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CDC Reports Target Time-Strapped Healthcare Leaders

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, April 20, 2011

The CDC's Healthy Communities Program has released "Research to Practice:  Building Our Understanding," a series of reports that focus on health communication practices.

Community and rural hospital executives are among the intended audiences for the reports that aim to help hospitals and health systems improve their organizations.

Stephanie Sargent Weaver, PhD, MPH, CHES, senior evaluator for the Healthy Communities program, designed the tools as quick, how-to guides for health leaders who might not have the time or resources to do a lot of research. Instead, she did the research for them, compiling information from expert interviews, marketing and communication research, and CDC-licensed consumer databases.

"I started with the premise that people are extremely busy," she said in an interview. "So if they don't have the time or they don't have the resources here it is: a one-stop-shop."

The first four reports, which are available now, address topics ranging the most effective ways to communicate with the Hispanic and Latino communities to helping users apply effective evaluation strategies.

"For example, there are two [reports] out right now that are focused on evaluation," Weaver said. "[They] could suggest ways that the hospital executive could look at a certain area within the hospital and use these use these strategies or steps to conduct a review and find out what's working and what's not, hopefully with the intention that they would use the results to help improve the system."

In addition, Weaver said there's another report that's due for release which deals with people living in different geographic regions, specifically rural communities. One of the topics covered includes how rural communities get information and the best ways to communicate with them. For example, rather than using social media channels or the media, which might work well in more urban locations, rural communities tend to respond better to information from trusted community leaders.

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