Attended the AMWA-Southeast Regional meeting. We were fortunate to have a speaker from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Dennis Tolsma, MPH spoke about his career, both with the CDC and Kaiser Permenente to our group of medical writers. I would like to share his principles about health education and communication that he learned through his storied career.
1. Don’t expect just 1 message, brochure, newsletter to do the job
2. Health communication requires multiple messages, channels and times to get your communication across
3. Say it simply, clearly and do it with a professional polish (it’s gotta look good too!)
4. Drive out FEAR (and tough love). Communicating your message through fear tactics and shaming your audience rarely, if ever, works toward real change.
5. Information should be data driven, not just appealing to emotions.
6. PSDA – Plan it, Do it, Study it, Act on it
Our job as health professionals is to be familiar with applied research findings in our fields and translate those findings to the bedside through methods, strategies, and programs.
Thanks to Dennis Tolsma for his wisdom and point of view.