Developing the evidence base for local health departments' use of social media to protect and improve public health

The Foundation's National Program for Public Health Research was designed to further the growth and impact of the field of public health services and systems research (PHSSR) by coordinating current PHSSR investments, supporting real-world applications of research, strengthening the capacity of researchers and practitioners, catalyzing the translation and application of findings into practice, increasing visibility and champions for the work, and attracting other funders to the field.This award provides two years of mentored support for junior PHSSR scientists with matching salary support and guaranteed protected research time from the sponsoring institution.Jenine Harris is an Assistant Professor in Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis (WU) Brown School of Social Work, and is affiliated with WU's Institute for Public Health. She has a PhD in Biostatistics and Public Health, and her PHSSR studies focusing on systems approaches and network methods to understand and strengthen public health systems have been widely published. Her career development plan includes coursework and training to further develop in the areas of data management and analysis, social media and health communications, dissemination and implementation (D&I) research, and grant writing. In addition, she will receive support through her work with WU research programs in D&I, prevention research, and public health systems science. Harris' research aims to examine local health departments' (LHD) use of social media, and the social media communication network among LHDs, their constituents, and other public health system stakeholders. Descriptive, inferential, and statistical network modeling approaches will be used. Ross Brownson, Professor of Epidemiology, will serve as the on-site mentor. Along with the practice mentor, he will provide feedback and guidance on project planning, translation and dissemination of project findings for practitioners, and connections with the practice community. Dissemination will include issue briefs, Twitter/Facebook social media posts, webinars, publications and presentations.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $99,293.00

Awarded on: 11/27/2012

Time frame: 12/1/2012 - 12/31/2014

Grant Number: 70577


Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work

Campus Box 1196
One Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, 63130-4899


Ross C. Brownson
Project Director


Jenine K. Harris
Project Director