Current Scholar

Chioma Woko

PhD Student, Health Communication
Chioma Woko
Academic Institution: University of Pennsylvania Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Cohort Start Year: 2018
Research Topics: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Food Systems and Nutrition, Obesity, Public, Population, and Community Health
Populations Served: African-American/Black, Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities, Women's Health

FOCUS
Disproportionate access to health information and resources by marginalized groups is one indicator of health inequity and disparity in the United States. Further, the composition of an individual’s social networks is a strong predictor for their health outcomes and behaviors. Social media has expanded the traditional idea of a social network, allowing people in different places in the world to form connections. Chioma is studying how these online relationships, and subsequent exposure to health-related information and misinformation, influence health behaviors. With a focus on black populations, Chioma hopes that her research will inform policy that addresses issues with health literacy and health behavior interventions.

MORE ABOUT CHIOMA
Chioma’s public health research experience in both industry and academia has given her a global perspective of the multi-sectoral issues influencing health equity and the health outcomes of marginalized groups. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to develop scalable and sustainable health behavior interventions and ultimately impact health policies affecting underserved populations.

DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — AUGUST 2021
The Effect of Source Credibility on Promising Message Themes: A Message Pretesting Study to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among Black Americans

Vaccination against the novel coronavirus is the prioritized approach to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, however there is vaccine hesitancy across different subgroups of the U.S. population. Focusing on hesitancy among Black Americans, this dissertation seeks to investigate a strategy to increase COVID-19 vaccination through public messaging efforts across three studies. The goal of the research is to provide evidence to inform the development of public health communication efforts to address the disparity in COVID-19 vaccine uptake, which can also inform other risk communication efforts in future public health crises.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HPRS DISSERTATION AWARDS, CLICK HERE.

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