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Past Programs

Leveraging Community Engagement To Address Behavioral Health Disparities In The Deaf Community

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
10 – 11:30 AM EST

Please join us for a didactic presentation about applying community engagement methods to produce behavioral health treatment and training tools for the Deaf Community, developed by Dr. Melissa Anderson, Dr. Alexander Wilkins, and their team at UMass Chan.
The presentation will be followed by a discussion with a panel of Deaf co-investigators and Deaf Community Advisors who will share their experiences being part of the research process. There will be plenty of time at the end for Q&A.

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Data Visualization for Effective Science Communication With Diverse Audiences

Monday, May 8, 2023
10 – 12:00 PM EST

Participants will learn about various approaches to visualizing scientific findings and data for effective communication with diverse audiences. Focus will be on both key principles of effective data visualization as well as concrete skill-building among participants.

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***This is the third workshop in a 3-part series on Science Communication. The workshops are related but stand alone. You do not need to have attended earlier sessions to take part fully in this workshop.***

Effective Communication of Risk and Uncertainty With Non-Experts

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
10 – 12:00 PM EST

Participants will learn about challenges and opportunities with respect to effective communication of risk and uncertainty, including conveyance of probabilistic information, distinguishing between absolute and relative risk, and understanding how peoples’ perceptions of uncertainty may depend on what is at stake. The focus will be on how to communicate risk and uncertainty more effectively with non-experts, including the use of visual techniques and analogies to improve understanding and uptake of information.

Session slides

***This is the second workshop in a 3-part series on Science Communication. The workshops are related but stand alone. You can join any or all of them, and do not need to have attended earlier sessions to take part fully in a later workshop. Watch for dates and details!***

Telling Compelling Data-driven Stories: How to Make Numbers Meaningful, Accessible, and Actionable

Thursday, September 29, 2022
10 – 11:30 AM EST

Participants will learn key principles of effective data-driven storytelling and practice creating their own compelling narratives through hands-on exercises. Focus will be on what communicators can do to make numerical information meaningful, accessible, and actionable for diverse audiences.

Introductory Slides

Session Slides

***This is the first workshop in a 3-part series on Science Communication. The workshops are related but stand alone. You can join any or all of them, and do not need to have attended earlier sessions to take part fully in a later workshop. Watch for dates and details!***

Community-Based Approaches to Promoting Behavioral Health Equity: A Call to Action

Monday, May 25, 2022
4 – 6 PM

Hear from experts about community-engaged interventions that promote behavioral health equity, the role of community/patient engagement in advancing behavioral health research, as well as community perspectives.

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Collateral Damage During the COVID Pandemic: Behavioral Health Impact on Youth, Families, and Community Care

Monday, May 9, 2022
12:30 – 1:30 PM

At the beginning of the COVID shutdown in March 2020 (remote work and school), there was a decrease in people seeking behavioral help in Emergency Departments. Then in June 2020, a surge of behavioral health presentations to Emergency Departments was noted to be 3-4 times the usual number for all age groups with notably long boarding episodes for children and adolescents. This surge in behavioral health need has continued at a higher demand throughout 2021 creating a crisis of care in Emergency Departments. This talk will focus on Massachusetts’ State response to this increased need for acute behavioral healthcare since June 2020 and how this crisis is shaping the State’s response to community access to behavioral healthcare into the future.

Working With Policymakers

Thursday, March 24, 2022
11 AM – 1 PM

• Lisa M. Troy, PhD
• Laurel Smith-Doerr, PhD
from the
• UMass Amherst Public Engagement Project

What do policymakers most want to know, and what are the best ways to approach and communicate with them? Policymakers include both elected officials who make laws and employees in public sector organizations who implement them. This workshop will explain all the reasons why policymakers want input from academic researchers and help you envision the roles you wish to play in relation to policy and advocacy. The workshop will also highlight differences in the culture and goals of policymakers and academics, so that you can learn the best ways to get your points across in the policy world.

Presenters, from the Public Engagement Project at UMass/Amherst:

Lisa M. Troy, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences and The Commonwealth Honors College Professor in Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Troy uses novel pattern analysis approaches to examine the role of diet and exercise on chronic disease prevention. She also studies how government programs and policies impact public health outcomes. She has extensive experience in public policy engagement including as a study director for the National Academies of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and has given invited lectures at professional conferences on “Tips for talking to policy-makers,” and “Using Qualitative Data to Inform Social Policy.” In 2010-12, Dr. Troy worked in the U.S. Senate (Robert P. Casey, PA) and U.S. House of Representatives (James P. McGovern, MA) through Columbia University’s Health and Aging Policy Fellowship and American Political Science Association programs. 

Laurel Smith-Doerr, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She studies organizational contexts for equity in science and technology, and processes in collaborative knowledge production. She is PI of the $3.1M NSF ADVANCE-Institutional Transformation grant at UMass Amherst, which seeks change toward faculty equity. From 2007-2009 she was Program Director in Science, Technology and Society at the National Science Foundation. For work at NSF leading the Ethics Education in Science and Engineering program and serving on the committee implementing ethics education policies of Congress’ America COMPETES Act, Smith-Doerr received the NSF Director’s Award for Collaborative Integration. Her recent article with coauthors in the American Journal of Sociology provides a new organizational level theory of the gender pay gap, and won the 2020 Devah Pager award for best article from the Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility section of ASA. All combined, her published works have been cited over 18,000 times. 

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Building Community-Academic Research Partnerships

January 13 and 20, 2022

Bettye Anderson Frederic, RN, MSN
Kathleen Szegda, PhD, MS, MPH
Sarah Goff, MD, PhD

Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate

This workshop offered attendees pragmatic approaches to building and sustaining mutually beneficial community-academic research partnerships that apply health equity and anti-racism lenses to the shared work.

Sample materials:
Health Equity Checklist
Sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Click here for Session 1 recording

Click here for Session 1 slides

Click here for Session 2 slides

Click here for Sample Partnership Agreement

Click here for Health Equity Checklist

COVID-19 Webinar Series

Community Engagement to Promote Covid-19 Vaccine Equity in Massachusetts 

Non-contact (and Socially Distanced) Vital Signs and Medical Measurement

Moving Towards a Racially Just and Equitable Health Research Enterprise, Sara Folta, PhD, MS
Linda Hudson, ScD, MSPH, Robert Sege, MD, PhD, Christine Sinclair, MS, MA, July 2, 2020

Building a research infrastructure for equity in COVID-19 treatment, Benjamin Linas, MD, MPH, May 14, 2020, 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Getting to the post-pandemic era: Herd Immunity, Social Distancing, and Vaccine, Yonatan Grad, MD, PhD, May 4, 2020
RNA Therapeutics: Informational drugs as a pandemic response tool, Anastasia Khvorova, PhD, April 30, 2020

Modeling the COVID Epidemic in Real Time with Joshua Cohen, PhD, April 23, 2020