The 6th Biennial D.C. Health Communication Conference (DCHC)

Preconference April 22, 2021

“COVID-19: Health Communication Imperatives and Contributions,”

Conference April 23-24, 2021

“Promoting Equity in Health Communication Research”

Virtual Conferencing hosted on Zoom

Registration is now open

Learn more about our Keynote 

The Department of Communication at George Mason University announces the 2021 D.C. Health Communication Conference. This call lists three deadlines

  • Call 1: We know what a busy time this is and with that in mind we have decided to extend the deadline for submissions of abstracts until Friday Dec. 4th at 11:59pm. Please note that the submission system is a textbox that allows 500 words (about 1 page).  Submit here:

  • Call 2: January 15 deadline for COVID-19 research team panel proposal for the preconference
  • Call 3: February 1 deadline for nominations for the Charles Atkin Translational Scholar Award.

The preconference, “COVID-19: Health Communication Imperatives and Contributions,” planned by Anne Nicotera and Xiaoquan Zhao, on Thursday April 22, will focus on discussion of key health communication challenges and imperatives arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The preconference will feature a variety of speakers in interactive sessions, including competitively selected research team panels.

The main conference, “Promoting Equity in Health Communication Research,” April 23-24, 2021, will feature competitive papers, posters, and panel sessions covering not only issues related to the conference theme but also broadly defined concerns across a breadth of topics relevant to health communication research and practice. The conference keynote address will be given Friday morning, April 23rd, by Dr. Mohan Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor in the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing and Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at Massey University, New Zealand. His scholarship focuses on healthcare among indigenous communities, sex workers, migrant works, farmers, and communities living in extreme poverty. Professor Dutta’s culture-centered approach to research examines culturally-based participatory strategies of radical democracy for addressing unequal health policies. Dr. Dutta has received over $4 million in funding to work on culture-centered health communication projects, social change, and health advocacy.

Saturday, April 24th will continue additional competitive paper and panel sessions and will conclude with a keynote presentation by the winner of The Charles Atkin Award for Outstanding Translational Health Communication Scholar. Top paper and poster awards will also be announced at this time. Abstracts programmed in poster sessions are eligible for poster awards in three categories: Top Student, Top Early Career Scholar, and Top Overall. Abstracts accepted for panel presentations will be eligible for awards in those same categories, provided that complete papers are submitted by February 15th. Specific instructions will be given at the time of acceptance.


Call for Abstracts for the main conference, Promoting Equity in Health Communication Research: The deadline for submitting one-page abstracts is December 4, 2020. A submission link will also appear on the DCHC website. The link will be live, with submissions accepted, starting October 20, 2020. We encourage both new and seasoned health communication scholars to submit their work. Those who submit abstracts will be informed of acceptance by January 20, 2021. Submit your abstract online here:


COVID-19-related Research Team Panel Proposals for Preconference, COVID-19: Health Communication Imperatives and Contributions:

The preconference will include two competitively-selected panel presentations from research teams currently executing a COVID-19-related research project. Proposals for these panels will be accepted until January 15, 2021, at (use subject line “Preconference COVID Panel Submission”). A proposal should consist of a complete listing of the research team with affiliations (indicating who will participate in the panel), current title of the project, fundamental purpose and research questions, and potential contributions. In addition, please indicate the format for discussion/presentation for a 90-minute interactive panel session. Funded projects should also include relevant funding statement.



The Charles Atkin Award for Translational Health Communication Research Scholar Award: The 6th Translational Health Communication Scholar Award will be presented at the conference to an eminent scholar who has made major contributions to health communication research, practice, and policy. Nominations for this award will be accepted until February 1, 2021, at: A nomination should consist of a letter detailing why the nominee deserves the award, accompanied by the nominee’s CV.

Contact Information:

  • General conference/preconference info: Anne Nicotera, Chair, Planning Committee,
  • Abstract submission info: Kevin Wright, Main Conference Program Planner,
  • Atkin Award info: Gary Kreps, Atkin Award Committee Chair,
  • Website info: Brittany Sanders, Conference Manager & Webmaster,

DCHC Conference Registration Prices & Information:
Please see the conference page for updates on pricing and scheduling as they become available. Registration fees will be drastically reduced for our virtual format. Conference registration will open in early 2021.

For more information, contact:


*Partial support for the DCHC conference has been generously provided by a conference grant from the National Cancer Institute and the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (R13CA168316), as well as by the GMU Center for Health & Risk Communication. DCHC is the sister conference of the Kentucky Conference on Health Communication (KCHC). Please also consider submitting your work and attending the KCHC 2022 conference in Lexington, Kentucky.