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The Institute for Medicine and Public Health

Center for Effective Health Communication

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Center Overview

The Vanderbilt Center for Effective Health Communication addresses health communication in research, education, and the community to promote more effective health communication, knowledge, and behavior and to improve quality of care.


Health Communication is a broad field that includes health literacy, risk communication, medical decision making, patient centered communication, addressing cultural and language barriers, and other issues. The multidisciplinary Center faculty include nationally recognized physician-scientists, nurse-researchers, nutritionists, pharmacists, health psychologists, and educational researchers. The Center provides research space, administrative and research support, and pilot funding.  

Center faculty have successfully received funding from the NIH, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Pfizer Clear Health Communication Initiative, American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Heart Association, the National Kidney Foundation, and other sources. Program faculty have published important health communication studies in JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Patient Education and Counseling, The Diabetes Educator, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, and Pediatrics. The work of our faculty has also been featured on CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more than 200 other media sources.




CEHC is commissioned by the IOM to write a White Paper on Measures to Assess Health-Literate Organizations

 Recent News

CEHC Faculty Member Elected to AACH Board of Directors

Recently AACH membership approved the appointment of Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, faculty member in the Center for Effective Health Communication, to become the AACH President-elect. The board of Directors is the governing body of AACH and represents the interests of the AACH members in directing the business of the Academy.

The American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, AACH, is a professional home for those who are committed to improving communication and relationships in healthcare.  They believing in creating a health care system where all patients, healthcare professionals, trainees and researchers feel valued, are treated equitably with respect, compassion, understanding, and are actively engaged in healthcare processes and decisions.