CHC Interview: Dr. Ellen Campbell Grizzle, Dean, College of Health Sciences, University of Technology, Jamaica
I met with Dr. Campbell Grizzle in December 2012 regarding some research I was doing in tobacco control. We got around to talking about public health communications in Jamaica.
Is health communications considered low priority for decision makers?
I went into a system where it was so, but then people started to say, “Wow”, when you actually designed and came up with the solutions that were measurable and could work. Sometimes it is for us to get in there, do the work and show that it works and be articulate about explaining what we do.
We [Jamaica] have a strength in that we have a whole cadre of graduate level trained behaviour change communications specialists. But we are not using them. Instead they are working in public relations. It’s sad because to me they could be making a big difference out there.
All you need is a couple of these people in a room to try to help to address issues like tobacco. Often what happens is I sit in a room and there is a doctor trying to speak about behaviour change. They know a few theories, but that is as far as it goes. When its time to design and execute a campaign they cannot tell you what to do. But I am a very optimistic person and I believe in being creative to overcome even these challenges.