The goal of the Health Communication & Social Needs Core is to improve health literacy and communication of diabetes information, advance the integration of social needs data and solutions into diabetes translation research, as well as build capacity of effective communication and integration of social needs into diabetes translation research.

Core Personnel

Charlene  Caburnay, PhD

Charlene Caburnay, PhD

Co-Core Director: Health Communication and Social Needs Core | Research Assistant Professor at the Brown School

Matthew  Kreuter, PhD

Matthew Kreuter, PhD

Core Director: Health Communication and Social Needs Core | Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School

Core Services

  • Facilitate strategic community partnerships (i.e. non-healthcare and other social sectors) to increase reach of diabetes interventions among priority populations
  • Sponsor virtual group consultations focused on integrating social needs into translation research and developing skills for communicating to diverse audiences 
  • Provide access to a virtual library of webinars and other resources
  • One-on-one consultations to assist investigators in:
    • Using message design strategies proven to enhance the relevance and impact of health information for priority health disparity populations;
    • Assuring cultural appropriateness of diabetes prevention interventions, including planning audience research, evaluating prototypes of interventions, and assessing impact of cultural appropriateness strategies;
    • Applying health literacy best practices to assure diabetes prevention materials and interventions are easy to understand and use by priority populations, and to protect against misinformation.
    • Incorporating existing, validated measures of social needs (e.g., housing security, food security, financial resources, utility bills, personal safety, child care, transportation and employment) to further acknowledge and understand their impact on diabetes outcomes; 
    • Developing and test social needs interventions to improve diabetes outcomes by advising on research design and methodology well-suited for translational research; 
Other Resources
  • Focus-19 reports on the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is powered by 2-1-1 helplines, the top surveillance system for social needs like housing, food, utility bills, transportation, child care and health care. 
  • For more information on Dr. Kreuter and Caburnay’s Health Communication Research Laboratory, visit their website.