Mason Health COMM Scholars Present at Virtual Conference

Mason COMM Present at HCOM ConferenceA group of four health communication scholars from the Department of Communication at Mason recently provided major lectures (presented online) about major areas of health communication research at a week-long national Chinese communication research symposium held at Beijing Normal University (BNU) in China. The Mason faculty speakers included Dr. Xiaoquan Zhao, Dr. Kevin Wright, Dr. Sojung (Claire) Kim, and Dr. Gary Kreps.

These lectures are part of a long and active series of important health communication collaborations between the Mason Department of Communication and communication scholars in China at major Chinese Universities such as BNU, Renmin University, Peking University, Jinan University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Shanghai University, Guangxi University, and the Communication University of China. Mason faculty and Chinese scholars from these schools have worked together on health communication research projects and provided visiting lectures both in China and in the US.

Many of these collaborations are related to a large international research consortium coordinated at Mason that tracks access and use of health information in many different countries, including both the US and China. The original research program, HINTS (the Health Information National Trends Survey) was started in the US by the National Cancer Institute when Gary Kreps served as Chief of the NCI Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, prior to joining the Communication Department at Mason in 2004 as an endowed Professor and Department Chair. The US-based HINTS research program was extended to China in collaboration between Kreps and a distinguished Chinese communication scholar, Professor Guoming Yu, then at Renmin University of China. The research in China has been supported by the Chinese Ministry of Health and the Chinese Food and Drug Administration and is used to improve access to relevant health information to the public in China. Since then, the international research consortium, called INSIGHTS (International Studies to Investigate Global Health Information Trends) has expanded to many other countries (including Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel, Chile, Singapore, South Africa, Hong Kong, and several other nations across five continents).

Our active collaborations in China (and other countries) provide exciting new international health communication research, education, exchange, and public policy applications for promoting global health and cooperation.


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