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Public Relations and Health Care Organizations

  • By: Linda Aldoory
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

In the United States, health care organizations have been using public relations tools and strategies for several decades. Public relations can be defined as the strategic management of communication between an organization and its stakeholder groups or publics. Health care organizations (HCOs) include nonprofit and private entities that provide health services to individuals; an HCO might be a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, health maintenance organization, or community health center.

Health care public relations offers some of the oldest case studies of public relations in practice. In 1939, Alden B. Mills authored the book Hospital Public Relations, recommending a strategic, ethical, and scientific approach to communicating with a hospital's audiences. Today health care public relations is one of the largest and fastest growing specialties in the ...

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