Society for New Communications Research Receives Grant to Help Raise Awareness and Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Connecticut Health Foundation Funds Innovative Social Media and Online Communications Program

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www.sncr.org

CT Health is committed to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities and recognizes that social media is a strategic and powerful tool to raise awareness and engage communities that are most impacted, says Patricia Baker, president & CEO CT Health.

New Britain, CT (PRWEB) March 22, 2010

The Society for New Communications Research (http://sncr.org), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation and think tank focused on the latest developments in media and communications, today announced that it has received a $200,000 grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation (http://www.cthealth.org) to create and implement a social media strategy to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in Connecticut.

The initiative is being led by SNCR Fellows Dr. Craig Lefebvre, PhD, an expert in public health and social media; Geoff Livingston, a social media communications expert with experience working with nonprofits, and Katie Paine, an expert in social media measurement. In addition, the Society has chosen communications agency CRT/tanaka as its program partner.

“The issue of racial and ethnic health disparities is complex and affects millions of Americans. It involves the management of health, health care, and the finance and delivery of health services,” says Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health).

Despite the wide-reaching nature of this problem, SNCR’s research shows there is limited discussion online or offline about racial and ethnic health disparities and health justice. Therefore, the first phase of the SNCR-led initiative will focus on raising awareness among Connecticut residents about health equality. Public will and activism will follow increased awareness of health disparities in the state.

The grant will enable the team to launch the “Health Justice for CT” initiative. The goal of the program is to use social media channels as the foundation for creating a movement of Connecticut residents dedicated to working together to raise awareness about the issue of racial and ethnic disparities, find innovative solutions, and ultimately achieve health justice for everyone in Connecticut.

Program elements will include the creation of an advisory board, which will function online and offline, a wiki to share educational and informational resources and foster collaboration, the use of Facebook and Twitter, online surveys, polls, an online education campaign, and partnerships with other existing online and offline networks to raise awareness of the issue and to find solutions to achieve health justice for all Connecticut residents.

The program is launching with a survey to measure the current level of awareness of racial and ethnic health disparities. The survey is available in English at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6P3M9LP and in Spanish at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YVMB9N5.

“CT Health is committed to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities and recognizes that social media is a strategic and powerful tool to raise awareness and engage communities that are most impacted. This grant to SNCR recognizes the utmost importance of beginning the conversation with this fast-growing and influential online community,” says Baker.

“SNCR is extremely honored to have been selected as the recipient of this grant,” says Jen McClure, founder and president, Society for New Communications Research. “This program goes beyond exploring the value of social media from a theoretical perspective and allows the Society to be involved in real, vital and much-needed social change.”

About the Connecticut Health Foundation

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving lives by changing health systems. Since it was established in July 1999, the foundation has supported innovative grant-making, public health policy research, technical assistance and convening to achieve its mission – to improve the health of the people of Connecticut. Over the past 10 years, CT Health has awarded 492 grants totaling $39.1 million in 44 cities and towns throughout the state in three priority areas: improving access to children’s mental health services, reducing racial and ethnic health disparities and expanding access to and use of children’s oral health services. For more information, visit http://www.cthealth.org or call 860.224.2200.

About CRT/tanaka

CRT/tanaka is an award-winning public relations and marketing firm known for its whatcanbeSM workplace culture and approach to business. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., and New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, Va., CRT/tanaka features four integrated specialties - Consumer, Health, Corporate and Interactive/Social. The agency has been recognized with more than 300 national and regional awards for its strategic counsel, creativity, workplace culture and community service. Clients include Air New Zealand, American Physical Therapy Association, Bon Secours Health System, Charles Schwab & Co., Council for Responsible Nutrition, Council of Better Business Bureaus, Girl Scouts of the USA, Network Solutions, Sprint Nextel and Wines from Rioja (Spain). More information about CRT/tanaka is available at http://www.crt-tanaka.com.

About the Society for New Communications Research

The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation and think tank focused on the advanced study of the latest developments in new media and communications, and their effect on traditional media and business models, communications, culture and society. For more information, visit http://sncr.org.

Media Contacts:

Angi Roberts
Society for New Communications Research
(408) 266-9658

and

Maryland M. Grier
Communications Officer
Connecticut Health Foundation
860.224.2200, ext. 32 - ph
860.888.6616 - cell

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