USF adds social marketing training to national health agenda

USF’s College of Public Health will monitor the new social marketing education and training objectives

Tampa, FL (Dec. 13, 2010) — The University of South Florida College of Public Health scored a coup in getting the latest iteration of the national health agenda to call for more education and training of public health professionals in social marketing.

The College will work with local, regional and national stakeholders to promote the adoption of the nation’s new Healthy People 2020 objectives to support healthier lives for all Floridians.

“We are especially pleased that the work we have pioneered in applying marketing principles and techniques to solve public health problems was recognized by specific objectives for social marketing in Healthy People 2020,” said Jim Lindenberger, director of the Center for Social Marketing at the USF College of Public Health.

The USF College of Public Health has sponsored the nation’s premier conference on Social Marketing in Public Health for more than 20 years, and its Florida Prevention Research Center and Center for Social Marketing are unique in the United States for their focus on social marketing research, training and practice. USF also offers the only graduate certificate program in social marketing as part of its MPH program. A Master’s in Public Health Practice degree with a concentration in social marketing is being developed.

Social marketing applies marketing principles and techniques to enhance people’s lives and improve the world in which they live. Consumer-focused research and evaluation are an integral part of the social marketing process.

A recognition that health and health behaviors are determined at many levels was evident when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month unveiled Healthy People 2020, the nation’s new 10-year goals and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention. The new agenda expands its focus to emphasize social and environmental determinants of health, addressing such issues as neighborhood resources (safe parks, good schools, high employment rates) that are key requirements for better health.


Craig Lefebvre, PhD                                       Jim Lindenberger

Healthy People 2020 is a blueprint for public policy decisions affecting the nation’s health and will be used to measure progress toward such goals as reducing childhood obesity and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health, said Craig Lefebvre, PhD, a research professor at the USF College of Public Health who is an internationally recognized expert in social marketing and health communication.

Dr. Lefebvre was a member of the Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology workgroup that developed the new national health objectives for social marketing. He is part of the USF social marketing group charged with tracking and evaluating the nationwide progress of two social marketing education and training objectives:

• Increase the proportion of Schools of Public Health and accredited MPH programs that offer one or more courses in social marketing.

• Increase the proportion of Schools of Public Health and accredited MPH programs that offer workforce development activities in social marketing for public health practitioners.

“Our work will have a big impact on the future education and practice of public health practitioners,” Dr. Lefebvre said. “It will help ensure they have the knowledge and skills required to improve the health of all Americans.”

For more information on Healthy People 2020, visit

– USF Health –

USF Health ( is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health; as well as the schools of biomedical sciences and physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $394.1 million in research grants and contracts in FY2009/2010, the University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community-engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

News release by Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications