Monkeypox: How Communications Can Prevent Misinformation and Stigma


Start Date and Time: Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 2:30 pm ET

End Date and Time: Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 4:00 pm ET


Online Register Here

Update: This event has ended, but you can watch the livestream on YouTube, or via the embed below!

The spread of monkeypox (orthopoxvirus), like the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and other infectious diseases, has been accompanied by the spread of much misinformation and unjustified stigmatization of people of particular demographics and backgrounds. This has in turn hindered proper responses to infectious diseases. This webinar on stigma, communications and monkeypox presents a framework for developing appropriate widespread proactive communications messages and plans about infectious diseases that avoid stigmatizing affected and at risk populations, effectively providing prevention messages, and appropriately engaging communities that may face stigma.

The webinar includes an update from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on the current monkeypox outbreak, a presentation on derailing stigma through proactive communications strategies with PRI experts, & a panel discussion on the challenges that misinformation and stigma have presented for managing outbreak communications.

Who’s this for? Staff and leadership across organizations, community services, communications, business, policy makers, public health practitioners, & healthcare professionals who can play a role in reducing stigma and amplifying key health messages. Anyone interested in the topic is welcome to attend.

Welcoming Remarks

Ayman El-Mohandes, MBBCh, MD, MPH, FAAP

Dean of the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
Lead, New York City Pandemic Response Institute (PRI)

Bio & Links

Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean of the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH), is a pediatrician and public health academic with a deep commitment to public service. He is an established researcher in the field of infant mortality reduction in minority populations.

CUNY Bio | Twitter

Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA

Executive Vice President for Columbia Global
University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine (Columbia)
Director of ICAP at Columbia University
Lead, New York City Pandemic Response Institute (PRI)

Bio & Links

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr is the founder and director of ICAP and an international expert in infectious diseases and public health with extensive experience in epidemiology and research on the prevention and management of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and emerging infections, among others. She is also the Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health, Co-Lead of the NYC Pandemic Response Institute, Director of Columbia World Projects (CWP), and a University Professor. She was recently appointed Executive Vice President for Columbia Global, which brings together CWP, the Columbia Global Centers, the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, and other global initiatives.

ICAP | Columbia World Projects | Columbia Global Centers

Moderator & Presenter

Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA

PRI Chief Technical Officer
Professor, CUNY SPH
Executive Director, Center for Advanced Technology and Communication in Health at CUNY SPH
Senior Contributor, Forbes Magazine

Bio & Links

Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA is a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, AI/computational and digital health expert, and entrepreneur. Since 2007, his PHICOR Team has assisted with the response to nearly every major infectious disease threat to the U.S., including being embedded in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, assisting Congress during the Zika outbreak, and existing work with the current Covid-19 pandemic. As a Senior Contributor for Forbes, he has covered the Covid-19 pandemic and monkeypox outbreak extensively. He has appeared on TV and radio and in print media on numerous occasions as a pandemic, epidemic, and outbreak expert.

CUNY | Forbes | Twitter | Website

Speakers and Panelists

Sarit A. Golub, PhD, MPH

Professor of Psychology
Hunter College and Graduate Center | City University of New York

Bio & Links

Dr. Sarit Golub, PhD, MPH is a Professor of Psychology from Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research focuses on gender and sexuality, and she seeks to apply social psychological theory and methods to improve health interventions and outcomes. She has extensive experience developing trainings for hospitals, health centers, and community-based service organizations in both NYC and Boston.

CUNY Hunter

Sharon Otterman

Metro Reporter
New York Times

Bio & Links

Sharon Otterman covers health care and the pandemic for Metro. She has been a reporter at The New York Times since 2008, and won a Polk Award for Justice Reporting in 2013 for her role in exposing a pattern of wrongful convictions in Brooklyn.

NY Times | Twitter

Donald R. Powell, MHS

Senior Director of Policy & Development
Exponents, Inc.

Bio & Links

Donald R. Powel, MHS is the Senior Director of Programs and Development at Exponents, Inc. He has worked for over 20 years in the non-profit sector, and his specific areas of interest including substance use, HIV/AIDS, incarceration, and re-entry. He wishes to shape policies and practices that address these issues from a syndemic approach.


Julian L. Watkins, MD

Health Equity Advisor 
Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Bio & Links

Dr. Julian L. Watkins, MD is a Clinician and the Health Equity Advisor at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He is a physician, public servant, and Culture of health Leader interested in public health innovation, community engagement, and expanding the discourse in public health.