Vanderbilt Center Effective Health Communication



The Vanderbilt Center for Effective Health Communication (CEHC) supports research and education to promote more effective health information exchange toward improved healthcare quality and outcomes.

Health Communication is a broad field that includes:

  • health literacy
  • risk communication
  • medical decision making
  • patient-centered communication
  • addressing cultural and language barriers

Directed by Kerri Cavanaugh, MD, MHS, the Center is made up of other nationally recognized multidisciplinary faculty members and staff. The CEHC provides research networking and support, pilot funding, and administrative support. 

The Effective Health Communication (EHC) Core provides expert consulting services to support health communication research, education, and practice to improve patients' knowledge, self-management, and health outcomes. 

Consultation can be arranged at any stage in the research process, including identification of appropriate measures and resources, feedback on study-related materials, recruitment of diverse patients, informed consent, accurate data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and dissemination of findings, all with an eye toward making the research accessible to patients across a range of health literacy skills and cultures.

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CEHC 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. CEHC was commissioned by the National Academies to write White Paper Measures to Assess Health-Literate Organizations.

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.

Are you interested in health communication, health literacy, risk communication, shared decision-making, or a related field? Contact CEHC and tell us about your interests.