Claudia F. Parvanta PhD

Claudia F. Parvanta PhD

Chair, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Professor of Anthropology, Professor of Health Policy and Public Health


BA (UPenn)

MA (UPenn)

PhD (UPenn)

Research Interests

Public Health Communication

Patient – Provider Communication

Anthropological Study of Global Health and Illness

Social Marketing for Health and Nutrition


Dr. Parvanta’s research contributes to effective communication in public health and health care settings. She welcomes students from any program who want to use qualitative methods, or focus on health behavior, in their research. She teaches graduate courses in health communication and qualitative research, as well as undergraduate anthropology. Dr. Parvanta is the Associate Editor for Social Marketing and Health Communication for Health Promotion Practice, and on the Editorial Board of Social Marketing Quarterly

Dr. Parvanta currently leads a study funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to examine how simplified and in-language drug information affects medication adherence for patients with less health literacy, or little ability to read English. She also collaborates with colleagues at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Mt. Sinai Medical School, NY, to determine the most effective elements of phone-based patient navigation for cancer screening among African American and Hispanic patients.

Prior to joining U Sciences in 2005, Dr. Parvanta headed the Division of Health Communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for 6 years. She played a leading role in the agency’s communication efforts during the 9/11 attacks, anthrax, and SARS. Much of Dr. Parvanta’s career has been devoted to global health and nutrition. She was the first communication director for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a program supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  In this and her earlier work, Dr. Parvanta has designed, managed, or evaluated health and nutrition social marketing programs in more than 20 countries.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Parvanta, C., Roth, Y., Keller, H. “Crowdsourcing 101: A few basics to make you the leader of the pack.” Health Promotion Practice ;14(2):263-7, 2013.

S. Bass, T. Gordon, R. Gordon, C. Parvanta, A. Nanavati, K. Kordusky. "Utilizing Marketing and Psychology Methods to Test Health Messages: A Case-Study of How Gaze Patterns and Psycho-Physiological Measures Can Be Used to Analyze Responses to a 'Dirty Bomb' Decision Aid in People with Limited Literacy. Oral presentation. Health Literacy Research Conference, Washington, DC. 2012.

Parvanta CF, Nelson DE, Parvanta S and Harner, RN. Essential Public Health Communication. Sudbury, MA. Jones & Bartlett Learning. 2011

Parvanta CF. Updating the USDA National Breastfeeding Campaign - Workshop Summary. Consideration for Program Components, Messages and Images. pp. 55-58. National Academies Press.  2011

Parvanta, C., Myers, R.E., DiCarlo, M., Burgh, D.  Patient Navigation for Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Pilot Study to Develop Quality Measures. Poster presented at the American Academy for Healthcare Communication Conference, Chicago, IL, 2011.

Parvanta CF, Thomas KK, Zaman, KS. Changing Nutrition Behavior in Bangladesh: Successful adaptation of new theories and anthropological methods. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 46(3-4):221-244. 2007

Contact Information

Office location: Kline Hall Room 209
Mailing address: Box 103
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.8920

c [dot] parvan [at] usciences [dot] edu