects regarding preventative medicine, epidemiology, education and crisis control; The common thread encompassing all of this collaborative fields and projects is communication. Crafting an educated, invested public is essential to creating and maintaining an encompassing, effective healthcare system overall, and communication is the key to achieving this. To aid in advancing this emphasis on communication in healthcare, our US Military has created the Army Public Health Center’s Risk Communication (APHCRC) program. APHCRC is crucial in facilitating avid, effective communication between providers and the public, particularly in regards to responding to and preventing situations which pose a health risk to the public, be it chronic or crisis based. The work of this program trains and consults with providers, crafting a solution to the confusion and misinformation regarding communication in public health, helping our nation as a whole to achieve the “presiding goal” of establishing an “ethical art and technique for effective delivery of information [in healthcare]” (Ratzan, 2001).

Project Description

Understanding the vital importance which APH and APHCRC play in progressing health care initiatives and even creating new ones, I chose to work with the Army Public Health Center’s Risk Communication (APHCRC) program for my Capstone Biomedical Sciences Project. Within this experience I partnered with Andrea Clark, a Health Risk Communicator at the program. In our time together we reviewed the curriculum and supplementary materials Mrs. Clark uses when teaching her primary course Risk Communication: Critical Skills for Any Issue That Impacts Your Mission to health care providers and other subject matter experts within the US Military’s Health and Sciences Programs; poignant and concise the course educates providers on communication skills in risk situations. Additionally, Mrs. Clark reviewed materials with me from personal consultations conducted for providers in crisis situations. These involve editing and providing communications from providers to the public in high risk situations. I reviewed films from town halls Mrs. Clark was instrumental in creating, media releases and supplementary handouts (infographics and fact sheets) Mrs. Clark edited or created. Throughout my time I noticed that there are many consultations Mrs. Clark and others cannot aid in because they are committed to providing education courses to installations, which clearly puts strain on the program as a whole, leaving providers without the program’s expertise. To address this issue I converted Mrs. Clark’s primary course into an online format which provides an affordable, accessible, and digestible alternative education method to Military throughout the US and possibly even those who are deployed outside Mrs. Clark’s travel area. Not only will this course reach more individuals, it will clear the communicators’ schedules so that their expertise can be more efficiently utilized, effectively increasing literacy on communication within the US Military as a whole.

Experience Description

Overall, defining Risk Communication simplistically as a scientific method of communication during risk situations pays no credit to just how critical it is in the healthcare system… paying an active mind to communication eases every other aspect of healthcare. Mrs. Clark illuminated this vividly to me when shadowing. Not only does communication serve the provider when interacting with the public, but within healthcare systems “stakeholder participation” is the “most effective” (Army Public Health Center Risk Communication’s Branch, 2015) way to promote more dynamic, efficient interactions within departments throughout healthcare systems. Basically, Risk Communication can be used throughout professional interactions as well, making health care systems run more efficiently, making sure that all employees are aware of priorities and concerns within the system. Understanding what responsibilities the provider has to others and which responsibilities others should fulfill for them creates accountability and a more adaptive bureaucratic structure within the system, which is ideal in the ever-changing environments of health care. Flexible structure within healthcare also indirectly contributes to transparency and effective education in regards to the public because, “Once an organization is locked on a course of action, participation opportunities dwindle to those that will educate the audience” (Army Public Health Center Risk Communication’s Branch, 2015). In other words, always maintaining flexible, consistent communication with various stakeholders in the system creates opprotunities for them to aid in educating and assisting in times of need throughout different initiatives of healthcare systems. I never considered this more structural application of Risk Communication, assuming that communication training was geared towards only benefiting the public I did not realize the translation of these skill to professional relationships would so easily contribute to more efficient organization and execution within health care systems.

 

Also extremely beneficial to the efficiency of health care system is Risk Communication’s emphasis on dialogue which seeks to prevent future risks to the public. I assumed that Risk Communication would emphasize only communicating to combat the potential for panic that crisis-fueled risks induce, but to my surprise, much of Risk Communication involves communication on chronic risks as well, in effort to prevent crisis-based risks from ever occurring. These efforts range from public announcements and town halls on vaccination advocacy, sexual education, and general infectious disease prevention information.

 

This process of educating the public using preventative education is described by Mrs. Clark as:

a very difficult stage to achieve, mostly because it is very difficult for individuals and organizations to adopt new decision-making approaches. There is also a mindset within organizations that they are the experts and that the public is in general not informed enough to be a fully

cooperating partner. (Clark, 2016-2017)

But reaching a stage in communication which has crafted a literate, educated public eliminates time being spent on corrective education and crisis response, creating a cycle of increasing efficiency in healthcare. The more time allocated to preventative education, the more time is spared correcting crisis, allowing for even more time to be created to initiate new health campaigns, or innovate existing ones, therefore furthering preventative education and building onto the cycle.  This revelation of the importance of preventative but engaging educational communication with the public added new depth to my shadowing experience, now viewing the public as much more relevant to the functioning of the healthcare system, instead of simply consumers of the healthcare system.

Innovation Description

?

+ Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

Unconsciously, every single American benefits daily from public health organizations, unbeknownst to many, public health initiatives are an integral aspect of maintaining national security and ensuring effective healthcare both publically and privately. Public health encompasses projects regarding preventative medicine, epidemiology, education and crisis control; The common thread encompassing all of this collaborative fields and projects is communication. Crafting an educated, invested public is essential to creating and maintaining an encompassing, effective healthcare system overall, and communication is the key to achieving this. To aid in advancing this emphasis on communication in healthcare, our US Military has created the Army Public Health Center’s Risk Communication (APHCRC) program. APHCRC is crucial in facilitating avid, effective communication between providers and the public, particularly in regards to responding to and preventing situations which pose a health risk to the public, be it chronic or crisis based. The work of this program trains and consults with providers, crafting a solution to the confusion and misinformation regarding communication in public health, helping our nation as a whole to achieve the “presiding goal” of establishing an “ethical art and technique for effective delivery of information [in healthcare]” (Ratzan, 2001).

+ Project Overview

Project Description

Understanding the vital importance which APH and APHCRC play in progressing health care initiatives and even creating new ones, I chose to work with the Army Public Health Center’s Risk Communication (APHCRC) program for my Capstone Biomedical Sciences Project. Within this experience I partnered with Andrea Clark, a Health Risk Communicator at the program. In our time together we reviewed the curriculum and supplementary materials Mrs. Clark uses when teaching her primary course Risk Communication: Critical Skills for Any Issue That Impacts Your Mission to health care providers and other subject matter experts within the US Military’s Health and Sciences Programs; poignant and concise the course educates providers on communication skills in risk situations. Additionally, Mrs. Clark reviewed materials with me from personal consultations conducted for providers in crisis situations. These involve editing and providing communications from providers to the public in high risk situations. I reviewed films from town halls Mrs. Clark was instrumental in creating, media releases and supplementary handouts (infographics and fact sheets) Mrs. Clark edited or created. Throughout my time I noticed that there are many consultations Mrs. Clark and others cannot aid in because they are committed to providing education courses to installations, which clearly puts strain on the program as a whole, leaving providers without the program’s expertise. To address this issue I converted Mrs. Clark’s primary course into an online format which provides an affordable, accessible, and digestible alternative education method to Military throughout the US and possibly even those who are deployed outside Mrs. Clark’s travel area. Not only will this course reach more individuals, it will clear the communicators’ schedules so that their expertise can be more efficiently utilized, effectively increasing literacy on communication within the US Military as a whole.

+ Experience

Experience Description

Overall, defining Risk Communication simplistically as a scientific method of communication during risk situations pays no credit to just how critical it is in the healthcare system… paying an active mind to communication eases every other aspect of healthcare. Mrs. Clark illuminated this vividly to me when shadowing. Not only does communication serve the provider when interacting with the public, but within healthcare systems “stakeholder participation” is the “most effective” (Army Public Health Center Risk Communication’s Branch, 2015) way to promote more dynamic, efficient interactions within departments throughout healthcare systems. Basically, Risk Communication can be used throughout professional interactions as well, making health care systems run more efficiently, making sure that all employees are aware of priorities and concerns within the system. Understanding what responsibilities the provider has to others and which responsibilities others should fulfill for them creates accountability and a more adaptive bureaucratic structure within the system, which is ideal in the ever-changing environments of health care. Flexible structure within healthcare also indirectly contributes to transparency and effective education in regards to the public because, “Once an organization is locked on a course of action, participation opportunities dwindle to those that will educate the audience” (Army Public Health Center Risk Communication’s Branch, 2015). In other words, always maintaining flexible, consistent communication with various stakeholders in the system creates opprotunities for them to aid in educating and assisting in times of need throughout different initiatives of healthcare systems. I never considered this more structural application of Risk Communication, assuming that communication training was geared towards only benefiting the public I did not realize the translation of these skill to professional relationships would so easily contribute to more efficient organization and execution within health care systems.

 

Also extremely beneficial to the efficiency of health care system is Risk Communication’s emphasis on dialogue which seeks to prevent future risks to the public. I assumed that Risk Communication would emphasize only communicating to combat the potential for panic that crisis-fueled risks induce, but to my surprise, much of Risk Communication involves communication on chronic risks as well, in effort to prevent crisis-based risks from ever occurring. These efforts range from public announcements and town halls on vaccination advocacy, sexual education, and general infectious disease prevention information.

 

This process of educating the public using preventative education is described by Mrs. Clark as:

a very difficult stage to achieve, mostly because it is very difficult for individuals and organizations to adopt new decision-making approaches. There is also a mindset within organizations that they are the experts and that the public is in general not informed enough to be a fully

cooperating partner. (Clark, 2016-2017)

But reaching a stage in communication which has crafted a literate, educated public eliminates time being spent on corrective education and crisis response, creating a cycle of increasing efficiency in healthcare. The more time allocated to preventative education, the more time is spared correcting crisis, allowing for even more time to be created to initiate new health campaigns, or innovate existing ones, therefore furthering preventative education and building onto the cycle.  This revelation of the importance of preventative but engaging educational communication with the public added new depth to my shadowing experience, now viewing the public as much more relevant to the functioning of the healthcare system, instead of simply consumers of the healthcare system.

+ Innovation

Innovation Description

?

By | 2017-05-12T02:55:56+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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