KCHC 2022 Announcements


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Keynote Speaker

Vish Viswanath

Dr. Kasisomayajula "Vish" Viswanath is is Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and in the McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He is also the Faculty Director of the Health Communication Core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). Other additional administrative and scientific leadership positions held by Dr. Viswanath include: Director of the Center for Translational Communication Science, DFCI/Harvard Chan; Director, Harvard Chan India Research Center and Co-Director, Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, Harvard Chan. He is the founding Director of DF/HCC’s Enhancing Communications for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Laboratory. Dr. Viswanath’s work, drawing from literature in communication science, social epidemiology, and social and health behavior sciences, focuses on translational communication science to influence public health policy and practice. His primary research is in documenting the relationship between communication inequalities, poverty and health disparities, and knowledge translation to address health disparities. He has written more than 240 journal articles and book chapters concerning communication inequalities and health disparities, knowledge translation, public health communication campaigns, e-health and digital divide, public health preparedness and the delivery of health communication interventions to under-served populations. He is the Co-Editor of four books and monographs: Mass Media, Social Control and Social Change (Iowa State University Press, 1999), Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research & Practice, 5th Ed. (Jossey Bass, 2015), The Role of Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use (National Cancer Institute, 2008) and A Socioecological Approach to Addressing Tobacco-Related Health Disparities (National Cancer Institute, 2017). (Read More)

Preconference Speakers

Allison Gordon

Allison Gordon, PhD (University of Kentucky) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky. Her research focuses on how the quality of people’s interpersonal communication affects their health decisions. Current projects include studying how older adults and their adult children make end-of-life decisions, how patients and physicians discuss end-of-life decisions, and how physicians discuss cost-of-care with patients. Her work has appeared in academic journals, such as Communication Monographs, Communication Yearbook, Health Communication, Journal of Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Qualitative Health Research. (Read More)

Laura Van Scoy

Lauren J. Van Scoy, MD (Penn State University) - Dr. Van Scoy is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Humanities and Public Health Scientist and practicing pulmonary and critical care physician at Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Health. She is a co-founding director of the Penn State Qualitative and Mixed Methods Core. Her mixed methods research program (called Project Talk) studies end-of-life issues and includes advanced care planning, communication, and end-of-life decision-making in a variety of settings including the intensive care unit and community groups. Recently awarded the Jo Rae Wright Award for scientific excellence from the Parker B. Francis Foundation.

Kami Silk Pre-Conference Speaker

Kami Silk, PhD (University of Delaware) was appointed as Rosenberg Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware on September 1st, 2018. Dr. Silk is a health communication scholar who investigates how to communicate effectively to promote positive health outcomes among the lay public. Her recent research has focused on translational science related to breast cancer risk reduction, social norms, improving nutritional practices among adolescent mothers for obesity reduction, and promotion of prevention behaviors related to COVID-19... (Read More)

Mildred Horodyndki

Mildred Horodynski, PhD, RN, FAAN (Michigan State University) is Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. She served as Director of the PhD program and Professor in the College of Nursing. Dr. Horodynski is a research scholar who has investigated reducing the risk of childhood obesity in vulnerable infants and young children. Her work has focused on promoting healthy eating behaviors through the development of effective community-based parent and nutrition education programs for low-income, diverse populations. Her research has been published in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Appetite, Pediatrics, and Childhood Obesity, and BMC Public Health, to name a few. (Read More)

Gretchen Holmes

Gretchen Norling Holmes, PhD (Memorial Hospital at Gulfport) currently oversees all medical education, including graduate medical education and clinical research, for Memorial Hospital at Gulfport. As the Designated Institutional Official (DIO), Dr. Holmes has the authority and responsibility for all ACGME-accredited programs sponsored by Memorial Previously, Dr. Holmes served as the GME Director of Research for multiple hospital systems and as the DIO/Director of GME for Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Florida... (Read More)

Jimmy Dimitriades; Pre-Conference Speaker

Dimitrios “Jimmy” Dimitriades, MD (Memorial Hospital at Gulfport) completed his medical degree at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport and completed his family medicine residency at the Carilion Roanoke Family Medicine program via the University of Virginia. This was followed by a year of urgent care and emergency room medicine in rural West Virginia... (Read More)


Ankit Mehta, MD, FACP, SFHM (HealthPartners) is an internist, working as a hospitalist with HealthPartners and an Assistant Professor with the University of Minnesota (UMN). He has a keen interest in the intersection of arts, humanities, and medicine. He co-created a one-day communication and empathy course CRAVE (Communication, Resilience, Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Empathy) at HealthPartners for practicing clinicians. Dr. Mehta also directs a “medical improv” course, an adaptation of improvisational theater principles in a medical context to enhance skills including communication, empathy, and teamwork. (Read More)


Elizabeth Unni, PhD, MBA (Touro College of Pharmacy-NY) serves as the Chair of the Department of Social, Behavioral, and Administrative Sciences at the Touro College of Pharmacy (TCOP) in New York. She has around forty publications on patients’ self-management of chronic diseases and has made numerous presentations both nationally and internationally. She focuses on patient’s decision to be adherent with their medicines based on health literacy, their beliefs in medicines and illnesses, and self-efficacy. She has developed theoretical models to explain medication adherence and has developed a valid instrument to measure self-reported medication adherence. (Read More)


Carli Zegers, PhD, MBA, APRN, FNP-BC (University of Kansas) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Kansas and an Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner at University Health - Truman Medical Center. She graduated with her BS in Exercise Science in 2012 and BS in Nursing in 2013 from Creighton University. She earned her PhD in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2019. Recently, she earned her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. (Read More)