About the Conference Scholarships
More than 20 public health professionals at the state and local levels received scholarships from SAMHSA to attend the 2010 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta.
The purpose of the scholarships is to support public health professionals who are seeking to learn and expand their knowledge of health marketing and communications to plan, put into action, and evaluate programs designed to encourage positive changes in health-related behaviors in their home communities.
SAMHSA received nominations from CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) and NASMHPD (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors).
The scholarships provided conference registration and accommodations for 2 days.
Almost half of this year’s scholarship recipients responded to a request for comments from SAMHSA News. Here’s what they said:
Eunice Bedminster, Public Relations, Director and PIO/Special Assistant to Health Commissioner, Virgini Islands Department of Health, Christiansted, VI
Learning more about social networking and other new forms of media were reasons I wanted to attend the conference. I’ve come to realize that in any public health threat, these sites are certified gold. I could use a combination of our website, press releases, and information posted on social networking sites to help in a crisis. In the Virgin Islands, options to learning new things are not readily available; thus, the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media conference provided the perfect opportunity. I also loved the attention heaped on recipients by the SAMHSA staff – getting us together, which enabled us to do some networking with other scholarship recipients. Again, thanks to SAMHSA, and I look forward to participating again next year.
Clay Butcher, Communications Manager, Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services, Anchorage, AK
The conference was a great opportunity to meet with peers, discuss new ideas, and learn from a wide range of experts. The scholarship that allowed me to attend the conference was invaluable, and I appreciate the staff at SAMHSA reaching out and making these resources available.
Rena Shawver, Social Marketing Coordinator, Mental Health Transformation Project, Office of the Governor, State of Washington, Olympia, WA
This year’s conference provided even more information and insight on social media and public campaigns that are truly supporting and moving populations in need towards healthier lifestyles, recovery, greater self-reliance and self-sufficiency. I learned a great deal from each workshop I attended. Additionally, my colleagues and I appreciated the opportunity to be presenters and share what we’ve learned through our work with media and reporting on mental illness in the State of Washington. With the SAMHSA scholarship, we were able to come to Atlanta. Thank you SAMHSA for helping us get a glimpse of possible ways to support our clients in the future!
Sue Lockett-John, Ph.D., Research & Media Associate, Washington State Coalition to Improve Mental Health Reporting, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
I am very grateful to SAMHSA for making it possible for me and my Washington colleagues to attend the conference in Atlanta, both to share what we are doing to address stigma in news coverage in our state, and to network, learn, and think about how to sustain and expand our efforts.
Melanie Green, Mental Health Recovery Coordinator, Clark County Regional Support Network, Vancouver, WA
I am grateful for the support of SAMHSA. The Agency made it possible for me to attend the conference. I appreciated the opportunity to share the work my colleagues and I have done to improve mental health reporting in the state of Washington. I learned new skills and techniques from others from throughout the country.
Deborah J. Hollis, Director, Office of Drug Control Policy, Bureau of Substance Abuse & Addiction Services, Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing, MI
My best take away was learning to communicate to reach target populations, especially using technology and social marketing. The conference provided several excellent examples.
Eduardo Hernandez, VP, International Programs and Deputy Director, Dissemination and Coalitions Relations/CADCA, Alexandria, VA
I found the conference extremely useful. It provided me with up-to-date information about the latest trends in health communications, particularly in regards to the impact of social media. I also feel that the strong involvement of researchers and academics who reported on their research greatly added to the overall quality of the presentations. And finally, I learned about strategies on reaching “hard to reach” communities, particularly using social media. I am greatly appreciative to SAMHSA for the opportunity to attend this outstanding conference.
Kareemah Hafiz Abdullah, Deputy Director, Training/Technical Assistance and VP, Training and Youth Programs, CADCA, Alexandria, VA
CDC and SAMHSA are on the mark. The National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media is a unique niche in 21st century health promotion worthy of continuation. Thanks again for the opportunity. This scholarship has helped me stay on the cutting edge!
Victoria Carlborg, Communications Associate, CADCA, Alexandria, VA
I am honored to have been a scholarship recipient to attend the National Conference of Health Communication, Marketing, and Media because I learned new ways to tell old stories in order to accomplish our organizations’ goals of making communities across America and the world safe, healthy, and drug-free.
Wanda Boone, Executive Director, Durham Together for Resilient Youth (TRY), Durham, NC
My three specific questions about implementing a social media campaign to reduce the occurrence of underage drinking and HIV on college campuses were answered at the conference. I left fully equipped to start the initiative.
Jason Verhoosky, Community Liaison/Youth Program Coordinator, Danvers Cares, Danvers, MA
Great to receive a scholarship to attend the conference, an amazing opportunity to hear from many leaders in our field, network with other health communicators, and gain new information.