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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast


Episode #293 Communicating Health Information In A Digital World, With Alex Smith

On This Episode Of The Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast

Our ever-increasing use of technology has not only changed how people consume health information but emphasized the importance of digital communication in healthcare. Digital engagement and multimedia specialist Alex Smith is passionate about helping public health leaders adopt new and innovative ways to communicate. He joins us from Oklahoma to discuss the work he is currently doing as Creative Director of the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board (SPTHB). This conversation is part of a special series of sponsored episodes, where you’ll learn about the Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TEC) from the public health professionals working within those communities. Tuning in, you’ll find out how Alex promotes continued digital transformation at SPTHB and seeks to build a people-first brand that puts the needs of tribal communities first. You’ll discover how he is addressing the challenges of communicating health information in today’s digital world, the importance of adopting a heart-centered servant mentality, the power of creative storytelling, and so much more. Alex urges digital storytellers to acknowledge and understand the virtual ecosystems that we operate in. He also shares his advice and insights for exploiting creative storytelling for the purposes of advocacy and community awareness. Be sure to tune in today!

Meet Alex Smith

Some of the most fulfilling memories in Alex’s life have come from the power to connect people

through creative and storytelling. What began as animated story flipbooks in grade school, Alex

now uses in his professional career utilizing a wide range of media and digital design platforms

to help other organization’s move their story and mission forward.

In today’s world, he believes the pressure to “be digital” has never been greater. His passion is to help leaders adopt approaches to develop their organization’s talent and prepare for successful and continued digital transformation. From Alex’s vantage point, stories have and always will resonate with any audience, but he urges digital storytellers to gain insight into the digital ecosystems in which we are all communicating in.

In support of his son Nathan, his family, and the health and well-being for all caretakers of

special needs children, Alex is continuing to apply creative storytelling for advocacy and

community awareness projects. His son Nathan—dubbed a hero since conquering epilepsy at the age of 8—is living with diagnosed autism. Fueled by much faith in God, a supportive in-home family, and ample amounts of coffee, Alex balances work and family life with a listen-learn-lead mentality.

In his current role as Creative Director for the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, Alex has

been able to help lead the organization in establishing an online presence, brand, and voice as a premier tribal public health board. He has lent his creative support and digital expertise on

multiple projects that highlight health programs and initiatives for a number of our tribal nations

in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.

Alex lives in Oklahoma City and when he isn’t advocating for caretakers or working on a

project, he is spending quality time with his kids and fiancé, reading a good book, watching a

zombie movie, or practicing piano.

Listen To This Episode Of The Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast

Conversation Highlights

  • How Alex was introduced to the concept of public health by a school psychologist.

  • Personal lessons he has learned about communication from his professional journey.

  • Insight into what his role as Creative Director at SPTHB entails.

  • Populations that SPTHB serves and communication challenges Alex has encountered.

  • The Nonprofit Communications Director Mentoring Program he participated in recently.

  • Addressing the differences between pre-pandemic and post-pandemic communication.

  • A look at the motivations behind the video project, ’What is a Tribal Epidemiology Center?’

  • The role of epidemiology in the work Alex does and the communities he serves.

  • Alex speaks candidly about the advocacy work he does on behalf of his autistic son.

  • Why it’s important to adopt a heart-centered servant mentality.

  • Advice for public health professionals listening: be curious, reach out!

“It’s such a complex ecosystem that we’re in, for health services, for tribal nations. We’re just one part of that ecosystem. Right now, we’re trying to break it down to be more understandable and put forth [educational materials].” — @AlexEOKC

Other Links Mentioned In This Episode

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Podcast Links

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Public Health Consulting To Support You

DrCHHuntley LLC is a public health consulting firm that specializes in epidemiology consulting, supporting large nonprofit organizations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida that serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We also provide nationwide public health consulting and epidemiology consulting support to BIPOC organizations across the United States.


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