The core objective of the joint initiative of our two schools—the School of Communication & Information and the School of Health Professions—working together with Rutgers Global is to Advance Health Communication Research, Education, and Practice Across the Health Professions in Greece and the U.S. We will pursue this vision through a broad array of activities and in close collaboration with institutional partners in Greece. Our initiative was developed in the context of our participation in the International Academic Partnerships Program – Greece (IAPP-Greece); an academic incubator program sponsored in 2020 by the Greek Ministry of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of International Education, and the Fulbright Foundation, among other organizations, designed to promote international collaboration between U.S. and Greek institutions of higher education.
When we refer to health professions, we include physicians, dentists, and nurses, physician assistants, dietitians and nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, speech and language pathologists, laboratory sciences professionals. And, when we speak of health communication we are referring to scientific research on and the practice of, among other things: (1) patient-healthcare provider communication, inter-professional communication in healthcare, and attendant health outcomes, (2) designing, implementing and evaluating multilevel health promotion campaigns, (3) employing new communication and information technologies to support individual, community, and population health, and (4) crisis communication, crisis management, and emergency preparedness.
Our initiative has been inspired by existing research and development efforts in Greece by faculty based in the School of Communication and Information and the School of Health Professions, while it speaks to two larger issues of interest to universities, foundations, governments, nonprofits, and private sector actors: (a) the advancement of global health education, research, and practice and (b) the future of work, in general, and specifically in the health sector. Simultaneously, we hope our efforts will inform best practices for the development of international educational programs, distance learning, and technology-enhanced courses and programs designed to address the needs of an increasingly diverse and mobile student population.