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Social Media and Health

Online Course Spring 2020
January 16, 2020 to April 30, 2020
Thursdays, 5:30-8:30pm EST

Social media is revolutionizing health communication. Hospitals, public health organizations, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare start-ups use social media - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms - to reach new populations and engage healthcare consumers in new ways. Best practices have emerged for how healthcare organizations use social media technologies for health communication. The goal of this course is to provide the knowledge and skills to strategically select and use social media effectively for a healthcare or public health organization based on best practices, as well as how to apply these practices on their own professional online presence. The course will use case studies and bring in guest speakers from a variety of organizations to increase knowledge and skills about social media use in a variety of settings and for a variety of purposes. This course will be taught using WebEx, which is a web-based platform accessed through a browser. WebEx allows for access to audio, camera, text chat and PowerPoint. All participants will be able to see and hear each other including faculty, the teaching assistant and guest speakers, who will also join class via WebEx.

At the end of the course, participants should:

  • Know how social media can advance the mission of healthcare and public health organizations
  • Understand how health organizations are using social media to improve health communication with patients
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s social media use
  • Be conversant with social media terminology and the social and technological forces shaping social media use
  • Demonstrate an understanding of issues of concern to patients and health professionals who use social media, including privacy
  • Develop a social media campaign
  • Identify and describe the merits of available and emerging social media technologies and how to select them
  • Understand the resources required for effective social media use
  • Know how to strengthen their professional online presence through social media

Contact Lisa Gualtieri, Course Director, at, for more information.