Policy Action Through Storytelling Webinar

The first webinar in the 2016 Improving Antibiotic Stewardship in Animal Agriculture Webinar Series, held on August 9th 2016.

Advocacy to promote policy action can be strengthened through the sharing of stories of people and communities personally impacted. With the issue of antibiotic resistance, this includes the stories of the families and survivors of antibiotic resistant infections and the clinicians working to heal these patients. The Clinician Champions in Comprehensive Antibiotic Stewardship (CCCAS) Collaborative hosted this webinar to arm clinicians and others with tools to share their firsthand struggle with resistant infections with administrators and public policy makers to motivate action towards antibiotic stewardship. Emphasis was placed on the linkage between antibiotic use in animal agriculture and the impact on the effectiveness of antibiotics in human medicine. Speakers included Julia E. Szymczak and Evan Lerner


Julia E. Szymczak

Julia E. Szymczak, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) and a Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at PENN. Szymczak is a medical sociologist who specializes in the social and cultural dynamics of healthcare work. Her work is focused on understanding why change in healthcare is so difficult, and the socioadaptive factors that shape efforts to improve the quality of medical care.

Szymczak has received funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Her research interests include infection prevention, antimicrobial stewardship, work and organizations, patient safety, quality improvement, and implementation science. Her research has appeared in journals such as Social Science and Medicine, The Milbank Quarterly, JAMA Pediatrics and Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Evan Lerner

Evan Lerner is a science communications expert who specializes in translating complex research topics into stories that resonate with broad audiences. Currently the Director of Media Relations for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, Lerner writes press releases, feature stories and social media posts about topics as diverse as synthetic biology, nanotechnology, computational chemistry and robotics.

As a former science journalist, he understands the gulf of knowledge that exists between people inside and outside a given scientific field, and uses that understanding to help researchers bridge that gap.