HB alumnus Bernhardt to lead new health communication center at University of Texas

March 20, 2014

Dr. Jay Bernhardt

Dr. Jay Bernhardt

Jay M. Bernhardt, PhD, former director of the National Center for Health Marketing at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and alumnus of UNC’s public health school, has been named founding director of The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication’s new Center for Health Communication, effective July 1.

Bernhardt also will serve as the center’s director, as professor in the  Department of Communication Studies and Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and as the Everett D. Collier Centennial Chair in Communication.

Bernhardt said he looks forward to helping researchers, practitioners and other advocates work together to make a positive difference in the health of people in Texas and across the U.S. and world.

“With the rapid advancement of innovative communication technologies, health communication has the potential to revolutionize health care, medicine and public health,” he said.

Bernhardt currently serves as professor of health education and behavior and founding director of the Center for Digital Health and Wellness at the University of Florida. He has appointments in the University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance and the College of Public Health and Health Professions. His research focuses on the application of digital communication technologies — including mobile and social media — to public health, health care and medicine.

He received a doctorate in health behavior in 1999 from what is now UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu.