The Politics of Health and Healthcare: Communicating about Health in a Presidential Election Year

Public Program
September 30, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this fall’s public programs will be reimagined as a special series of the Communication Matters podcast as well as a series of videos. The pubilc program series, entitled “Communicating During a Presidential Election Year" will include three public programs: “The Politics of Health and Healthcare: Communicating about Health in Presidential Election Year,” “Communicating about the Role of Race and Social Change in Politics,” and “VEEPS 2020: Kamala Harris vs. Mike Pence.” Please visit the NCA Podcast page and NCA's YouTube channel for these programs that will be recorded and published in podcast and video format.


Trevor Parry-Giles

Trevor Parry-Giles, Executive Director, National Communication Association

Trevor Parry-Giles graduated from Ripon College and holds an M.A. from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. In addition to his NCA position, he is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland where he is also an affiliate faculty member with the Department of African American Studies and the Graduate School Field Committee in Film Studies. Dr. Parry-Giles's research and teaching focus on the historical and contemporary relationships between rhetoric, politics, law, and popular culture. He is the award-winning author or editor of four books and his research has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, the Journal of Communication, and elsewhere. Dr. Parry-Giles is a Distinguished Research Fellow and a Distinguished Teaching Fellow of the Eastern Communication Association. In 2019, Parry-Giles received the University of Maryland's Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.




Ambar Basu

Ambar Basu, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, University of South Florida

Dr. Basu's is a Professor in the Department of Communication and the University of South Florida. His research explores how individuals and communities living at the margins of society communicate about health, illness, and wellbeing. Dr. Basu’s interest is to locate health inequities in the context of cultural, political, economic, geopolitical, and development agendas in marginalized spaces. Dr. Basu has served as Senior Editor for Health Communication, and co-edits a Routledge book series titled Critical Cultural Studies in Global Health Communication. His recent scholarship has been published in Sage Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health, Health Communication, and Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies. 

Eduardo J. Gómez

Eduardo J. Gómez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Health, Lehigh University

Eduardo J. Gómez is an Associate Professor in the College of Health at Lehigh University. A political scientist by training, his research focuses on the politics of healthcare policy reform. His current research explores the politics of the United States and Brazil’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also working on a new book project titled Junk Food Politics, which examines the role and political influence of junk food industries in emerging markets. Dr. Gómez’s research has appeared in myriad scholarly journals and magazines. He is also a frequent contributor to major media outlets, such as the BBC, on topics ranging from global health to US-Latin American relations.

Susan Mello

Susan Mello, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Northeastern University

Susan Mello is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. Broadly, her research interests lie at the intersection of risk perception, health communication, and the environment. Her recent work explores how exposure to risk information in the media, specifically about COVID-19, environmental toxins, and cancer, impacts individual perceptions and protective health behaviors. Her research has been published in Journal of Health Communication, Risk Analysis, and Nicotine & Tobacco Research, among others. At Northeastern, she currently teaches courses in communication theory, health campaigns, and risk communication.

Heather Zoller

Heather Zoller, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, University of Cincinnati 

Heather M. Zoller is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. Her research addresses communication and the politics of public health. She is a former Associate Editor of Health Communication. She has published in journals such as Communication Monographs and Journal of Applied Communication Research. She co-edited with Mohan Dutta the volume Emerging Perspectives in Health Communication: Meaning, Culture, and Power.


A Public Program of the National Communication Association.