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A. Susana Ramírez

Associate Professor of Public Health Communication, University of California, Merced

As an infodemiologist, Dr. Susana Ramírez applies communication science to advance public health goals for rural and Latino populations. Communication inequalities – differences in access, comprehension, and use of health information across social groups – exacerbate rather than reduce health disparities. The science of communication plays an important role in understanding where those communication failures occur, how they affect health, and how to harness the power of communication to improve health.

Dr. Ramírez is a nationally recognized expert on media, inequality and dietary health, and Latinx culture. She has provided expert testimony for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on communicating about obesity and chronic disease and is frequently invited to discuss communication and public health challenges facing rural and Latino populations. Her research has been published in top interdisciplinary journals and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Buoy Health, and the Hellman Family Foundation. Dr. Ramírez’ research has been featured in regional and national news including NPR, ABC News, Univisión, and the Huffington Post.

Dr. Ramírez earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Public Health from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Santa Clara University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention in the National Cancer Institute.

Experience

  • 2019–present
    Associate Professor, University of California, Merced

Education

  •  
    Harvard University, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, MPH
  •  
    University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication, PhD

Publications

  • 2020
    Public awareness of air pollution and health threats: Challenges and opportunities for communication strategies to improve environmental health literacy, Journal of Health Communication
  • 2020
    From ‘Infodemics’ to Health Promotion: A novel framework for the role of social media in public health, American Journal of Public Health
  • 2020
    Framing food access: Do community gardens inadvertently reproduce inequality? , Health Education & Behavior
  • 2020
    Media reporting on air pollution: Health risk and precautionary measures in national and regional newspapers, International Journal of Environmental and Public Health
  • 2019
    Beyond fatalism: Information overload as a mechanism to understand obesity health disparities, Social Science & Medicine
  • 2019
    Assessing the impact of the public nutrition measure Diet Information Overload, Patient Education & Counseling
  • 2019
    Development of a participatory health communication intervention: An ecological approach to reducing rural information inequality and health disparities, Journal of Health Communication

Grants and Contracts

  • 2019
    A mobile phone-based pilot intervention to prevent obesity in Latino preschool children
    Role:
    Co-I
    Funding Source:
    National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health
  • 2018
    Assessing the utility of a web-based diagnostic and decision-making tool
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Buoy Healthcare
  • 2015
    Communication for Partnerships to Improve Community Health – Merced County
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via Merced County Department of Public Health
  • 2015
    Innovative application of communication theory to increase Latino research participation
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health
  • 2015
    Breast cancer prevention mHealth intervention for rural Latinas
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health
  • 2014
    A CBPR initiative to address obesity disparities for Latinos in the San Joaquin Valley
    Role:
    Co-I
    Funding Source:
    National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health
  • 2014
    Mapping the health information environment in a rural, culturally diverse region: Toward a transformative health information intervention to reduce rural and ethnic health disparities
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Hellman Family Faculty Fund