Susan H. Evans is Research Scientist at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She has a long-standing interest in using communication technologies and strategies to improve public health, especially people’s capacity to avoid or manage chronic illnesses.
Her current research focuses on developing and testing a mobile phone app to help low-income people use fresh vegetables distributed by food pantries. This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and builds on her years of experience working with food banks across the country, helping more than 150 organizations launch programs to distribute fresh produce. (See Stanford Social Innovation Review for an article recounting the lessons learned from this effort: http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/disseminating_orphan_innovations)
She is co-author (with Peter Clarke) of Surviving Modern Medicine: How to Get the Best from Doctors, Family, and Friends (Rutgers University Press, 1998). Through it, readers discover how to establish better communication with their doctors, make more thoughtful choices among options for care, and get support from friends and family that promotes wellness. Though intended for the general reader, Surviving Modern Medicine is based on more than 500 studies in the medical and behavioral literature.
She is an award-winning producer of interactive media tools in health, from such organizations as the Association of Visual Communications and the International Teleconferencing Association.
Evans has been co-PI on research grants from the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the IBM Corporation, the State of California, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and other foundations and agencies.
Prior to earning her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, she held a number of positions in marketing and public opinion research, and is co-author (with Peter Clarke) of Covering Campaigns: Journalism in Congressional Elections (Stanford University Press, 1983).
Evans teaches an undergraduate class, “Communicating Health Messages and Medical Issues,” that helps students understand how communication--interpersonal, mass media, telecommunication, and built spaces--shapes the exchange of information, the formation of attitudes and beliefs, and people's health behavior.