COVID-19 Communications

At the same time that Carolyn Cannuscio (CPHI Director of Research) and Rachel Feuerstein-Simon (MPH alum and CPHI Research Manager) were building a contact tracing team, they were also working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH)  to help develop appropriate public health messages for the Philadelphia community. An important emphasis was to make sure that any messages were at an appropriate literacy level, were culturally sensitive, were visually engaging, and were translated into multiple languages. The initial push was to take regulatory guidance provided by PDPH and the CDC and translate that into digestible chunks of information that could be shared by social media and other web-based platforms. CPHI leveraged its strong community partnerships to develop processes by which community members were engaged in the development of content and provided recommendations of ended messaging and content. 

As with the Contact Tracing team, the leadership roles on the communication team were taken by Penn students from the Biomedical Graduate Studies program, including Nina Montoya (Cell and Molecular Biology graduate student who is also in the Public Health Certificate Program), Devin Fisher (Cell and Molecular Biology graduate student), and Amelia Van Pelt (Epidemiology graduate student). These three engaged a cohort of student volunteers who helped to design content. The team also worked closely with the graphic designer Jason Killinger, and all images were given final approval by Carolyn Cannuscio (CPHI Director of Research), Heather Klusaritz (CPHI Director of Community Engagement), Hillary Nelson (CPHI Director of Education), and Courtney Summers (CPHI Associate Director). These images are free to the public and intended for wide distributio

As the university began planning for the return of students to campus, the Penn Public Health Communications team partnered with Wellness at Penn to develop content focused on engaging the campus community in COVID public health guidance. This effort is led by Emily Paterson, CPHI Communications Manager, and Heather Klusaritz, CPHI Director of Community Engagement. In December, we launched a Twitter (@COVIDPenn) and Instagram (@COVIDPenn) accounts as primary tools for engagement with students, faculty, and staff. We continue to gather input from campus stakeholders to guide the development of critical messages and guidance necessary to support a safe campus.