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SciPICH Publications IconWired for Health and Well-Being: The Emergence of Interactive Health Communication

Editors: Thomas R. Eng, David H. Gustafson

Suggested Citation: Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health. Wired for Health and Well-Being: the Emergence of Interactive Health Communication.  Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, US Government Printing Office, April 1999.

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Appendix H: Panel and Staff Biographies


Linda Adler, MPH, MA, develops Web-based applications that enable users to obtain health-related information and social support and to make health care decisions. She is a co-investigator for Kaiser Permanente’s Patient-Provider Matching Project, a research effort to determine the impact of decision support in the area of physician selection, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is also a developer of the discussion group forum for Kaiser Permanente Online. Linda has worked for many years in the areas of computerized decision support, health education, and shared decisionmaking. In addition, she is a co-author of The 1996 Health Informatics Directory. She has a masters degree in communication research and a masters degree in public health.

Farrokh Alemi, PhD, is an associate professor of health administration at George Mason University's College of Nursing and Health Science. He received his PhD in industrial engineering (decision analysis) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Health Care Financing Administration, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, and a number of other foundations and private companies have supported his research. Dr. Alemi's research has focussed on the application of computers to improving health of underserved populations. In 1996, the October supplement of Medical Care was devoted to his research on computer services to cocaine-using pregnant patients. Dr. Alemi has provided testimony to the US Congress concerning the use of computer services to patients' homes. He has started two software companies, and is currently president of TelePractice, a company focussed on online treatment of substance abuse. Dr. Alemi teaches online about various topics including medical informatics. More information and contact details are available at

David Ansley* is editor-in-chief of, a consumer-oriented health news and information Web site published by OnHealth Network Co. of Seattle. During his tenure with the Panel, he was employed by Consumers Union for four years, where he was science editor of Consumer Reports magazine and the Web editor of Consumer Reports Online. He was also the science and medicine editor of the San Jose Mercury News and acting director of a science journalism fellowship program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has a degree in communication from Stanford University.

Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, holds the Moehlman Bascom Professorship, School of Nursing and College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Brennan received a masters of science in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed seven years of clinical practice in critical care nursing and psychiatric nursing before holding several academic positions. She developed and directed the ComputerLink, an electronic network designed to reduce isolation and improve self-care among home care patients, and is presently overseeing the HeartCare initiative, a Web-based cardiac recovery service. Dr. Brennan is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. She is a founding associate editor for the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Currently president-elect, Dr. Brennan will serve as president of the 4,000 member American Medical Informatics Association.

Molly J. Coye, MD, MPH, is a senior vice president in public policy practice and director of the West Coast Office of the Lewin Group. Previously, she served as executive vice president of strategic development for HealthDesk Corporation, a developer of software for online patient health and disease management. Dr. Coye also served as senior vice president for the Good Samaritan Health System, a nonprofit integrated health care system and the largest provider system in the Santa Clara Valley. She was responsible for the operation of four hospitals, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Good Samaritan Medical Foundation, a managed care delivery system including a multispecialty group practice, and an IPA serving 70,000 HMO members. Additional professional positions held by Dr. Coye include director of the California Department of Health Services, commissioner of health for the State of New Jersey, and head of the Division of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Dr. Coye is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration. She has authored two books on Chinese history and is a Trustee of the China Medical Board.

David H. Gustafson, PhD, MS (Chair), is professor of industrial engineering and preventive medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he directs the development and evaluation of CHESS (the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System), a computer system to help people cope with breast cancer, AIDS/HIV, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, alcohol abuse, and sexual assault. He is a recognized expert in how demographic factors influence the use of interactive health communication technologies. Dr. Gustafson also has developed new methods and models to document consumer needs in quality improvement and to measure customer satisfaction, severity of illness, medical underservice, and quality of care. He has served on numerous national committees and task forces related to health, health care quality, and informatics. Dr. Gustafson is the author of four books and 100 papers in professional journals, proceedings, and books and recently received the National Information Infrastructure Award of Merit. He received his MS and PhD from the University of Michigan.

Joseph V. Henderson, MD, MA, MPhil, has 15 years experience as a multimedia developer and medical educator. He founded and directed the Center for Interactive Media in Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, where he developed ground-breaking multimedia applications that are still considered prime examples of exciting and effective uses of these technologies. For the past decade he has directed the Interactive Media Laboratory (IML) at Dartmouth Medical School, where he has been developing interactive multimedia programs for health professionals and patients. The latter group includes four of the Shared Decision Programs distributed by the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making. Dr. Henderson has consulted extensively for industry in the areas of technology-based training, medical informatics, multimedia production, and networked multimedia services. Recently, he has been assisting the development of a global distance learning system for the US Army by developing advanced applications and tools better to anticipate the arrival of ubiquitous, broadband networks. The IML and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have just begun a project to develop a next-generation distance learning system for public health.

Holly B. Jimison, PhD, is assistant professor of medical informatics and assistant professor of public health and preventive medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University. She also serves as director of the Informed Patient Decisions Group, conducting research on methods to enable patients to be active and informed participants in their health care decisions. Current research and consulting projects include work on computer decision models to tailor consumer health information; communication methods using Web, phone, and paging technologies for patients in the home; measuring patient preferences for health outcomes; and the evaluation of self-care and shared decisionmaking interventions. Dr. Jimison received her doctorate in medical information sciences at Stanford University, with dissertation work on using computer decision models to tailor patient education materials to individuals.

Nancy Metcalf** specializes in health, medicine, and environmental topics as associate editor of Consumer Reports, published by Consumers Union. A graduate of Wellesley College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she has been a science writer and editor for the past 20 years. She has won a Front Page Award, a Science-in-Society Journalism Award from the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, and has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award.

Albert G. Mulley, Jr., MD, MPP, is associate professor of medicine and associate professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the General Medicine Division and director of the Medical Practices Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. After receiving degrees in medicine and public policy from Harvard, he completed his residency training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is author and editor of the leading text, Primary Care Medicine, as well as many articles in the medical and health services research literature. Dr. Mulley has conducted pioneering work in the application of clinical epidemiology and decision theory to the evaluation of medical intensive care, primary care including prevention and screening, and other health care services. He served on the Clinical Practice and Clinical Efficacy Assessment Committees of the American College of Physicians and on a number of committees of the Institute of Medicine addressing issues in clinical research and clinical quality improvement. Dr. Mulley has been a member of many professional organizations, including the Institute of Medicine Committee for Quality Review and Assurance in Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Health Services Research Study Section of the National Center for Health Services Research. He has been recognized as a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Faculty Scholar in General Internal Medicine.

John W. Noell, PhD, is a senior research scientist at Oregon Research Institute and vice-president and chief technologist for the Oregon Center for Applied Science. He has been developing award-winning interactive multimedia programs in biology and health for more than 25 years. Emphasizing theory-based approaches to behavior change, Dr. Noell has developed numerous public health-oriented programs with extensive applications of tailoring and message framing. Programs he has developed include adolescent pregnancy prevention, smoking cessation, diet change, date-rape prevention, diabetes management, and others. Dr. Noell designs programs for use in various environments (e.g., clinics, worksites, schools, and homes) using kiosks, LAN-based applications, and the Internet. His current work involves the design and analysis of health communications for interactive applications in behavior change.

Kevin Patrick, MD, MS, is director of the Student Health Center at San Diego State University and adjunct professor of public health at San Diego State University. He is editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, past president of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine, and served on the Secretary’s Council for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In addition, he was a senior advisor in communication technology policy at HHS, where he co-chaired the Information Infrastructure Task Force’s Sub-Committee on Consumer Health Information and convened the Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health. Dr. Patrick also served as an advisor to both the NIST Advanced Technology Program and the NTIA Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program. He was a primary investigator or co-investigator in more than $12 million in public and private research and training grants and has authored or co-authored more than 80 scientific articles, book chapters, commentaries, and abstracts on a broad range of topics, including school and student health, public health, infectious diseases, behavioral health counseling, information and communication technology, and consumer health information. Dr. Patrick is board certified in both preventive medicine and family practice.

Thomas C. Reeves, PhD, is a professor of instructional technology at the University of Georgia where he teaches program evaluation, multimedia design, and research methods. Since receiving his PhD at Syracuse University in 1979, he has developed and evaluated numerous interactive multimedia programs for both education and training. In addition to giving more than 100 presentations and workshops in the United States, he has been an invited speaker in many countries including Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Finland, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan. He is a past president of the Association for the Development of Computer-based Instructional Systems (ADCIS) and a former Fulbright Lecturer. In 1995, Dr. Reeves was selected as one of the "Top 100" people in multimedia by Multimedia Producer magazine, and since 1997, he has been the editor of the Journal of Interactive Learning Research. His research interests include evaluation of instructional technology for education and training, socially responsible research goals and methods in education, mental models and interactive multimedia user interface issues, electronic performance support systems (EPSS), and applications of instructional technology in developing countries.

Thomas N. Robinson, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor of pediatrics and of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and the co-director of youth studies at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention. Dr. Robinson received his BS and MD degrees from Stanford University and his MPH degree in maternal and child health from the University of California at Berkeley. After internship and residency training in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School, he returned to Stanford as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. He joined the faculty at Stanford in 1993 and was appointed assistant professor in 1996. Dr. Robinson performs school-, family-, and community-based prevention research, focusing on reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, childhood obesity prevention and treatment, tobacco and alcohol use prevention, the effects of television viewing on health-related behaviors, and the use of interactive communication technologies to promote health behavior change. Dr. Robinson is board certified in pediatrics, is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and practices general pediatrics at Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Victor J. Strecher, PhD, MPH, is a behavioral scientist whose work has focused on developing and testing strategies for health behavior change in medical care, community, and occupational settings; studying methods for improving the quality of tailored health communications; researching the determinants of health decisionmaking behavior; and employing experimental and survey research methods in conducting evaluative analyses. Dr. Strecher is a professor and associate director at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. At this center, Dr. Strecher has created the Health Media Research Laboratory—a group of behavioral and medical researchers, computer programmers, instructional designers, and creative artists organized to develop innovative health education interventions using advanced communications technologies.

* Served until April 1998
** Served beginning April 1998


Thomas R. Eng, VMD, MPH, is the study director for the Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health. His areas of interest include the application of communication and information technology in health communication, health care, public health, and epidemiological research. He has a special interest in the use of interactive media to improve the health of underserved populations. Most recently, he was a study director at the Institute of Medicine, where he directed the report, The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Previous positions in his public health career include: an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow in the US Senate, Peace Corps’ epidemiologist, a preventive medicine resident and Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an epidemiologist in two State health departments. He has received several awards from the US Public Health Service and other national health organizations. Author or co-author of more than 85 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and abstracts on a wide range of health and technology issues, he is also an associate editor of the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.

Anne Restino, MA, is health communications manager for the National Health Information Center, where she assists in the development and management of Web-based health communication projects and serves as a senior marketing and outreach specialist and liaison to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She received her masters degree in health communication from the Emerson College-Tufts University School of Medicine joint program. Her graduate work investigated the usefulness of the Web as a health communication tool and included the development, evaluation, and management of the Emerson-Tuft’s Health Communication Resources Web site. Ms. Restino has served as project manager for several academic Web sites and has written and spoken on health communication applications for the Web. Previously, she worked in the sales and marketing operations at various consumer product, service, and information organizations.

Paul Kim is a research assistant in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In addition to supporting the Panel, he coordinates the Public Health Functions Project, a collaboration of the US Public Health Service agencies and numerous national public health associations that are convened to strengthen the public health infrastructure. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in biological sciences.

Mary Jo Deering, PhD, is acting deputy director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and director of its Health Communication and Telehealth Team. She created the Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health and now oversees its work. She chairs the Work Group for the Health Communication focus area for Healthy People 2010 and serves on the core team within ODPHP that is coordinating the development of Healthy People 2010. She is the lead staff for the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics’ Work Group on a National Health Information Infrastructure. She chairs the steering committees for healthfinder® (, the official Federal gateway to consumer health information, and for Partnerships for Networked Consumer Health Information, which presents national conferences and the innovative Technology Games. Dr. Deering served on the Federal Communication Commission’s Advisory Committee on Telecommunication and Health. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, and has authored and co-authored book chapters and articles on health communication and new media.


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