Background: YOUR HEALTH is a multimedia health communication program jointly sponsored by the University of North Carolina Department of Family Medicine and UNC Health Care, with support from the UNC Health Sciences Library. YOUR HEALTH is an innovative multi-media project that provides the public with weekly, credible and accessible health information to improve lives. YOUR HEALTH involves a weekly radio show, news column and social media applications to model an improved health care system, including improved access to care by primary care clinicians, improved rates of preventive care, improved coordination and continuity of care, decreases in health care costs, improved health equity, and improved health communication.
Program background: Hosted by practicing academic Family Physicians, the show brings an understanding of medicine, knowledge of evienced-based research, access to health experts and experience working with diverse patients (varying culture, age, social, gender, economic and education) to the public. It's mission includes: Providing useful, timely, engaging and personal health information to diverse populations; Promoting greater public access to health experts, research and resources; Empowering individuals to improve their health & advocacy;and Promoting the values inherent in primary care and humanistic medicine. It is one of only two academic health centers in the country with a weekly radio show, and the only one with a multimedia health caommunication platform that includes newspaper columns, research blogs and utilization of social media, including mobile health applications.
Evaluation Methods and Results: YOUR HEALTH has produced over 175 shows, with over 750 hours of air time, and has disseminated over 125 newspaper columns since founding in October, 2008. YOUR HEALTH has implemented principals of continuous quality improvement and evaluation into all activities, including weekly show evaluations, quarterly retreats, and following multiple outcome metrics. A detailed logic model guides program activities and evaluation. The show reches 30,000 listeners a week, and an additional 10,000 public viewers of newspaper and scoial media applications, from over 20 countries. Evaluations of impact on populations through multiple quantitative and qualitative surveys of listeners, as well as content analysis of shows, demonstrates multiple positive changes in patient health behaviors. Barriers include financial constraints and the need to have a sustainable business model to continue operations.
Conclusions: YOUR HEALTH is an innovative health communication platform that an academic health center utilizes to help bridge the gap between research and experts with health education, empowerment and advocacy, translating and disseminating health information that improves lives.
Implications for research and/or practice: Insights from the first three years of YOUR HEALTH's development can guide health practitioners to improve their own health education and communication capabilities.