Ad & PR partners with K-State College of Health and Human Sciences to offer courses in strategic health communication as part of their new bachelor and master of science in Public Health

April 1, 2022

National Public Health Week is April 4-8 and this year's theme is “Public Health is Where You Are.” The new Bachelor and Master of Science in Public Health at K-State are designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of public health fields where they can improve the quality of life of communities and major populations through the prevention of injury and disease. The A.Q. Miller School Ad & PR degree program is pleased to offer courses in these new degrees related to strategic health communication and taught by public relations professor Dr. Nancy Muturi.

Dr. Muturi became interested in health communications as an undergraduate student. Since then, she has conducted research on women’s reproductive health, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, international health issues from theoretical and practical perspectives, risk/emergency communications, and was a Health Communication Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The goal of health communication courses is to give students a good understanding of how to communicate effectively about various health topics and this requires a very good understanding of the communication process,” Muturi said. “The ideal student for these courses is any student who has an interest in social and/or behavioral sciences.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has faced unprecedented communications challenges and spotlighted the need for effective and strategic health communicators that operate on principles of transparency, reliability, and trust.

"The Federal government and other funding agencies have realized the importance of health communication, creating many career opportunities. But to be successful in these careers, one must be fully equipped in theory, research, and strategic planning skills, in addition to the technical skills necessary in message dissemination through various media and communication channels,” Muturi said.

The MC451 and MC750 courses in strategic health communication offer the resources, skills, and knowledge for graduates to be fully equipped for the growing career opportunities in health communication. Through the application of theory used to promote public health messages, the development of strategy and messaging, and understanding of multicultural audiences, these courses are ideal for public health students and future public health professionals.