College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Gary L. Kreps, PhD

University Distinguished Professor,
Founding Director,

PhD, Communication, University of Southern California

Key Interests
Health and Risk Communication | Community-based Research | Crisis Communication | Health Information Systems | Cancer Communication | Health Equity

Research Focus

My research examines the role of communication in enhancing health, both in health care delivery and health promotion. I conduct multi-methodological, programmatic, field-based research employing a community-based participatory framework to examine health risks, develop evidence-based health promotion interventions, and implement/sustain refined health promotion programs, policies, technologies, and practices.

My work is designed to improve health outcomes for vulnerable and marginalized populations, including those who face serious socioeconomic, educational, cultural, and health challenges. I examine access to and use of relevant health and risk information for making informed health decisions and to participate actively in health promotion activities. I develop evidence-based programs to reduce structural, economic, cultural, and bureaucratic barriers to well-being, as well as to prevent, prepare for, and respond to serious health risks and crises. My projects examine regional, national, and international health promotion efforts, including global health.

Current Projects

■ The Global Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) Research Program, expanding the HINTS-USA research program internationally to China, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Israel, Peru, and other countries to inform public health promotion efforts.

■ Health Communication Delivery Training Program, working with faculty from the School of Nursing to develop and evaluate a training program for health care providers working with immigrant populations at the Mason and Partners Community Clinics.

■ Communicating about Genetically Modified Foods, evaluating audience analysis research to guide design of public health education messaging programs about genetically modified foods.

■ Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax, advising a public/private consortium to develop health promotion programs for at-risk populations.

Select Publications

G. L. Kreps et al., Expanding the NCI Health Information National Trends Survey from the United States to China and beyond: examining the influences of consumer health information needs and practices on local and global health. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 94, 515-525 (2017).

G. L. Kreps, Online information and communication systems to enhance health outcomes through communication convergence. Human Communication Research (2017).

G. L. Kreps, Stigma and the reluctance to address mental health issues in minority communities. Journal of Family Strengths 17 (2017).


Northeast Module | 4580 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030