Technical writing student presents at International Health Communication conference

Jul 10, 2023 | General News, Liberal Arts, Students

Ella Goodwin, a junior technical writing student at Louisiana Tech University, presented at the 2023 Interdisciplinary Conference on Communication, Medicine, and Ethics (COMET) held in Cork, Ireland in late June.

Goodwin’s presentation, “Culture and Ecosystems of Care: A Framework for Understanding International Health and Medical Contexts,” highlighted work she has done with Tech’s Center for Health and Medical Communication (CHMC). 

Her presentation examined an approach the Center uses to develop effective health communication materials for different audiences. Goodwin and other members of the Center have applied this approach, known as the “ecosystems of care” method, to create informational and instructional materials for organizations such as the Louisiana Department of Health, the Louisiana Public Health Institute, and AgriSafe.

“Due to factors like technological advancement and global pandemics like COVID-19, our world is more interconnected than ever in terms of medical and health communication,” Goodwin said. “The challenge, then, becomes communicating effectively, not only across one’s own culture, but also across other cultures.”

Held in a different nation every year, COMET allows researchers from different countries to discuss challenges affecting communication in health and medical situations.

The 2023 conference drew participants from more than 20 countries and allowed individuals in academia, government, and industry to discuss cutting-edge research, emerging practices, and new technologies that can improve health and medical communication processes. Participants included individuals from communications, public health, business, medicine, surgery, and sociology.   

From nearby Monroe, Goodwin was one of a select number of students who participated in the 2023 Conference.  Her presentation was part of the panel that focused on “Applying Usability Approaches to Health Medical Communication Contexts,” which highlighted approaches for creating health and medical information patients can use effectively. The panel included Tech faculty member and CHMC Director Kirk St.Amant and Limerick University Professor Dr. Darina Slattery. Each panel member discussed approaches for creating materials patients could easily use to perform different healthcare processes.

Not only was Goodwin’s talk well received, but it was also singled out by one of the Conference’s opening speakers, who praised the timeliness and value of the topic. And while Goodwin has previously organized local conferences and international symposia for Tech, this is the first time she had presented at such an event.

“Speaking at the COMET conference was not only a great privilege to share exciting research being done at the CHMC and Louisiana Tech,” Goodwin said, “but also an amazing opportunity to collaborate with international minds on a number of ideas.”

Next on her agenda is working with the CHMC to coordinate the 2024 Louisiana Tech Symposium on Usability and Design to be held in Strasbourg, France on April 12-13.

Goodwin’s presentation was sponsored through funds from the Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair in Technical Communication.