The Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, at the Faculty of Health Sciences created a pioneering degree in the Region
“Be a #ChangeMaker" is the motto that synthesizes the essence of the new Bachelor of Arts in Health Communication, offered at the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We want our students to engage in communication activities to create positive change in their communities" – says Mayada Kanj, instructor at the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, who lead the working group developing the proposal for the new degree.
The first in the Middle East and North Africa region - and outside Europe and Americas, the Bachelor of Arts in Health Communication is a 95-credit degree, aimed to train students to develop, deliver, and evaluate health communication activities and tools, and to communicate health information to diverse audiences.
This degree comes in response to a growing need in the MENA region for trained professionals who can help addressing public health challenges, such as the medicalization of health, the rise in non-communicable diseases, and re-emergence of infectious diseases in contexts of war and displacement.
“Health Communication is a discipline developed in the United States and evolved in the Anglo-Saxon world within Communication Sciences, borrowing from Social Sciences, Medicine, Behavioral Sciences, Media Studies, etc." declared Dr. Marco Bardus assistant professor in the same department, who holds a PhD in Health Communication. Dr. Tamar Kabakian-Khasholian, regional expert in health communication and health literacy, added that: “Health Communication scholarship has evolved to study patient-provider communication in the healthcare sector as well as population attitudes toward health and health behavior, with the aim to improve health outcomes".
“We are very pleased and proud to launch this new multidisciplinary program where students have to take courses both in public health and media studies", declared Dr. Sawsan Abdulrahim, the chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health (HPCH).
The program will start next academic year (Fall 2019) and will provide students with knowledge and skills that could be employed in diverse job industries and sectors, from government agencies to hospitals, health departments, local and international non-governmental organizations, international agencies, universities, and advertising and marketing companies.
The BA in Health Communication is also designed to meet the basic criteria for a CEPH-accredited undergraduate public health program in FHS; this way students enrolled in it will gain competencies that could be spent in other job markets focused on public health.
To learn more about the program, visit the link: bit.ly/BAHealthComm