The Art of Public Health

May 7, 2012, 4:19 PM, Posted by


Students at the Yale School of Public Health teamed up with fellow classmates at the university’s School of Art to develop original public health posters. The goal was to provoke awareness, stimulate thought and change behavior on health issues such as obesity, breast cancer screening, and self-respect and child development.

The posters were the idea of School of Public Health Assistant Professor Catherine Yeckel, who challenged students to apply and translate theoretical scientific knowledge into a public health campaign to educate the public on a specific health topic.

“The progression from complex to simple communication, letting the image speak, was probably the most powerful insight for all the groups,” says Yeckel. “In my mind, gaining this insight becomes the launching point for tackling a public-health campaign and movement.”

Fourteen pairs of public health/art students worked together. The Connecticut State Office of Health Reform and Innovation will display the posters beginning in July, and a tour of other communities is expected after that.

View the online exhibit.

Bonus view: The World Health Organization has just released a video to raise awareness about malaria called T3 (Test. Treat. Track) that, like the Yale posters, uses few words but imparts a powerful message.

Weigh In: What messages have been effective in your community?

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.