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Graphic Public Health: Comics for Health Literacy, Health Promotion, and Advocacy

The medium of comics is uniquely suited for conveying health information in engaging, economical, and culturally sensitive ways. Comic narratives also offer a means for public health practitioners to share their dilemmas and a multiplicity of perspectives on complex health issues and policies. Comics can disclose the political, emotional, and ethical dimensions of public health practice. And importantly, graphic public health can also give voice to the people in our communities who are impacted by the policy and programmatic decisions made by public health officials. Dr. Meredith Li-Vollmer from Public Health – Seattle & King County will share examples of how she has applied comics to health literacy, health promotion and advocacy for public health. She will also discuss aspects of the creative process of developing graphic public health.

Presenter Bio:
Dr. Meredith Li-Vollmer is a communications specialist at Public Health – Seattle & King County and clinical assistant professor in Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She has served in national capacities in the public health field for organizations including the National Academies, the National Association for County and City Health Officials, and the Center for Biosecurity. She is also a cartoonist and a board member for Short Run Comix and Arts. Dr. Li-Vollmer’s comics have been published in The Stranger, MUTHA, Illustrated PEN, and the American Journal of Public Health and she has spoken on public health comics at San Diego Comic-Con, Emerald City Comic-Con, and the Comics & Medicine conference. Dr. Li-Vollmer received a doctorate in communications from the University of Washington.