Health Disparities in Appalachia: It's Time to Revisit Our Communication Approaches

Wednesday, August 16, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Centennial IV
The Appalachian Region is a 205,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. The Region is 42% rural and 84 out of a total of 420 counties are designated as economically distressed. Individuals living in Appalachia experience chronic disease and mortality from the major causes of death at a higher rate than the national average. The area has also been significantly stricken by the opioid crisis. The Appalachian Region is a unique area in which health communicators often struggle to craft and disseminate effective messages. In this panel, communicators from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and East Tennessee-based ORAU will share their stories of building trust, leveraging local partnerships, and communicating about and within Appalachia. Presenters will describe ARCís Strategic Communication Plan and activities to highlight emerging and successful interventions and innovations from the Region. They will share their emerging research on best practices for communicating about opioids in the region, and describe a pilot project to train community-based organizations to use social media to address opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose.

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