In the wake of global health crises, the need for skilled professionals who can navigate the complex landscape of health and risk communication has never been more critical. AUR's summer course, “Health & Risk Communication in an Interpandemic World,” offers a unique opportunity for professionals to refine their abilities in this vital area, arming participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to lead in this ever-evolving field and, ultimately, make a tangible difference in public health and clinical outcomes.

Social and behavior change (SBC) and social and behavior change communication (SBCC) are foundational to understanding how to influence public health positively. SBC seeks to transform the environmental and societal conditions that hinder individuals and communities from adopting healthy behaviors, employing a multidisciplinary approach combining sociology, anthropology, psychology, communication, sociomedical sciences, and behavioral economics. Similarly, SBCC strategically utilizes communication to alter knowledge, attitudes, norms, beliefs, and behaviors to achieve behavioral, social, policy, and organizational change at different levels of society. Fundamental to both SBC and SBCC is an approach to health and risk communication that is grounded in human rights and health equity, community engagement and ownership, and system-thinking.

AUR's summer professional development course offers professionals from diverse sectors and disciplines (health, communication, international development, public health, human rights, community development, and others) the rare opportunity to delve into these practices. The course focuses on health and risk communication within the context of pandemics and other global health and healthcare areas. Considering the substantial role that misinformation and the global trust crisis in health information play in disease spread, the expertise in SBCC and SBC can be pivotal in shaping public health strategies for better outcomes. The program's emphasis on practical, evidence-based approaches ensures that participants will leave with actionable skills that can be immediately applied in their work.
Moreover, the global experience of attending a course in Rome adds an invaluable cultural dimension to the learning experience. Participants will benefit from the diverse perspectives and insights that come from engaging with an international cohort, enriching their understanding of global health communication challenges and strategies.
For professionals looking to make a difference in the world, this course represents a chance to enhance their skill set and become part of a global network of leaders poised to tackle some of the most pressing health communication challenges of our time. Whether it's influencing behavioral, social, or policy change, designing system- and equity-driven interventions, engaging communities and their leaders, crafting compelling public health messages and media, addressing the global health and social issues of our time, or leading emergency communication strategies during health crises, the knowledge and experiences gained from this program will have an immediate impact on those with careers in health and risk communication, social and behavior change, global health and international development.

In an era where the stakes for effective health and risk communication have never been higher, the opportunity to learn and grow in this area is both a professional advantage and a societal imperative. The American University of Rome's summer course is not just an educational program; it's a call to action for professionals from multiple sectors and disciplines ready to lead in the inter-pandemic world.

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