Facilitating population health and well-being requires organizations and individuals to share information and strategies across systems. Local health departments (LHDs) often lead the way in testing and implementing evidence-based public health messages, programs and practices, sometimes partnering with academic researchers to become a hub for information-sharing among both public and private stakeholders. However, LHDs also exist within complex and varied communication networks that incorporate different organizations, systems, and sectors. Such network heterogeneity has important implications for the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of evidence-based projects and programs, but little is known about the composition of these communication networks or how different network constellations drive information dissemination activities.
The study highlighted in this research-in-progress webinar seeks to address this gap by deploying social network and latent class analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems to better understand and classify local health department communication networks. Findings provide important insights for practitioners and social scientists alike who seek to leverage public health agencies to enhance uptake of evidence-based information and practice.
Anna G. Hoover, PhD, MA
Dominique Zephyr, MA