Health officials can sometimes have a communications problem, with jargon-filled sentences confusing their intended audience instead of informing them.

APHA is helping to change that with “That’s Public Health,” a 20-part web series on APHA’s YouTube channel that debuted last year. The bite-sized videos provide educators, health departments, community health advocates, nonprofits and others with free, science-based content on a range of public health subjects.

“The goal of the series is to create a group of short, informative and engaging videos to help explain public health and some of the pressing issues impacting health professionals, their friends, families and communities,” Susan Polan, PhD, APHA’s associate executive director of public affairs and advocacy, told The Nation’s Health. “It offers a good overview to help people understand some of the core components of public health.”

The series covers a variety of topics — including access to care, chronic diseases, global health, injuries and substance use — in an accessible, entertaining style. The hosts are also friendly and approachable. 

In a four-minute video on mental health, for example, Mighty Fine, MPH, CHES, director of APHA’s Center for Public Health Practice and Professional Development, shares strategies that can improve mental health outcomes, such as making mental health assessments “a routine part of a doctor’s visit.”  

The episodes, which have been shared widely on social media by public health leaders, have many uses. They work well for introductory public health courses, K-12 health and science classes, and quick education for policy decisionmakers, Polan said. 

“They can be shown in the lobby of hospitals and health clinics, at a community health fair or anywhere that people are gathered and might be interested in health,” Polan said. “The range of topics is so broad that there truly is something for everyone in the series.”

Work on “That’s Public Health” began last year in partnership with YouTube and the Complexly Media, which hosts a range of online shows. Complexly will launch companion videos to “That’s Public Health” this summer through its popular Crash Course series.

To watch and share “That’s Public Health,” visit APHA’s YouTube page, and subscribe to receive updates.