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

Co-directed by Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, SFHM, and Kerri Cavanaugh, MD, MHS, the Center is made up of other nationally recognized multidisciplinary faculty members and staff. The Center provides administrative support, research support, and pilot funding.


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 the Center and tell us about your interests.