Renata Schiavo

Renata Schiavo

Renata Schiavo

Senior Lecturer
Sociomedical Sciences


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Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA, CCL is a public health, health communication, global health, healthcare, international development, and social innovation specialist with broad experience in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Africa. For over 20 years, Dr. Schiavo has worked at the interface of health equity, social and behavior change communication, health systems, community health, community development, social enterprises, population health, health policy/advocacy, and community, patient, and citizen engagement to improve health and social outcomes among different populations. Dr. Schiavo is the author of the internationally acclaimed book, Health Communication: From Theory to Practice, now in its second edition, as well as 35+ publications and 135+ scientific presentations. In addition to her academic and research expertise, Dr. Schiavo brings to her courses and interactions with students her experience as a public health and healthcare practitioner and entrepreneur as well as her passion for making a difference in people's lives and addressing health disparities. At Mailman she teaches or co-teaches courses on Society, Health Equity and Health Communication; Health Communication; and Trends in Designing Child Health and Development Programs for Young Children. Currently, Dr. Schiavo serves as Founder and President on the Board of Directors of Health Equity Initiative, a member-driven nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building a global community that engages across sectors and disciplines to advance health equity. She is the returning Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health (Taylor & Francis); and is Principal, Strategic Communication Resources, a global expert consultancy she established in 2004. She also serves on the editorial board of Health Equity. As a researcher, advocate and practitioner, Dr. Schiavo is interested in community- and system-driven multisectoral models, partnerships, and interventions to address health, equity, and social issues. She has experience in 20+ health, medical, social, and communication areas. Her recent work has focused on health disparities; community health; maternal, newborn, infant and child health; epidemics and emerging diseases; mental health; capacity building and training; urban health; chronic malnutrition; cultural competence; continuing medical education (CME)/continuing education (CE); population health; program evaluation; and health systems strengthening, among others. Her capacity building and training experience includes leaders and professionals from 350+ organizations. Dr. Schiavo has served on advisory/expert panels for the World Health Organization, U.S. National Institute of Health, the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent, UNICEF, and the American Public Health Association. Her work has been supported by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, HHS Office of Minority Health; UNICEF; the World Health Organization, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. She has published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Pathogens and Global Health; Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health; Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice; Journal of Medical Marketing; and Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing. Her diverse background includes past academic positions at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, New York University, Long Island University, and The College of New Jersey; Executive Vice President, Cooney Waters Group (now Health Unlimited); and Head, Corporate and Marketing Communications and Social Responsibility Programs, Rhodia Farma (now Sanofi Aventis), Brazil. Dr. Schiavo is fluent in English, Italian, and Portuguese, and can read and understand Spanish and French.



PhD, University of Naples, Italy
MA, New York University

Mailman Affiliations

Faculty, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion
Subject Matter Expert/Co-Investigator, Region 2 Public Health Training Center

Editorial Boards

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health
Editorial Board Member, Health Equity

Other Affiliations

American Public Health Association (APHA), Global Public Health Film Festival, Co-Chair, Feature Sessions, 2014-present
UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Global Web Roster, Member, 2010-present
World Health Organization's Global Technical Network for Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI), Member, 2005-present
Italian group Salute-Cura-Societa (SaCS-Health-Cure-Society), Member
University of Curitiba, Brazil, Graduate Program in Public Health, Thesis Defense Committee Member
Health Equity Initiative. Founder and President, Board of Directors - 2011-present

Honors & Awards

2018 Distinguished Career Award, American Public Health Association (APHA) Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) section for lifetime work to "advance health communication and health equity"
2016 Presidential Citation, Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)
Recognized as one of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (2015)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine, 2014-present
2017 MEDICC Fellow, Health Equity Leaders Exchange Program

Areas of Expertise

Risk Assessment and Communication, Child Health and Development, Infant Mortality, Community Programs and Outreach, Disparities / Inequalities in Health, Family and Community Structure, Nutrition, Global Health, Health Systems Strengthening, Emerging Infections, Epidemics, Mental Health, Health Worker Education, Physician Education, Public Health Leadership and Management, Urban Health

Select Publications

Schiavo, R., Oledibe, N., Faroul, L. and Health Equity Initiative (2018). Engaging New Allies in the Health Equity Movement: Highlights and Recommendations from the 2018 Summit Innovation Think Tanks. June 2018. New York, NY: Health Equity Initiative.
Schiavo, R., and Smith, K. Advancing Health Equity: Population Health and the Role of Multisectoral Collaborations. (2017) In: Bialek, R., Beitsch, and Moran, J. Solving Population Health Issues through Collaboration. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.
Schiavo, R. (2016) Training the next generation of global health communication professionals: Opportunities and challenges. Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health. 9:4, 233-237
Schiavo, R., Hilyard K.M, and Skinner, E.C. (2016) Community-Based Risk Communication in Epidemics and Emerging Disease Settings. In R. S. Zimmerman, R. J. DiClemente, J. K. Andrus, E. Hosein & Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) (Eds.), Introduction to global health promotion. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley
Schiavo, R., Estrada-Portales, I., Hoeppner, E., Ormazza, D., and Ramesh, R. (2016) Building Community-Campus Partnerships to Prevent Infant Mortality: Lessons Learned from Building Capacity in Four U.S. Cities. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, Vol. 9: Iss. 3, Article 5. Available at:
Schiavo, R., Padgaonkar, D., Cooney, L., Reyes, C.C. and Health Equity Initiative. (2016). Implementing Systems-Level Change for Health Equity: A Partnership Summit. Summit Report and Proceedings. New York, NY: Health Equity Initiative. May 2016. Retrieved May 2016:
Schiavo, R. Advancing the Field of Health Communication. Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health. 2015, 8:1, 1-2
Schiavo, R., Leung, M.M., and Brown, M.. Communicating Risk and Promoting Disease Mitigation Measures in Epidemics and Emerging Disease Settings. Pathogens and Global Health. 2014, 108:2, 76-94.
Schiavo, R. Health Communication: From Theory to Practice. Second Edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, November, 2014.
Schiavo, R., Gonzalez-Flores, M., Ramesh, R., and Estrada-Portales, I. (2011) Taking the Pulse of Progress toward Preconception Health: Preliminary Assessment of A National OMH Program for Infant Mortality Prevention. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 4:2; 106-117.

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