Leader, advocate, speaker, researcher, author, educator, and consultant in the quest for improved population health outcomes, health equity, and multisectoral approaches to health issues, systems-level change, and social innovation.
Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA, CCL is a public health, healthcare, global health, health equity, social innovation, and health communication specialist with more than 25+ years of experience in a variety of settings, including the United States and several countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed book, Health Communication: From Theory to Practice (San Francisco: Jossey_Bass, a Wiley imprint) now in its second edition, as well as 35+ publications and 145+ scientific presentations. She is a passionate advocate for health equity and a committed voice on the importance of addressing and removing barriers that prevent people from leading healthy and productive lives.
Currently, Renata serves as Founder and Board President of Health Equity Initiative (HEI), a member-driven nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building and sustaining a global community that engages across sectors and disciplines to advance health equity. Dr. Schiavo is a Senior Lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where her courses focus on topics at the intersection of health equity, social determinants of health, and health communication planning and evaluation, as well as qualitative research, and early childhood development and child health both in the U.S. and globally. Her teaching experience also includes courses on global health; health equity; cross-cultural health communication; interpersonal communication; interpersonal health communication; community health interventions; research and evaluation; and community and civic engagement for health and development. Dr. Schiavo is also the Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health, and a Principal at Strategic Communication Resources, a global expert consultancy dedicated to fostering behavioral, social and organizational results via social innovation, community engagement, and systems-changing strategies she established in 2004. She also serves on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed, open access journal Health Equity.
Among other honors, Dr. Schiavo received the 2018 Distinguished Career Award of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) section for "lifetime work to advance health communication and health equity"; was recognized as one of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health by an initiative of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva; is an elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM); and received a 2016 Presidential Citation by the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE).
Renata is a member of SheSource; a member of the Steering Committee of the APHA PHEHP Health Communication Working Group (HCWG), for which she also served as 2007-2008 Chair; and a member of both the APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) and International Health sections. She serves as Chair, Feature Sessions, of the APHA Global Public Health Film Festival. She previously had the pleasure of serving on the editorial board of Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing, as well as on the Advisory Board (2008-2013) of The Nation's Health, the APHA's official newspaper, and as Chief Editor of BMC Medicine. Among other international affiliations, Renata is a member of the UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Global Web Roster; the World Health Organization's Global Technical Network for Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI); and the Italian group Salute-Cura-Societa’ (SaCS-Health-Cure-Society).
Dr. Schiavo has recognized international expertise in 20+ public health, healthcare, global health, and/or international development areas, and has served on scientific, expert, and review panels for leading organizations, including the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Health, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent federation, 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; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Bank of America Charitable Gift Trust; UNICEF; and the World Health Organization, among others.
As a researcher, advocate and practitioner, Renata is interested in community- and system-driven multisectoral models, partnerships, and interventions to address health, equity, and social issues, and to build social support for improved outcomes via policies, information, and community-based resources that encourage healthy behaviors and social change. Her recent work has focused on health equity/health disparities; social determinants of health; epidemics and emerging diseases; newborn, infant and child health; chronic malnutrition; immigrant health; cultural competence/humility; recognizing and addressing organizational bias; global handwashing; addressing misinformation in the new media age: immunization; vaccine hesitancy; childhood cancer; and malaria, among others.
Across projects, Renata has been working with a variety of stakeholders and vulnerable and marginalized communities, including communities of color and immigrant communities in the United States, and low-income groups, refugees, and patients from underserved areas in global settings.
She is an accomplished leader and well-recognized professional with significant experience in strategy design/strategic planning; research design and implementation; program design, direction, and evaluation; and professional development, capacity building, and training. She is a leading proponent of a community-driven and participatory planning approach to health, equity, and social issues, as well as to intervention design and health communication. Dr. Schiavo has designed and published a model for effectively integrating partnerships and action plans, which has been implemented in participatory capacity building efforts for health communication and public health interventions in the fields of infant mortality prevention, global handwashing, and health equity, among others.
Dr. Schiavo's very 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; and Head, Corporate and Marketing Communications and Social Responsibility Programs, Rhodia Farma-Brazil (now Sanofi Aventis). Her recent consulting experience includes leading organizations such as the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP); New York University College of Dentistry; the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, HHS Office of Minority Health; the Rwanda Ministry of Health; Solving Kids’ Cancer; UNICEF; the World Bank, and the World Health Organization.
Dr. Schiavo's capacity building and training experience includes staff members and officers from 350+ organizations. She also has experience with providing psychosocial care and/or opportunities for educational enrichment to families and children from underserved communities via volunteer engagements at the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, and the Reach Out and Read program at Bellevue Hospital, both in New York City.
Renata has significant management experience as she also served on the boards of directors of Solving Kids’ Cancer, Public Health Foundation Enterprise (PHFE), and the Italian American Committee on Education, as well as an elected voting member of the 2007-2009 Governing Council of the American Public Health Association. Early in her career, Dr. Schiavo was a post-doctoral research scientist at Columbia University, and New York University, where she worked on numerous molecular and cell biology projects. She holds a PhD in Biological Sciences (Clinical Biology concentration) from the University of Naples (Italy), a M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from New York University, and a Post-graduate Certificate in Child Life from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), with an emphasis on family and community systems, trauma in children's life, and research on child life interventions in community and clinical settings.
A frequent speaker in a variety of U.S. and international settings, Renata is fluent in English, Italian, and Portuguese, and can read and understand Spanish and French.
Media experience includes interviews with Bloomberg News, BGI Webseries, BTJ Biotechnology Journal podcasts, Folha de S. Paulo, Radio Nacional Network, Sage Publications Podcasts, The Nation's Health, The Signal, Elite Daily, Inside Science, ReachMD, and The Washington Post, among others.
Copyrights © 2006-2020 by Renata Schiavo