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Graphic Public Health: Comics for Health Literacy, Health Promotion, and Advocacy

Class Details

The medium of comics is uniquely suited for conveying health information in engaging, economical, and culturally sensitive ways. Comic narratives also offer a means for public health practitioners to share their dilemmas and a multiplicity of perspectives on complex health issues and policies. Comics can disclose the political, emotional, and ethical dimensions of public health practice. And importantly, graphic public health can also give voice to the people in our communities who are impacted by the policy and programmatic decisions made by public health officials. Meredith Li-Vollmer from Public Health – Seattle & King County will share examples of how she has applied comics to health literacy, health promotion and advocacy for public health. She will also discuss aspects of the creative process of developing graphic public health.

• Situate public health comics within the growing field of graphic medicine
• Describe why comics are effective for health promotion and public health literacy
• Discuss key considerations in developing comics for use in the public health field

Presenter Bio:
Meredith Li-Vollmer is a communications specialist at Public Health – Seattle & King County and clinical assistant professor in Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She has served in national capacities in the public health field for organizations including the National Academies, the National Association for County and City Health Officials, and the Center for Biosecurity. Meredith is also a cartoonist and a board member for Short Run Comix and Arts. Her comics have been published in The Stranger, MUTHA, Illustrated PEN, and the American Journal of Public Health and she has spoken on public health comics at San Diego Comic-Con, Emerald City Comic-Con, and the Comics & Medicine conference. She received a doctorate in communications from the University of Washington.

Class Date:
Region/Office: National
Aug 7, 2019
2:00PM - 3:00PM ET
Sarah Levin-Lederer, MPH, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Continuing Education Credits: 

Graphic Medicine, comic books and graphic novels that tell personal stories of health and wellness, is an up and coming area of interest in medical education and health outreach. 

But how can graphic medicine be used to improve health literacy?  How can programs be built around graphic medicine?  What graphic medicine resources and supports are available for librarians, public health professionals, community organizations and others?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of using these resources for outreach and education?  What are the best practices for including graphic medicine?

Hear from librarians, creators, community organizations and others who are creating and using graphic medicine to teach students, staff and the general public about health, wellness and disease.

For a refresher on the field of Graphic Medicine, check out Matthew Noe's 2017 webinar, Introduction to Graphic Medicine


Each webinar will have its own learning objectives.