AIR Experts Participate in National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media

Atlanta, Ga. – Experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) presented the Communication Toolkit: Using Information to Get High Quality Care at the third National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media. The event was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Marketing and the Office of Enterprise Communications.

The August 11-13, 2009 conference, co-sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Cancer Institute and the National Public Health Information Coalition, attracted public health researchers, academics and practitioners from federal and state governments and the private sector.

Dr. Kristin Carman, managing director of Health Policy & Research at AIR, Sandy Robinson, senior research scientist at AIR, and Lori Agin, a principal communication specialist, discussed a Web-based toolkit that helps large firms and organizations communicate with employees and members about health care decisions.

The presentation was based on AIR’s rigorous study of the challenges involved in disseminating information about evidence-based health care. Making clinical care decisions based on explicit scientific evidence is becoming increasingly important among consumers, as some estimates suggest that, at minimum, 30% of health care is not effective.

As growth in health care costs continues to outstrip growth in both wages and other sectors of the economy, purchasers and policymakers are turning to evidence-based approaches to health care decision-making. AIR’s research with consumers, employers and experts in the field generated a toolkit with a variety of components that:

  • Translate positive aspects of making health care decisions based on evidence into useful language and concepts for employees
  • Help employers, unions, and others frame messages to employees about evidence-based health care

AIR’s investigation shows the importance of qualitative, formative research in materials development and demonstrates that tailoring materials to the needs of the audiences can help bridge the gaps in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs.

Eileen Smith also presented a poster on the impact of Using Social Media and Internet Marketing to Promote National Wear Red Day. The National Wear Red Day is part of The Heart Truth campaign sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and other partners and aimed at raising awareness that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women.

More information about the toolkit.

About AIR

Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit

Event Information

August 14, 2009
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM