Mary Ann Abrams
Dr. Mary Ann Abrams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and Primary Care Pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. Through her role as Co-PI for Advancing Health Literacy Franklin County, she seeks to illustrate how health literacy is integral to all dimensions of health and health care and how it is fundamental to quality, safety, and equity. She has led development of tools, resources, and trainings to support organizational health literacy, helping connect the dots between theory and practice.
Jessica S Ancker, MPH, PhD, FACMI is professor of biomedical informatics and vice chair for educational affairs in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Ancker’s research centers on the optimal use of information and information technology to improve decision-making. She has a strong interest in health disparities and health equity. Her research focuses on health numeracy and data communication, health equity, human factors in clinical decision support, and health services research, especially the effect of health information technologies on healthcare quality.
Zahra Aziz is a pre-med junior at Nova Southeastern University majoring in Public Health with a minor in Chemistry. She aspires to become a pediatrician or psychiatrist. Her research interests include minority mental health, substance abuse, religion, and mental health. In her free time, she likes to explore the great outdoors and listen to music.
Dr. Bailey is a health services researcher investigating the definition and measurement of health literacy, its extent and associations with various health outcomes, and the testing of innovative and viable ‘low-literacy’ intervention strategies to help individuals promote, protect, and manage their health. Her research experience and interests extend across various contexts, including disease prevention, medication safety, chronic disease self-management and hospital readmissions. Her work also focuses on the broader theme of health inequalities, especially those experienced by individuals with limited English proficiency.
María José Bastías
María José Bastías is an Ed.D. Educational Leadership candidate at SFSU. The working title of her dissertation is Reclamando Poder y Liderazgo: Meaning-Making and Use of Data for Leadership in Immigrant Latina and Indigenous Women in Community-based Settings. She believes that education must provide immigrant Latina and indigenous women with tools that empower them to question oppressing forces, such as epistemic and gender hierarchies, that prevent them from self-advocating and being agents of change for our communities. Her research seeks to incorporate data literacy and research justice in adult education at the instructional, curricular, and policy-making levels. She believes that developing immigrant Latina and Indigenous women’s language learning, data literacy, and identity around data can impact their leadership and advocacy work in their communities.
Corinne N. Berry
Corinne is a passionate social scientist and advocate for health literacy and equity with over 15 years of experience in applied research and communication consulting. Over the last few years, her research has focused on the science of misinformation, information literacy, and effective communication strategies for addressing misinformation — particularly among those who are vaccine hesitant. Her research has been featured at industry events like CDC’s National Immunization Conference and National Conference for Health Communication, Marketing and Media — and published in the international journal Vaccines.
As VP of Communication and Behavioral Science at CommunicateHealth (CH), Corinne is proud to oversee corporate strategy for thought leadership health literacy initiatives — and she is deeply committed to CH’s mission to improve lives by designing health information that’s easy to understand and use. In her previous role as Director of Research, she led user-experience and mixed-methods research to inform communication campaigns and products with both private- and public-sector clients. Corinne specializes in community-based participatory research methods and rapid message and materials testing — and she’s a RIVA-trained research moderator. She holds a doctorate in communication from George Mason University.
Dr. Bibart is a nurse administrator at a large pediatric academic center. Her clinical background is in providing care for children and adolescents with cancer, severe blood disorders, or undergoing stem cell transplant. She has extensive experience in patient safety, quality improvement, and implementation science. Dr. Bibart’s academic interests include both patient and nurse safety, especially in today’s complex healthcare environment. Leveraging best practices in health literacy aligns with her interests, particularly how improving the quality of nurse education directly impacts patient safety and outcomes.
Timothy W. Bickmore, PhD is a professor in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University. With his interdisciplinary approach to research, Dr. Bickmore concentrates on the intersection of human-computer interaction, natural language processing (dialogue systems), animation, and health/medical/behavioral informatics. His research focuses on the development and evaluation of computer agents that emulate face-to-face interactions between health providers and patients. His emphasis on the emotional and relational aspects of those interactions allows for his research to be suited for use in health education and long-term health behavior change interventions. As the director of the Relational Agents Group, he works with his team to simulate face-to-face counseling with a focus on the relational aspects of those interactions.
Jennifer Anne Bishop
Jennifer Anne Bishop, ScD, MPH currently serves the Director of the Division of Health Promotion and Communication for the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Prior to joining ODPHP, she served as the Director of the Division of Strategic Communications in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. Dr. Bishop has over 20 years of experience working in health communication, health policy, and program evaluation in the federal government. She has experience designing and evaluating health promotion materials for the National Cancer Institute and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Additionally, she served as the multicultural program director for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign at the Office of the National Drug Control Policy, where she oversaw multicultural advertising and outreach, new media initiatives, and partnership initiatives. Dr. Bishop is also an Instructor at the Johns Hopkins University, Zanvyl Krieger Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a Doctorate of Science from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
Samantha earned her MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of South Florida, where she continued on as a Research Manager in the College of Public Health. She also holds a BS in Biochemistry. Her recent work has involved using neuromarketing research techniques to evaluate various health communication materials for topics including COVID-19 vaccination, anti-smoking/vaping, and water safety. She is passionate about studying health disparities, health literacy, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Jill M. Castek
Jill M. Castek (she/her) is a Professor of Literacy, Technology & Bi/multilingual Learners & STEM Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. Dr. Castek has studied digital literacies, online reading comprehension instruction and assessment, researched inquiry learning approaches, and explored critical and compassionate learning-through making in schools and communities. Her teaching explores creative self-expression, in both print and digital forms for learners across the lifespan. Dr. Castek is active in conducting research and implementing health literacy learning supports through partnerships with education and community-based organizations.
Samhita Doranala is a third-year undergraduate student in the Dual Admissions of Osteopathic Medicine Program of Dr. Kiran C. Patel’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (KPCOM) at Nova Southeastern University. Her major is Public Health with minors in Experiential Leadership and Honors Transdisciplinary Studies. She is the Vice President of Physicians to Patients, the Community Service Chair in the Howell-Petrosky Junior Academic Society, and an Undergraduate Representative in the KPCOM’s Engagement Committee. Samhita aims to be involved in pediatrics so she can continue to inspire positive change.
Natalie Erasme is a Research Analyst at the University of South Florida College of Public Health. Natalie began her public health career as a consultant for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit after graduating from Fordham University. She then went on to obtain an MPH from the University of South Florida College of Public Health. Natalie currently capitalizes on her academic background in Sociology and Anthropology, Health Education, and Social Marketing to coordinate culturally appropriate research studies that help underrepresented communities reach improved health outcomes.
Hanne Søberg Finbråten
Hanne Søberg Finbråten is an associate professor and postdoctoral fellow at Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. She is a registered nurse with a Master’s degree in Nutrition, Health and Environmental Sciences (2010) and a PhD in health promoting nursing (2018). Her field of research is health literacy, health communication and psychometrics. She has extensive teaching experience in higher education, mostly within nursing, biosciences, health communication and health literacy.
Cori Gibson, MSN, RN, CNL, is a Safety Specialist and current Director of the Health Literacy Task Force at Children’s Wisconsin. With over 32 years of nursing experience as a leader, educator, and mentor, she has helped teams to recognize the important role health literacy plays in improving healthcare and how to integrate health literacy principles into safety, quality, and evidence-based practice initiatives. She has published and presented at local and national conferences on topics integral to quality and safety for children and families.
Kathy Harris, PhD has been interested in adult learning for more than 20 years, especially adults learning digital skills, and those learning English as a second language. She teaches ESL teacher education pedagogy courses in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University, where she is also the director of the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research group. She conducts trainings and creates professional development materials for adult education teachers in national projects. Her current research focuses on the importance of digital skills and access for adults for purposes of work, health, and education.
Junyi Jessy Li
Junyi Jessy Li is an associate professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are in computational linguistics and natural language processing, focusing on models to enhance discourse comprehension, the automatic summarization and simplification of technical texts, and computational social science. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, as well as awards and recognitions from ACL, ACM SIGSOFT, COLING, and SIGDIAL.
Dr. David Kaufman, PhD, FACMI, holds the position of Associate Professor in the Health Informatics Program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. Trained as a cognitive psychologist, he obtained his doctorate in educational psychology from McGill University. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Kaufman has conducted research in human-computer interaction (HCI) and human factors in healthcare. His expertise lies in conducting cognitive research associated with informatics initiatives, evaluating diverse health information technologies (HIT) tailored for clinicians, patients, and health consumers. Since 1994, he has actively contributed to HCI projects, notably focusing on the assessment of electronic health records (EHR), computer-provider order entry systems, language learning systems designed for medical professionals, and a sizable telemedicine system benefiting patients with diabetes. In more recent years, he has led initiatives concerning EHR-mediated clinical workflows, a telehealth project addressing stroke disparities, and an AHRQ-funded endeavor dedicated to understanding pandemic workflow at a safety-net hospital in Brooklyn. He is also engaged in efforts to understand the spread, receptivity and mitigation of misinformation and disinformation in healthcare. Dr. Kaufman's collaborative efforts have resulted in two co-edited books alongside Drs. Vimla Patel and Thomas Kannampallil: "Cognitive Informatics for Biomedicine: Human Computer Interaction in Healthcare" and "Cognitive Informatics in Health and Biomedicine: Case Studies on Critical Care, Complexity, and Errors."
Alla Keselman, PhD, MA, is Acting Chief of the Office of Engagement and Training (OET), National Library of Medicine (NLM), US National Institutes of Health. She leads OET, which links NLM and NIH biomedical and health information to its users, emphasizing engaging populations and communities that are medically underserved, as well as professionals who serve them. Dr. Keselman holds a PhD in human cognition and learning and an MA in biomedical informatics from Columbia University. In the past, Dr. Keselman coordinated NLM efforts in evaluating the impact of its health information outreach and community engagement programs. She also conducted research into the public’s understanding of complex health concepts, scientific literacy, and the provision of health information outside clinical settings. Jointly with Catherine Arnott Smith, she co-edited "Meeting Health Information Needs Outside of Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges" (2015, Elsevier) and co-wrote "Consumer Health Informatics: Enabling Digital Health for Everyone" (2020, Chapman & Hall). She is also a co-editor of “Combating Online Health Misinformation: A Professional’s Guide to Helping the Public” with Catherine Arnott Smith and Amanda Wilson (2022, Rowman & Littlefield).
Cathy Leslie is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Dr. Leslie’s clinical background as an occupational therapist is in pediatrics in the early intervention setting. Dr. Leslie teaches graduate courses focused on pediatrics, health communication, and research. Her research focuses on the health literacy of healthcare providers, and community-engaged research in pediatric settings.
Brittany is a UX researcher with over 4 years of experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research. She specializes in studying mental models and using data to solve complex problems. With a background in journalism, education, and fashion retail, Brittany blends a human-centered design approach with a deep knowledge of UX best practices.
At CommunicateHealth (CH), Brittany works collaboratively across teams to conduct research with diverse audiences, including focus groups, in-depth interviews, web-based surveys, and usability testing to ensure health information is easy to use and undersatnd. She also uses analytical tools, like Google Analytics and Search Console to evaluate digital products and better understand how users are interacting with them over time. As a natural collaborator, she uses her compromising and mediating skills to navigate through team environments at CH while always having a user-centric focus.
Michael Mackert, Ph.D., is the Director of The University of Texas at Austin Center for Health Communication and Professor in the School of Advertising & Public Relations and Department of Population Health. His research focuses primarily on the strategies that can be used in traditional and new digital media to provide effective health communication to audiences with low health literacy. He leads projects on a variety of public health issues – including tobacco cessation, opioid overdose prevention, and men's role in prenatal health – that generate evidence-based health communication strategies and contribute to health communication scholarship.
Blythe Miller, MPH, is a Plain Language Subject Matter Expert at CommunicateHealth, Inc., a health communication and research company that takes an equity-centered approach to create health information and digital tools that are easy for audiences to understand and use. Blythe is a writer, editor, and content strategist with 18 years of experiencing creating engaging, plain language content on complex public health topics for a variety of audiences. She’s a passionate, mission-driven public health professional committed to using health literacy strategies to work toward health equity. She is a graduate of Ithaca College and holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Dr. Morrison is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician and health literacy researcher, and advocate. She practices Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Banner Health and is CEO and Founder of CommunicateMD. Her vision is to transform healthcare communication to help children and families understand and make decisions about their health, including caring for chronic illnesses, when to seek emergency care, and appropriately dosing medications. Dr. Morrison was previously the Co-Director of the Children’s Wisconsin Health Literacy Task Force, including health literacy project work, document review service, consult service, and new employee orientation. In the former role as medical director, she spearheaded health literacy quality efforts at a systemwide level at Children’s Wisconsin. She now consults organizations on health literacy organizational improvement, reviews medical and research documents for health literacy, and continues to be involved in communication research in population-based, organizational improvement, and teaching medical professionals.
Christi M. Navarro
Christi M. Navarro is an assistant professor in the Public Health department of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Navarro has over 20 years of experience and training in public health, education, research, leadership, and program evaluation. Her research and community engagement focus on promoting mental health and well-being, with a particular emphasis on improving mental health literacy.
Shannon Parma is a Ph.D. student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program of Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine. Shannon has over 10 years of experience in leadership positions and organizations aimed at helping members in the community. She is the President of Delta Kappa Omicron, an internationally recognized honor society for marriage and family therapists. She is a member of the Student Leadership Committee and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Shannon strives to help people of various communities through her profession, community involvement, leadership, and dissemination of research.
Claudia Parvanta is Professor and Social Marketing Concentration Lead in the College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa. She is the author of several leading textbooks in health communication. Dr. Parvanta’s recent work uses neuromarketing technology to evaluate communication media for diverse audiences created for the National COVID Resiliency Network (HHS/Office of Minority Health) and the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida, Florida Department of Health. She recently served as guest editor for the journal Healthcare focused on “What did we learn about health literacy and health promotion from COVID-10?” Dr. Parvanta received her PhD, MA, and BA in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Julie Reeder, Ph.D., MPH, MS, CHES is the Senior Research Analyst with the State of Oregon WIC Program. In her more than 20 years in the position she has conducted multiple mixed methods studies on topics that impact WIC families and WIC service delivery from breastfeeding support to integration of motivational interviewing. Current work focuses on understanding capacity and digital skills of WIC staff and participants to deliver and receive remote services. Julie also serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior and is Chair of the Oregon Public Health Association Advocacy and Policy Committee.
Dr. Lindsay Rosenfeld is a social epidemiologist with research, practice, and policy interests in health literacy, the social and structural determinants of health, and child equity, based at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy & Management. She is an Instructor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she teaches two courses in Health Literacy. She is also a longtime member of the American Dental Association’s Health Literacy in Dentistry Committee. Dr. Rosenfeld is an organizational health literacy expert on national, state, and community-level research and applied projects, where her work focuses on system-solutions to increase health equity.
Maricel G. Santos
Maricel G. Santos, EdD, is Chair and Professor of English at San Francisco State University. Her health literacy research explores the role of adult learners as change agents in health equity work in transnational communities. She was a 2008-2013 fellow with the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) program, National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health. She is co-author of a new book Health Disparities and the Applied Linguist (2023, Routledge).
Angelika Schlacher is a project lead at the Austrian Public Health Institute. In her role as program manager for the Austrian Health Literacy Alliance she is responsible for coordinating the activities of the national health literacy platform. She is also co-lead in the M-POHL working group on Capacity Building for National Health Literacy Policy Implementation. Angelika has well-grounded experience in the fields of public relations and project management, mostly in the health care sector.
Janel S. Schuh
Janel S. Schuh, PhD, is a Senior Methodologist of Research and Evaluation at CommunicateHealth, Inc., a health communication and research company that takes an equity-centered approach to create health information and digital tools that are easy for audiences to understand and use. With nearly 20 years of applied research and strategic communication experience, Janel is passionate about using research to help clients create communication-based solutions to challenging health issues. Drawing upon her extensive experience leading research based on health literacy, communication, and behavior change
theoretical frameworks as well as human-centered design principles, she provides expert consult to government, for-profit, and nonprofit clients. She is a graduate of James Madison University and holds a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Doctorate from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication.
Theresa Sladek, MA, is the Strategic Partnerships and Northstar Business Development Manager at Literacy Minnesota and works with organizations to ascertain and implement their digital literacy needs. Theresa also works with Literacy Minnesota’s national Open Door Collective program on poverty reduction through literacy. Prior to this, she developed statewide training on Navigation related to adult persistence. Theresa has a BS in Biology from Lewis and Clark College and a MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She worked as a counselor, project manager and corporate trainer before joining the field of education.
Catherine Arnott Smith
Catherine Arnott Smith has been a Professor at the Information School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2006. She was formerly a medical librarian at the Galter Health Sciences Library, Northwestern University, and Lincoln National Reinsurance Companies, and then a National Library of Medicine Predoctoral Trainee in Biomedical Informatics at the Center for Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh, from which she received her MS (2000) and PhD (2002). She also holds master’s degrees in library science and American history (both from the University of Michigan, 1992). Her research interests concern interactions by consumers with clinical information systems, documents, and vocabularies, in spaces that range from patient portals to Web-based bulletin boards, public libraries, archives and college disability student services. With Alla Keselman, she has coauthored numerous articles in the literature of medical informatics, and the two are coeditors of Meeting health information needs outside of healthcare: Opportunities and challenges (Chandos, 2015); coauthors of Consumer health informatics: Enabling digital health for everyone (CRC Press/Chapman & Hall, 2020); and, with Amanda J. Wilson, coeditors of Combating online health misinformation (Medical Library Association Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2022).
Christa Straßmayr, health expert at the at the Austrian National Public Health Institute at the Competence Center for Health Promotion and Health Care and coordinator of the International Coordinating Center (ICC) of M-POHL and its projects 2023 – 2027 and of the Health Literacy Population Survey 2019-21 (HLS19). Christa is a trained sociologist with rich experience in research and practice in health promotion, prevention, and health literacy.
Byron Wallace is the Sy and Laurie Sternberg Interdisciplinary Associate Professor and Director of the BS in Data Science program at Northeastern University in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. His research is primarily in natural language processing (NLP) methods, with an emphasis on their application in healthcare and the challenges inherent to this domain.
Wei Xu is an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University and her B.S. and M.S. from Tsinghua University. Xu’s research interests are in natural language processing, machine learning, and social media, with a focus on text generation, text simplification, stylistics, robustness and bias of multilingual large language models. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and CrowdFlower AI for Everyone Award. She has also received research funds from DARPA and IARPA. She is an elected member of the NAACL executive board and regularly serves as a senior area chair for AI/NLP conferences.
Diane Levin-Zamir is National Director of the Health Promotion Department of Clalit, Israel's largest non-profit healthcare organization, is Full Professor of Public Health at the University of Haifa, and teaches at Tel Aviv University Medical School's School of Public Health. A founder/leader of the IUHPE Health Literacy Global Working Group, and the Israel Health Promoters/Educators Association, she chairs the Israel Health Ministry's National Health Promotion Council. Diane has extensively published peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and co-edited books, specializing in Health Promotion action, research and policy, including special populations, in communities, hospitals and media/digital settings. Her research focuses on cultural appropriateness, media/digital and population health literacy, as PI for the Israel National Health Literacy Survey and scientific advisor for international health literacy projects. She is the Co-chair for Research for the Action Network for Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL) of WHO-Europe, and chairs the WHO European Health Literacy Technical Advisory Group for Behavioral and Cultural Insights is Associate Editor of the Global Health Promotion Journal and serves on the International Health Literacy Association leadership.