Connecting Public Health and Design

April 13th, 2020 | Viewpoint


Sometimes when we think of design, we can only picture the visual elements of what is really a much broader subject. Where does design fit into public health? Think beyond graphics and begin to imagine how systems are formed, the people who use them, and their experience. Here is where design for public health is important.

Design begins when we bring people together. Our ability to influence the social determinants of health requires inclusivity from the start. JSI approaches community needs assessments and planning for socio-economic impact projects by involving the priority populations in designs for change and health equity.

JSI will present Designing for Public Health at the Health Experience Design Conference [HXD 2020] on April 14 and 15. This virtual conference will be hosted by Mad*Pow’s Center for Health Experience Design.

As global health challenges evolve and new technologies emerge, public health solutions and the way we capture their effects must be creative, data-led, and most importantly, people-focused. JSI is a recognized leader in designing and implementing public health programs domestically and abroad at every level of the public health framework. At the heart of our work is human-centered design (HCD), a process that fosters innovation, prioritizes learning, and puts people at the center of public health solutions.

JSI’s Health Communications team is motivated by our public health mission to help our partners communicate with the people they serve through clear, user-friendly strategies and campaigns that improve health outcomes.

Behavior change communications (BCC) varies depending on the audience, infrastructure, budget, and goals. Our presenters will draw on JSI’s work as they discuss public health interventions at the national, state, and local levels. The session will include an overview of behavior change theories, frameworks, models, implementation, and outcomes, and will end with a presentation on a HCD approach to solving a public health issue.

JSI supports the work of governments, nonprofits, and community coalitions in many ways. The core principles of HCD and BCC align with JSI’s values in cultivating an empathetic understanding of end users needs to respond appropriately.

Presenters at our Designing for Public Health track include:

  • Karyn Dudley Madore, NH Communications Director, JSI
  • Andre Nogueira, Associate Researcher, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Mary Brown, Lead, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Spectrum Health
  • Christin D’Ovidio, Marketing and Communications Program Director, JSI
  • Andrew Miller, Associate Partner, Stephen Yablon Architecture
  • Nikki Davis, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Advisor, JSI
  • Jessica Holli, Health Communication Consultant, JSI

JSI would like to express gratitude to Mad*Pow for the opportunity to have a public health track at HXD2020 and for its continued partnership.

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