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Phone: 901/678-2843
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U of M Launches Series of Radio Segments about Health and Communication

For release: October 30, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

The University of Memphis has launched a series of radio messages to help empower individuals to communicate and make healthy choices.

“Let’s Talk Health” is a production of the U of M’s Department of Communication and the Loewenberg School of Nursing. Produced at the WUMR studios on campus, “Let’s Talk Health” is narrated by Dr. Gretchen Nordling Holmes, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, and Lisa Beasley, a family nurse practitioner and clinical assistant professor in the Loewenberg School.

The 19 segments will cover such topics as avoiding colds, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, depression, how to get more out of your doctor visit, doctor jargon, and doctor rapport. They will be broadcast on WUMR-FM 91.7 Monday through Friday at 4:55 p.m.  The first one aired Oct. 29, and a new message will debut each week.

Gretchen Norling Holmes, PhD.
Gretchen Norling Holmes, PhD.

After receiving both a bachelor of science in communication and a master’s in communication from New York University, Holmes earned a certificate in medical behavioral science and a PhD from the University of Kentucky. She focuses her research on interpersonal health communication, specifically patient-provider communication and the development of interpersonal rapport. Prior to joining the U of M faculty, Holmes served as an assistant professor at the University of West Florida Department of Communication Arts and research director for the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, Mid-Atlantic Region.

Beasley has worked as a staff nurse on a cardiac step-down floor for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and also as a nurse practitioner in the primary care setting and specialty care setting for patients with chronic pain. She now works in hospice care and at a retail health clinic. A faculty member at the Loewenberg School since 2010, Beasley worked in radio for 17 years before returning to school to study nursing.

Lisa Beasley MSN, NP-C, RN
Lisa Beasley MSN, NP-C, RN

“The College of Communication and Fine Arts, through its Communication Department’s area of Health Communication and WUMR-FM 91.7, is very pleased to partner with the School of Nursing to bring important health messages to the citizens of the Memphis and the Mid-South,” said CCFA Dean Richard Ranta. “All of us need as much information as we can get in order to reduce our health risks, and we believe that this partnership will be an important addition to the ways available to bring health information to our citizens.”

Dr. Lin Zhan, dean of the Loewenberg School, added, “Our goal is to promote better health for the Memphis community. Nursing faculty, including Dr. Carolyn Simonton and professors Lisa Beasley and Elizabeth Thomas, have been instrumental in making this happen. Most of our nursing faculty share their range of expertise, from managing diabetes to coping with depression. It has been such a pleasure to work with Dean Ranta and his faculty. As people take control of their health, they talk and walk, and become healthy.”

More information is available online at


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