News

October 2014

KDHRC program receives National Health Information Award

En Familia: Families Partnering for Health received a merit award in the 21st annual National Health Information Awards SM program, Total Health Information Program category. The annual competition honors high-quality consumer health information and sets an industry standard for quality consumer health materials.

 KDHRC’s winning entry was chosen from hundreds of local, state, and national health-related organizations by a panel of distinguished health information experts. The National Health Information Awards program is organized by the Health Information Resource Center (HIRC), a national clearinghouse for consumer health professionals who work in consumer health education fields.

August 2014

KDHRC researcher presents at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media

KDHRC Research Associate, Rosa Steen, presented at the eighth annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, August 21, 2014. Ms. Steen’s presentation discussed En Familia: Families Partnering for Health, a bilingual program to build health literacy skills in low-income Latino families using an intergenerational approach.

June 2014

KDHRC researcher presents at the 2014 Social Marketing Conference in Clearwater Beach, FL

KDHRC Research Associate, Nicole I. Wanty, presented at the twenty-third annual Social Marketing Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida on June 20, 2014. Ms. Wanty presented on how KDHRC used formative research findings and social marketing principals to motivate school administrators’ to use SecuRx, a NIDA-funded website that provides information and an online training course to help middle and high schools develop comprehensive diversion-prevention programs (CDPP) to prevent prescription drug diversion and abuse among students.

April 2014

KDHRC is a proud sponsor of the third National Rx Drug Abuse Summit

KDHRC is a proud sponsor of the third National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, GA on April 22 through April 24, 2014. The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is the largest national collaboration of professionals from local, state and federal agencies, business, academia, clinicians, treatment providers, counselors, educators, state and national leaders, and advocates impacted by prescription drug abuse.

February 2014

A recently published study by KDHRC author reinforces the value of “brand” to public health behavior change programs

Kristen Holtz, president of KDHRC, coauthored a recent publication released by the Journal of Health Communication that confirmed the value of “brand” in social marketing campaigns.  Under the lead author, W. Douglas Evans at George Washington University, the study analyzed data from the National Youth Anti-drug Media Campaign, a social marketing campaign that used the brand “Above the Influence” to reach youth with anti-drug advertising.

The research specifically explored the campaign’s brand equity, or a person’s identification with the brand’s tenets and intentions to engage with, use, or promote the brand. Among youth, the Above the Influence campaign had strong brand equity, meaning the campaign’s target audience was aware of the brand, had positive feelings about it, and reported willingness to engage with and promote the brand.  What is more, those youth who reported strong positive feelings about the brand were more likely to also report strong anti-drug beliefs and attitudes, suggesting that the campaign was successful.

Taken together, the results of this research reinforce the potential value of branding a public health campaign for maximum behavior change. Below, we provide the complete citation for the article.

Evans, W. D., Holtz, K., White, T., & Snider, J. (2014). Effects of the Above the Influence brand on adolescent drug use prevention normative beliefs. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, 16(6): 721-737. doi: 10.1080/1081073.2013.837559

December 2013

KDHRC receives two National Health Information AwardsSM

Project PENCIL: Protecting the Educational Needs of Chronically Ill Learners received a Gold Award and the Cochlear Implant School Toolkit received a Silver Award in the 20th annual National Health Information AwardsSM program, Miscellaneous Health Information category. The annual competition honors high-quality consumer health information and sets an industry standard for quality consumer health materials.  

KDHRC’s winning entries were chosen from nearly 1,000 entries judged by a panel of distinguished health information experts. The National Health Information AwardsSM program is organized by the Health Information Resource Center (HIRC), a national clearinghouse for consumer health professionals who work in consumer health education fields. 

National Health Information Awards Winner Logo

November 2013

KDHRC celebrates its seventh anniversary

KDHRC celebrates seven years of public health and public policy research.  Since its founding in 2006, KDHRC has been producing and disseminating creative, objective, and timely information to improve the health and well-being of the nation's youth, families, and communities.  We look forward to many more contributions to the fields of public health and public policy!

October 2013

KDHRC researcher to present at the 2013 American Evaluation Association Conference

Louise Palmer, senior research associate at KDH Research & Communication (KDHRC), will present “Using Mixed Methods Research and Evaluation to Develop and Evaluate Public Health and Education Interventions” at the American Evaluation Association Conference in Washington, D.C. on October 19.

Ms. Palmer’s presentation will describe how KDHRC used a mixed methods approach to develop Project PENCIL, an evidence based public health program to support the education of chronically ill learners. Project PENCIL is a multimedia program to support parents and teachers of elementary school chronically ill learners (CIL). CIL experience myriad negative academic and psychosocial effects, yet parents and teachers experience difficulties applying for and implementing school services to mitigate these effects. Project PENCIL aims to provide parents and teachers with the knowledge and skills to secure and implement school services to help CIL succeed socially and academically at school. 

September 2013

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research funds KDHRC to develop and evaluate a culturally-competent program to prevent early childhood tooth decay in low-income Latino children

Dientes Fuertes, Vida Sana (DFVS) will train promotores de salud (community health workers) at community-based organizations to build Latino parents’ oral health literacy and their skills to navigate the oral health care system.

Latino children are the largest demographic group of all children living in poverty in the US and, compared to other demographic groups, experience high rates of severe and untreated tooth decay. Early childhood tooth decay significantly predicts lasting physical, psychosocial, and personal and societal economic consequences. Factors contributing to poor oral health outcomes among low-income Latino children include parents’ lack of knowledge and skills to prevent early childhood tooth decay and to access oral health care services. To address this disparity, DFVS-trained promotores will teach Latino parents oral health literacy skills to help them better care for their child’s oral health and health care system navigation skills to help them find and use the typically limited dental care resources in their community.

 KDHRC president gives presentation about drug abuse prevention at Atlanta school

Dr. Kristen D. Holtz, president of KDHRC, gave a presentation about the power of parents to prevent youth drug abuse at Morningside Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, September 4. Dr. Holtz  provided information about illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and synthetic drugs.

August 2013

KDHRC researcher to present at the 2013 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media

Louise Palmer, senior research associate at KDH Research & Communication (KDHRC), will present “Protecting the Educational Needs of Chronically Ill Learners: Lessons Learned from Project PENCIL” at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media at 8:00 am on August 21, 2013 in the Centennial IV conference room at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia.

Project PENCIL is a multimedia program to support parents and teachers of elementary school chronically ill learners (CIL). CIL experience myriad negative academic and psychosocial effects, yet parents and teachers experience difficulties applying for and implementing school services to mitigate these effects. Project PENCIL aims to provide parents and teachers with the knowledge and skills to secure and implement school services to help CIL succeed socially and academically at school. Ms. Palmer’s presentation will describe the content and structure of the program and how exposure to it impacts teachers’ and parents’ knowledge and self-efficacy to support CIL. 

July 2013

The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit receives two Web Health AwardsSM

The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit received a Silver Award for Website and a Bronze Award for Interactive Content/Rich Media in the 15th annual Web Health AwardsSM program. The biannual competition, Winter/Spring and Summer/Fall,  recognizes the nation’s best digital health resources.

 KDHRC’s winning entry was chosen from nearly 600 entries judged by a panel of distinguished experts in digital health media. The Web Health AwardsSM program is organized by the Health Information Resource CenterSM (HIRC), a national clearinghouse for professionals who work in consumer health fields.

 Web Health Awards

KDHRC is pleased to announce that we have created a Facebook page and Twitter account to better connect with other public health professionals and the public



 June 2013

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) funds KDH Research & Communication (KDHRC) to develop a self-advocacy training website to support students with cochlear implants transitioning to higher education

Cochlear implants (CIs) are medical devices that give deaf people access to sound. Teens with CIs  in higher education may experience academic and social challenges compared to their hearing peers, which in turn relate to high dropout rates and poor academic and social outcomes. Self-advocacy skills may mediate some of these poor outcomes by increasing students’ abilities to effectively communicate their needs and overcome educational and social barriers to higher academic learning. To that end, KDHRC will develop the “Cochlear Implant University,” a self-advocacy training website for high school and college students with CIs to develop knowledge and skills that support a successful academic and social transition to higher education.

April 2013

KDHRC publishes a research brief on using peer education to improve social acceptance of children with CIs

Research brief no. 10 reports the effectiveness of the Making Sense of Your Senses peer education intervention to build typical peers’ knowledge and positive attitudes to support the social acceptance of children with CIs. The evaluation results suggest that the intervention effectively increases typical peers’ knowledge about how CIs function, as well as specific practical strategies that peers can use to meaningfully include a child with a CI in their social interactions. Visit our Publications page to view and download the brief.

KDHRC researcher presents at the 2013 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Orlando, FL

KDHRC Research Associate, Nicole I. Wanty, presented at the second annual National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Orlando, Florida on April 2 through April 4, 2013. Ms. Wanty presented findings from an evaluation of POP-D, a science-based prescription drug abuse prevention curriculum for seventh and eighth grade students, that KDHRC created with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

January 2013

KDHRC president publishes article on gender differences in preschool children’s ability to compare themselves with others

Dr. Kristen D. Holtz, president of KDHRC, co-authored an article with Dr. Carol K. Sigelman at The George Washington University. The article, Gender Differences in Preschool Children’s Commentary on Self and Other, was published in The Journal of Genetic Psychology: Research and Theory on Human Development. Below, we provide the complete citation for the article.

Sigelman, C.K. and Holtz, K.D. (2013). Gender differences in Preschool Children’s Commentary on Self and Other. The Journal of Genetic Psychology: Research and Theory on Human Development, 174(2): 192-206.

October 2012

KDHRC launches Cochlear Implant (CI) School Toolkit Facebook page

A cochlear implant (CI) is a device that creates a representation of sound for a person who is deaf or profoundly hard of hearing. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded KDHRC to develop the CI School Toolkit website to provide parents and teachers with tools to aid the academic and social success of a child with a CI who is entering a mainstream classroom for the first time.  The CI School Toolkit Facebook page is connected to the website and provides news, information, tips, and strategies about mainstream educational success for a child with a CI.

Visit and like our page at http://www.facebook.com/CISchoolToolkit  to receive news, information, tips, and strategies about mainstreaming a child with a CI. 

September 2012

KDHRC awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contract to prevent prescription drug abuse in schools

KDHRC was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) entitled “SecuRx.com:  Preventing prescription drug diversion and abuse in schools.”

SecuRx.com is an empirically-based information and training website for schools to prevent prescription drug diversion and abuse among students.  Prescription drug diversion includes giving, sharing, or selling prescription drugs from one’s own prescription and sharing or selling prescription drugs that have been obtained from another source, such as prescription bottles at home. SecuRx.com will provide step-by-step instructions for middle and high schools to develop comprehensive diversion-prevention programs (CDPP). A CDPP includes awareness-building about prescription drug diversion and abuse and materials to inform the formulation, implementation, extension, and monitoring of policies and procedures to reduce availability of prescription drugs for abuse in the school environment.

Launch of the Cochlear Implant School Toolkit website

KDHRC is pleased to announce that we have launched the Cochlear Implant School Toolkit website: www.cischooltoolkit.com

The website provides professionals and parents with tools to aid the academic and social success of a child with a cochlear implant who is entering a mainstream classroom for the first time. It also provides classroom lesson plans, a video explaining the five senses, deafness, and cochlear implants, and online games for children.

KDHRC received funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to develop the Cochlear Implant School Toolkit.

December 2011

Cochlear Implant Toolkit videos are award-winning

KDHRC is pleased to announce that the videos we created for the Cochlear Implant Toolkit recently received three industry awards recognizing their high quality and impact.

“Welcoming Children with Cochlear Implants” is for teachers and discusses optimal approaches for mainstreaming a child with a cochlear implant. It won two awards:

  • The Pixie Award, a gold level award, for use of graphic elements in a program.
  • A Digital Video (DV) Award, celebrating technical and creative achievement in digital video production.

“Making Sense of Our Senses” is a video for young children (K-2) on the five sense and how cochlear implants help some children hear. It won a DV Award in the Format-Corporate Communications category.

Inertia Films produced the Cochlear Implant Toolkit videos through a subcontract with KDHRC.

KDHRC received funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to develop the Cochlear Implant Toolkit.

November 2011

KDHRC publishes evaluation results of a public health tool to help teachers effectively accommodate and teach children with cochlear implants in mainstream classrooms

Research brief no. 9 reports on the evaluation of the Teachers' Guide and DVD components of the Cochlear Implant School Toolkit. The evaluation results suggest that exposure to the Teacher's Guide and DVD relates to increases in elementary school teacher's knowledge about cochlear implants, the educational and social needs of the children who have them, and methods to accommodate and teach them effectively. Visit our Publications page to view the brief.

October 2011

Research brief no. 8 presents an intergenerational approach to improve the health literacy skills of Latino families

This research brief provides the preliminary evaluation results of a pilot version of the novel health program, En Familia (ENF). The evaluative findings suggest that ENF has several efficacious and feasible elements in its pilot form. The brief outlines these elements and offers insight into ways the program will evolve from the pilot form to one with full content and wide applicability. Visit our Publications page to view the brief.

KDHRC president presents on teen drug and alcohol prevention at Atlanta conference

Dr. Kristen Holtz presented a workshop on Fresh Approaches to Reaching Teens with Drug and Alcohol Prevention Messages at the 24th annual National Prevention Network Conference, Atlanta, Georgia in September. The workshop offered participants the opportunity to explore the mindset of teens who are directly exposed to drugs and alcohol by learning about research, tools, and techniques used by advertisers and marketers.

August-September 2011

KDHRC publishes research brief on challenges to the effective implementation of promotores programs by community-based nonprofits

In 2007, KDHRC launched its Informing Public Health research brief series to disseminate innovative, objective, and timely information to solve public health and other social issues. Brief no. 7 reports on data that suggest that community-based nonprofits that choose to implement promotores programs face substantial implementation challenges. The brief offers macro-level and organizational strategies that may help nonprofits to launch and systemize these programmatic initiatives. Visit our Publications page to view the brief.

Conference season for KDHRC

KDHRC research staff will present at several national conferences throughout the summer and fall. Below is our 2011 conference schedule. We hope to see you there!

  • CDC Fifth Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, Atlanta, GA. Title: En Familia: An intergenerational approach to improving knowledge and health literacy skills in Latino families. Poster presentation on August 10, 2011. Authors: Palmer, L., Stringer, K., Holtz, K.
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. Title: Understanding characteristics of youth willing to interact with a large-scale drug prevention media campaign. Paper presentation on October 31, 2011. Authors: Holtz, K., Twombly, E., Becker, J.
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. Title:  En Familia: An intergenerational approach to improving health literacy among and delivering health education to Latino families. Paper presentation on November 1, 2011. Authors: Palmer, L., Stringer, K., Holtz, K.
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. Title: The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit: Helping children with cochlear implants achieve academically and socially in mainstream schools. Poster presentation on November 1, 2011. Authors: Palmer, L., Eisenstein, J., Holtz, K.
  • Annual American Evaluation Association (AEA) Conference, Anaheim, CA. Title: Research and evaluation as public health program development tools. Paper presentation on November 3, 2011. Authors: Palmer, L., Eisenstein, J., Holtz, K.
  • Annual American Evaluation Association (AEA) Conference, Anaheim, CA. Title: Using research and evaluation as tools to design and implement culturally-appropriate interventions. Paper presentation on November 4, 2011. Authors: Palmer, L. Stringer, K., Holtz, K.

July 2011

KDHRC celebrates the official launch of the new Latino Health program area

July 1, 2011 marks the official launch of the Latino Health program area at KDHRC. The new program area seeks to understand and address the unique health risks of Latino families and communities, and explore optimal methods for community-based organizations to deliver health education to Latinos.

June 2011

Abstracts accepted to 2011 APHA conference in Washington, DC

KDHRC is pleased to announce that four abstracts were accepted for presentation at the 139th APHA Annual Meeting, to be held in Washington, DC, on October 29 through November 2, 2011. Abstracts were accepted for research from four KDHRC projects: CI School Toolkit, En Familia, Familias Fuertes, and the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. KDHRC researchers will travel to Washington, DC to present findings at the APHA conference.

May 2011

Manuscript published in Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education

A manuscript entitled "Resonant Messages to Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse by Teens," by KDHRC Principal Research Associate, Eric C. Twombly, and President, Kristen D. Holtz, and former KDHRC employee Christina B. Agnew, was published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education. The abstract of the paper is found below.

Prescription drug misuse is a major health problem, particularly among teens. A key step in curbing misuse is the development of effective prescription drug prevention messages. This paper explores the elements of prescription drug misuse prevention messages that resonate with teens using data from focus groups with seventh and eighth grade students. In contrast to some previous research, students reported that messages with positive alternatives and refusal skills had little resonance, but scare tactic data also suggest a substantial difference in message resonance between seventh and eighth grade students. Overall, the findings suggest the need to craft and target different types of messages for prescription drug misuse prevention to targeted teen audiences.

Manuscript accepted for publication in Journal of Applied Communication Research

A manuscript entitled "Using Communication Infrastructure Theory to Formulate a Strategy to Locate 'Hard-to-Reach' Research Participants" with authorship by KDHRC employee Kimberly Stringer, and others, was accepted for publication in the May 2011 issue of Journal of Applied Communication Research. The paper reports results from a project funded by the Partnership for Urban Health Research, at Georgia State University. The abstract of the paper is found below.

In health-communication research, participants who are disproportionately affected by health disparities are often ‘‘hard-to-reach,’’ making them difficult to identify for formative research. This study used communication infrastructure theory (CIT) to create a strategy for locating a specific subset of residents*those who use 911 for healthcare within a low-income Atlanta community. Findings suggest the need for strategies that involve employing both the communication channels that are part of the neighborhood storytelling network and the community’s discursive spaces, more specifically the communication hot spots and community comfort zones located within the community’s built environment.

March 2011

KDHRC president invited to participate in expert panel for Surgeon General's office

Kristen Holtz, President of KDHRC, was invited to participate in an expert panel on the prevention of prescription drug abuse among youth, hosted by the Office of the Surgeon General. The meeting will be held to evaluate the state of science as it pertains to the prevention of prescription drug abuse among youth. The goal of the meeting is to review the existing science on the topic and engage in a dialogue to guide the development of a Call to Action on Rx drug abuse issues by the Office of the Surgeon General.

Manuscript accepted for publication in Public Performance & Management Review

A manuscript entitled "Social service agencies and program change: implications for theory and policy," by Jennifer C. Auer, Eric C. Twombly, and Carol J. De Vita was accepted for publication in the March issue of Public Performance & Management Review, a publication that explains factors influencing the performance of public and nonprofit organizations and agencies. The abstract of the paper is provided below.

Although the implementation of social welfare policies in the United States are predicated on the ability of nonprofit managers to innovate, adapt, and respond to changing government and community service priorities, there is little empirical information on the number and types of social service providers that actually alter their programming over time. This exploratory paper begins to fill that information gap by using data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics and descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze the proportion, types and conditions under which nonprofits changed their programming between 1999 and 2001. The results show that programmatic shifts among social service agencies are uncommon, although they are more likely for family service providers and nonprofits with greater financial capacity.

February 2011

KDHRC awarded NIDA “Brain Power” subcontract

KDHRC was awarded as subcontract on a major National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contract to develop materials for NIDA’s “Brain Power” science education curricula. These four curricula – targeting grade ranges K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th through 5th, and 6th through 9th, educate youth about the brain and body and how drugs change healthy functioning. Thousands of copies of these curricula have been distributed at no-cost to schools and teachers nationwide since their release in the early-2000s.

Under the subcontract, KDHRC will extend the reach and resonance of the print curricula by developing web-based games that will be available on the NIDA Goes to School website. These games will cover key learning objectives of the curricula in an engaging and interactive manner. We anticipate that the games will be made available in Fall 2011.