Institute of Education


VIRTUAL EVENT: Communication in health care and the impact of COVID-19

23 September 2020, 8:00 am–9:00 am

Woman standing in street with mask on. Image: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

This webinar brings together a panel of communication and medical experts from around the world to discuss healthcare communication in the age of COVID-19.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Zsófia Demjén, Centre for Applied Linguistics

Skilled communication is critical for delivering safe and effective care. 

Due to this period of uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent and effective public health communication is both challenging and vital. This includes messages about mask wearing, the need for lockdowns, social distancing and school closures. 

However, these messages are being constantly challenged by political pressures, inaccurate social media campaigns, and increasing nationalistic discourses.

Similarly, communication in healthcare interactions, whether in hospitals or in community settings, poses challenges that impact patient safety, patient experience, and the well-being and burnout of clinicians. 

This webinar brings together a panel experts, including directors of the partner organisations and affiliate members of the newly established International Consortium for Communication in Health Care, led by the Australian National University (ANU). 


Panel facilitator

  • Professor Paul Pickering - Director of the ANU Research School of the Humanities and the Arts

Panel participants 

  • Professor Diana Slade - Director of the ANU Institute for Communication in Health Care
  • Dr Elizabeth A. Rider - Director of the Boston Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
  • Professor Elena Semino - Director of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science and Professor in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University
  • Zsófia Demjén - Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at UCL
  • Professor May O L’win - Chair at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information and Joint Professor at Nanyang Technological University
  • Dr Olya Zayts - Associate Professor and Director of the Research and Impact Initiative on Communication in Healthcare at Hong Kong University
  • Dr Stuart Ekberg - Director of the Queensland University of Technology’s Health Communication Network and Senior Lecturer
  • Professor KK Luke - Director of the Communication in Healthcare group @ NTU and Chair at School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University


Image: Gustavo Fring via Pexels