KCHC 2018 – April 12-14, 2018


Thursday, April 12, will be devoted to a preconference on Interventions to Improve Patient Involvement across the Cancer Control Continuum.

Friday, April 13, will feature competitive paper, poster, and panel sessions covering not only issues related to the conference theme but also issues pertinent to health communication research and practice broadly defined. The conference reception Friday evening offers participants an opportunity to relax after a full day of sessions.

Saturday, April 14 will feature additional competitive paper, poster, and panel sessions and a luncheon presentation by the winner of the Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award.


The Department of Communication hosts the biennial Kentucky Conference on Health Communication (KCHC). The first KCHCPersuasive Communication and Drug Abuse Prevention, was held in 1989 with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That conference was a small, invitation-only event focused entirely on research in substance abuse prevention. Since that beginning, our conference has evolved into a venue for health communication researchers, practitioners, and students to come together to share research on a variety of health-related topics and discuss current health communication issues, as well as develop working relationships to promote the health communication research agenda. Conference topics now range from individual-level health behavior risk reduction (e.g., substance abuse prevention, HIV/STD prevention, patient-provider communication) to media and technology-level issues (e.g., interactive health communication and informatics, media advocacy, public communication campaigns).

KCHC is held in Lexington, Kentucky, and is scheduled over three days in April during even years. Competitive paper, poster, and panel sessions, workshops/panels on topical issues, and a limited number of invited speakers comprise the conference. The conference features a keynote speaker, awards for the top student paper and top young scholar paper (up to five years post-PhD), and a Donohew Scholar award.

Beginning in 2012, funding for KCHC and its partner conference, DCHC, was made possible in part by a grant (R13CA168316) from the National Cancer Institute  and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade name, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award
Lewis Donohew, Professor Emeritus, was on the faculty in the Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, from 1964 to 1999. His research focused on finding ways to increase the persuasive effectiveness of anti-drug messages. He was instrumental in bringing more than $30 million in federal funding to the University and played a large part in establishing the health communication program for which the department is known. In 2001, he received the NCA–ICA Outstanding Health Scholar award. Although retired from the University of Kentucky, Dr. Donohew remains active in funded research, serving as co-principal investigator or consultant on various projects.

The Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award was established in Dr. Donohew’s name in 1998 to recognize outstanding research contributions to the health communication field made during the biennium preceding each conference. The list of award recipients includes some of the most highly funded and recognized communication scholars in the world.

Conference Staff

Chike Anyaegbunam

Professor, Director of Dissemination and Implementation Sciences Consortium

University of Kentucky

Elisia L. Cohen

Professor and Department Chair; Director, Health Communication Research Collaborative

University of Kentucky

Pamela K. Cupp

Director, Center for HIV Prevention

University of Kentucky


Ethan Doll

Technical Developer

University of Kentucky

Allison Gordon

Associate Professor

University of Kentucky


Kirk K. Hardy

Web/Database Developer

University of Kentucky

Nancy G. Harrington

Professor, Associate Dean for Research

University of Kentucky

Don W. Helme

Associate Professor

University of Kentucky

Scott W. Johnson

Director of Research and Instructional Technology

University of Kentucky

Chris R. Larmour

Assistant, Research and Instructional Technology; Technology Coordinator

University of Kentucky

Adam J. Parrish


University of Kentucky

Kevin J. Real

Associate Professor

University of Kentucky

Matthew W. Savage

Assistant Professor

University of Kentucky

Hannah R. Trusty

Department Office Manager/Project Manager

University of Kentucky

Advisory Board

Katharine J. Head

Assistant Professor

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Gary L. Kreps

Professor, Director of Center for Health and Risk Communication

George Mason University

Lynn C. Miller


University of Southern California – Annenberg

Roxanne L. Parrott

Distinguished Professor Emerita of Communication Arts and Sciences

Penn State University

Peter J. Schulz

Director, Institute of Communication and Health; Professor, University of Lugano

Università della Svizzera italiana

Michael D. Slater

Professor of Communication, Social and Behavioral Sciences Distinguished Professor

The Ohio State University

Sandi W. Smith

Health and Risk Communications Director, Professor

Michigan State University

Richard L. Street


Texas A&M University

Teri L. Thompson


University of Dayton

Julia van Weert

Program Group Director of Persuasive Communication

University of Amsterdam

Vish Viswanath

Professor of Health Communication & Director, Health Communication Core, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

Harvard University


The program for the 2018 conference will be available in January, 2018.


Conference accommodations and activites will be provided at:

Hyatt Regency – Lexington

401 West High Street
Lexington, KY 40507

Tel:  +1 859 253 1234
Fax: +1 859 233 7974

Reservation details:

Room rate: TBA

Rates apply to single, double, triple, and quadruple occupancy. Complimentary wireless internet is provided in the guest rooms and meeting rooms.

April is a very busy month in Lexington, with Keeneland thoroughbred racing in session, so we strongly urge you to make reservations early.

If you’re unable to stay at the conference hotel,several hotels close by there are for you to consider.


Registration for KCHC 2018 will open in January, 2018.

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