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Health Communication Design Studio

The Health Communication Design Studio (HCDS) investigates pressing issues related to public health, particularly in underserved populations. We create strategic design solutions to address these challenges, and we evaluate their impact in our communities.

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Why Health and Design?

The field of design is uniquely suited to approach the vast web of our healthcare system. Design methodologies provide a nonrestrictive yet focused way to find solutions to complex problems. Health communication design provides individuals access to information related to their own health as well as ways to connect public healthcare systems. The HCDS is invested in establishing new avenues for public engagement, education, and empowerment related to public health.

HCDS Areas of Research & Investment:

  • Designing effective science communication
  • Addressing health disparities
  • Building trust in community
  • Distribution of public health resources
  • Community-based participatory design

University and Community Partners

HCDS is supported by the following grants and organizations

  • NIH’s Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL)
  • NIH’s Rapid Diagnostics for Underserved Populations (RADxUP)
  • CDC’s Prevention Research Centers (PRC).

Recent Projects

Our projects address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, health education, teen mental health, and health information monitoring.

Vaccine Conversation Cards

Envelope and card system created to start conversations about the vaccine with unvaccinated family and friends.

iHeard STL

A public-facing dashboard tracking the prevalence and believability of information in the community, and providing responses to incorrect information.


The Co-Creation pilot project brought community voices early into the research and design process to investigate mental health and identity conversations between teens and adults.

iHealth Self-Test Instructional Booklet

An iHealth COVID-19 self-testing instructions booklet distributed to 2-1-1 callers who requested a self-testing kit.

Canvassing Door Hangtags

A series of door hangtags created for the Regional Response Team to distribute information about COVID-19 vaccination.

Self-Test Instructional Booklet for Seniors

An iHealth COVID-19 self-testing instructions booklet distributed to homebound seniors who requested a self-testing kit.

At-Home Vaccinations

Postcards delivered through Meals on Wheels to at-home seniors to connect them with vaccination appointments and/or self-test kits.

STL COVID Research Hub

A website created to make clinical trial recruitment more accessible to African American community members and encourage participation.

Share Your Story

A series of recruitment postcards for Share Your Story, whose aim was to conduct 50 interviews with individual community members about their life during the pandemic.

Learn More About Additional Studio Projects

COVID-19 Research Participation
Research Recruitment