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Our seasoned professionals and award-winning solutions have helped secure national and global health since 1946.

ORAU blends communication, marketing, preparedness, technical training and research skills to develop solutions that inform the public and equip health professionals to respond to the most pressing public health challenges.

Our experienced professionals and award-winning solutions have helped secure national and global health since 1946. We specialize in developing and facilitating training solutions to protect the health and safety of workers and consumers across the globe. Our evidence-based solutions are tailored to help federal and state agencies, preparedness professionals, and local communities prepare for, respond to and recover from all types of public health and healthcare emergencies.

Industries we serve

  • Federal government agencies
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Public health agencies
  • Businesses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Community-based organizations and clubs
  • Academia
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    ORAU health communicators:

    • Develop tailored, community-based campaigns
    • Apply diverse research methods to inform content creation
    • Reach populations at high-risk for health inequities

    To change lives!

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    Health Communication & Marketing

    ORAU develops measureable health communication interventions to effectively reach high-risk audiences in an effort to prevent or mitigate critical health concerns. Our experts employ proven marketing strategies and innovative technologies to disseminate tailored disease prevention messages and materials.

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    eLearning & Training Development

    ORAU training specialists and instructional designers can transform your traditional classroom training to online learning via custom websites or a learning management system. Trainings are customized to effectively meet the needs of specialized audiences.

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    Research & Evaluation

    ORAU conducts formative research, evaluation and in-depth analyses to fully define health and safety challenges and inform the development of effective strategies and programs to overcome these challenges.

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    Technology Support

    From healthcare professional training to consumer and environmental health education, ORAU specializes in creating customized health and preparedness training solutions to protect the well-being of employees and the public worldwide. Through web-based and live classroom courses, ORAU trains more than 25,000 health, safety and emergency preparedness professionals annually.

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Key customers

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • National Library of Medicine
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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    Messaging strategies for drug use and overdose

    ORAU collaborated with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to combat the opioid epidemic by training local partners to:

    • Increase communication capacity
    • Effectively reach target audiences through social media
    • Identify best practices specific to communicating about opioids in Appalachia
    • Replace negative and stereotypical narratives with more balanced and hopeful success stories

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    Reducing addiction stigma in the media

    ORAU and the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues (IRJCI) sponsored a workshop to reduce stigma and increase compassion for those suffering from opioid use disorder:

    • Journalists trained to better understand substance use and recovery helps to promote ethical reporting, reduce stigma, and inspire hope.
    • “Person-focused” word choices (e.g., person with opioid use disorder) promote compassion and reduce reinforcing the stigma of addiction.

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    Highlighting health communication and promotion strategies

    ORAU’s strategic approach to understanding and engaging with in-person and digital communities is recently showcased in a number of ways:

    • A social media hashtag campaign for the CDC
    • Capacity building to improve opioid addiction communication strategies
    • Social listening research to identify vaccine hesitancy trends on Twitter

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    Highlighting COVID-19’s impact on opioid addiction

    ORAU’s Jennifer Reynolds highlights critical ways the COVID-19 pandemic complicates recovery for people with Opioid Use Disorder:

    • Treatment and detox programs may close or accept limited numbers of clients
    • COVID-19 restrictions will limit people’s ability to connect with a support system when they get out of treatment
    • Family, caregivers, and professionals are at increased risk of “compassion fatigue” as resources are stretched thin

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    Improving awareness of breast cancer risk

    Women under the age of 45 account for more than one in 10 new cases of breast cancer. ORAU, in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a number of communication and marketing campaigns to help improve awareness. The Bring Your Brave social and digital media campaign, Know:BRCA Education Campaign, and evaluation of the Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) pilot program, are helping women better understand the risk factors and how to prevent breast cancer.

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    Perspective: Ending the stigma of addiction through the power of words

    ORAU researchers are helping journalists and other media members understand how the power of words can help reduce the stigma of opioid use disorder, which is caused by underlying, and usually incorrect, beliefs about addiction and recovery.

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    Could immersive virtual reality provide a path to increased flu vaccination rates?

    Imagine you are in a restaurant enjoying a quiet dinner with friends when someone sneezes, spreading the influenza virus to the people around him. That’s the beginning of an immersive virtual reality simulation that shows how flu spreads and impacts the health of other people. Researchers at ORAU and the University of Georgia hope such simulations will encourage more people to get a flu vaccine.

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View the Health Education & Communication Fact Sheet


ORAU’s seasoned professionals and award-winning solutions have helped secure national and global health since 1946 by getting the right public health message to the right audience. Our key customers include a variety of leading public health organizations, such as the CDC, FDA, EPA and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Whether delivering HPV messaging to physicians and parents across the U.S., preventing transmission of Ebola in Africa, or addressing the opioid crisis in Appalachia, we help our customers navigate complex health issues and motivate behavior change.

Download the ORAU Health Education & Communication fact sheet (.pdf). 

Our Experts

Freddy Gray

Freddy Gray, M.P.H.

Expertise: Public health and healthcare preparedness, medical countermeasures, team dynamics, strategic planning

Gray has more than 25 years of experience managing and supervising public health and healthcare system preparedness and response programs involving medical countermeasures to help mitigate the surge of patients due to a public health emergency.

Certification: Master Certified Health Education Specialist

Julie Crumly, Ph.D.

Julie Crumly, Ph.D.

Expertise: Health and education program evaluation, research methods and data analysis, multicultural and social psychology, evaluation of health interventions and programs, and outcome evaluations for continuing medical education

Co-author: “Non-pharmaceutical interventions for pandemic influenza: An assessment of communication, training, and guidance needs of state, tribal, local, and territorial public health officials,” 2018

Certification: Master Certified Health Education Specialist

Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds, M.P.H.

Expertise: Health communication, social marketing, social media, behavioral science research

Reynolds has more than 15 years of experience managing research, health communication, and social marketing projects for local, state, and federal entities and nonprofit agencies


Certification: Certified Health Education Specialist, ThinkTank Certified Facilitator, Certificate of Proficiency in Qualitative Research

Contact us

For information about ORAU’s health communication, preparedness and response solutions, contact Freddy Gray, director, Health Communication and Preparedness programs, at 865.576.0029 or