• Top Digital Strategists Convening
  • Latest COVID-19 Communications
  • Breakouts for Cross-sector Exchange

Intersectoral Collaboration in Action: Tackling COVID-19 Misinformation

Recorded On: 06/01/2020

Moderated by Dr. Joe Smyser, CEO of PGP and summit Co-Chair, this panel will explore how different sectors have been responding to COVID-19 misinformation, and what the explosion and increasing sophistication of misinformation and disinformation portends for public health and healthcare.

Joseph Smyser, PHD, MSPH (Moderator)

CEO, The Public Good Projects (PGP)

Dr. Joe Smyser is the CEO of The Public Good Projects (PGP), a nonprofit organization that designs and implements large-scale behavior change programs for the public good. PGP selects its work based on three criteria: will it advance public health, will it create change at a large scale, and will it be rigorously evaluated. PGP has designed several opioid awareness campaigns to date, three research studies with Google, Facebook, and The National Academies, and manages a national disease surveillance system monitoring the opioid epidemic.

Lorien Abroms, ScD, MA

Professor, Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University School of Public Health

Dr. Lorien Abroms is a professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health. Dr. Abroms' career focuses on the application of digital communication technologies for health promotion, with an emphasis of smoking cessation. Dr. Abroms has developed and evaluated several apps and text messaging programs for smoking cessation, including Text2Quit which is offered through 1-800-QUITNOW and SmokefreeMoms which is offered through the National Cancer Institute's Smokefree.gov. At George Washington University (GW), Dr. Abroms is the founding director of the GW mHealth Collaborative, an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students in clinical medicine, public health, biostatistics, and engineering.

Sonni Efron

President and COO, National Press Foundation

Sonni Efron joined the National Press Foundation in Jan. 2020 as President and COO. Ms. Efron began her career at The Associated Press in Boston, followed by 20 years at the Los Angeles Times. She was a political campaign reporter, foreign correspondent in Moscow, Tokyo bureau chief, State Department correspondent in Washington, assistant op-ed editor, and editorial writer on national security. She was also a speechwriter and senior policy advisor at the State Department, where she launched the “Free The Press Campaign,” and writer in residence at the RAND Corporation, where she wrote about the declining role of facts and evidence in public discourse.

Scott Weier

National Director, Public Relations and Communications, Kaiser Permanente

Scott Weir was appointed National Director of Public Relations and Communications at Kaiser Permanente in August 2018, where he leads strategic communications in public health and health care  He holds an MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University and is skilled in public affairs, crisis communications, media relations, corporate social responsibility, content production and social media. His prior agency experience includes working for the Glover Park Group, Avalere Health, and as a liaison to the White House.

Brian Byrd

Senior Program Officer, New York State Health Foundation

As Senior Program Officer, Brian Byrd manages the New York State Foundation’s (NYSHealth’s) Special Projects Fund, a $3 million annual funding opportunity that allows NYSHealth to respond to opportunities that fit the organization’s mission, but fall outside the Foundation’s two priority areas. The Special Projects Fund also serves as an opportunity to be responsive to the changing health care environment, especially to innovative ideas that emerge from the health field.  Prior to joining NYSHealth, Mr. Byrd was the director for community partnerships for CARE, an international humanitarian organization. He was responsible for building relationships with policymakers, the media, and government and corporate officials. Before that, he was deputy director for membership affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Byrd has considerable experience in the health field. As a senior government relations advisor, he worked on public health policies and services in New York. He was also an assistant director with the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed an HIV/AIDS project in Africa. Mr. Byrd holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. He is a member of Philanthropy New York’s PhilanthroPost editorial board and Health Policy Working Group Program Planning Committee. He serves on the board of the Overseas Press Club of America and the advisory committee for Witness.


Intersectoral Collaboration in Action: Tackling COVID-19 through Digital and Social Media
06/01/2020 at 3:15 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
06/01/2020 at 3:15 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
Session Evaluation
13 Questions
CECH Credit
1.25 Entry CECH credits  |  No certificate available
1.25 Entry CECH credits  |  No certificate available