How much did the doctor say to take of this medicine I can’t pronounce? What’s a big word she’s telling me while I tremble from the diagnosis of the big C? Okay, so I know I’m overweight and have high blood pressure, but what do I do about it? I’m really worried about how second hand smoke is affecting my child, is it?

These are the types of questions health communication answers using research, strategic communication, social media, health literacy, literacy, numeracy, and psychological understanding of how we perceive information. It’s a growing field, often funded by government organizations (like the Department of Health or the Department of Natural Works), nonprofit coalitions (like those that focus on health and public policy), pharmaceutical companies (like a campaign for helping people control diabetes), hospitals and other providers (such as aftercare plans for surgery or a root canal), and others. Working together, they help people understand how to be healthier and live better lives.