Prof. Goldsmith

Joy V. Goldsmith


Art & Communication Bldg 235
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About Dr. Goldsmith

Joy Goldsmith, PhD, joined the Department of Communication in 2013, and conducts research about communication and illness, specifically in the context of chronic illness. Joy co-authors a program of research named COMFORT, a communication - driven model & training system for improving healthcare communication and health literacy. Her numerous books and articles in clinical as well as communication journals address health literacy, communication training, oncology nurse training, interprofessional communication in health care, and family caregiver communication. Most recently, Joy serves as the Founder and Co-Director of the University of Memphis Center for Health Literacy and Health Communication. The CHLHC develops and pilots interdisciplinary communication interventions, disseminates communication approaches and tools, and researches outcomes associated with health literacy and health communication across disease contexts and populations. She also serves as an Affiliate Faculty member in the School of Public Health, and maintains multiple writing collaborations with unidisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams of translational researchers.


PhD, University of Oklahoma
MS, Southern Illinois University
BA, Bethel College

Honors and Awards

2019 Dean's Engaged Research Award, College of Communication and Fine Arts. University of

2018 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, Health Communication Division, National
Communication Association. Salt Lake City, UT. Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Goldsmith,
J., Ferrell, B., & Ragan, S. (2013). Communication in Palliative Nursing. New York: Oxford
University Press.

2018 Distinguished Scholarly Article Award, Family Communication Division, National
Communication Association. Salt Lake City, UT. Wittenberg-Lyles, E.,
Goldsmith, J., Demiris, G., Parker Oliver, D., & Stone, J. (2012). The impact of family
communication patterns on hospice family caregivers: A new typology. Journal of Hospice and
Palliative Nursing, 14, 25-33. doi:10.1097/NJH.0b013e318233114b

2018 Top Paper Panel, Training and Development Division, National Communication
Association. Salt Lake City, UT. Terui, S., Goldsmith, J., Umi, S., Dale, L., &
Huang, J. Creating a health communication training workshop for patients and caregivers.

2017 Distinguished Journal Special Issue, Applied Communication Division, National
Communication Association, for Goldsmith, J. & Wittenberg, E. (Eds.). Dallas, TX. Special
Issue on Family and Health Communication. Southern Communication Journal, 10(5), 339-342.
doi: 10.1080/1041794X.2015.1085796

2017 Top Paper Panel, Health Communication Division, National Communication Association.
Dallas, TX. Goldsmith, J., & Ragan, S. Palliative care and the family caregiver: Trading Mutual
Pretense (Empathy) for a Sustained Gaze (Compassion).

2017 International Communication Association, Outstanding Applied or Public Research
Award. San Diego, CA.

Recent Publications

Most Recent Books:

Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J., Ragan, S., Parnell, T. (In Press). Caring for the Caregiver: Palliative Care Communication and Health Literacy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J., Ragan, S., & Parnell, T. (2020). Communication in Palliative Nursing: The COMFORT Model (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Most Recent Peer Reviewed Articles:

1. Terui, S., Huang, J., Goldsmith, J.V., Blackard, D., Yang, Y., & Miller, C.H. (accepted). Promoting
transformative community change for equitable health: Peer training and intervention for pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. (2.596 impact factor)

2. Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J., & Parnell, T. (Epub ahead of print). Development of a communication and
health literacy curriculum: Optimizing the informal cancer caregiver role. Psychooncology. (3.455 impact factor)
3. Terui, S., Goldsmith, J., Huang, J., & Williams, J. (In press). Health literacy and health communication training for underserved patients and informal family caregivers. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
(1.196 impact factor)

4. Terui, S., Goldsmith, J., Daugherty, C., & Briscoe, J. (Epub ahead of print). A student-drive HIV/PrEP
communication intervention using a modified social network strategy. Journal of American College Health.
doi: 10.1080/07448481.2019.1664554. (2.215 impact factor)

5. Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J., Kerr, A. Variation in health literacy among family caregiver communication types. \ . (2019). PsychoOncology, 28(11): 2181-2187. doi: 10.1002/pon.5204 (3.455 impact factor)

6. Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J.V., Ferrell, B., Buller, H., Mendoza, Y., & Ragan, S. L. (2020).
COMFORT Communication: Outcomes of a National Train-the-Trainer Palliative Care
Communication Course for Oncology Providers. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 24(1): E1-E6. doi: 10.1188/20.CJON.Exx-Exx (0.881 impact factor)

7. Kim, H., Mahmood, A., Carlton, E., Goldsmith, J., Chang, C., & Bhuyan, S. (Epub ahead of print).
Access to personal health records and screening for breast and cervical cancer among women with a family history
of cancer. Journal of Cancer Education. Advance online publication. doi:
org/10.1007/s13187-019-01568-5 (1.690 impact factor)

8. Goldsmith, J., Wittenberg, E., Terui, S., Kim, H., Umi, S. (Epub ahead of print). Providing support
for caregiver communication burden: assessing the Plain Language Planner resource as a nursing
intervention. Seminars in Oncology Nursing. pii: S0749-2081(19)30082-8. doi:10.1016/j.soncn.2019.06.007
(1.667impact factor)

Recent Grant Activity

Co-Investigator. Learning System in Health Literacy for Caregivers. Submitted as an STTR to NIH NNR. Submitted 1.5.19. Pl Elaine Witterberg. (Not Funded). 

Co-Investigator. Creating a Health Literacy Measure for HIV patients who cannot read. Submitted to the
College of Communication and Fine Arts, University of Memphis, Seed Grant Fund. Submitted 10.18. PI Sachiko Terui. (Funded $7500, December 2018-December 2019).

Co-Investigator. Healthy Space and Technology. Submitted to the FedEx Institute, University of
Memphis. Submitted 10.18. (Funded $2500, December 2018-December 2019).

Co-Principal Investigator. Promoting Transformative Community Change for Equitable Health:
Peer Training and Intervention for Pre-exposure HIV Prophylaxis. Submitted to the Waterhouse
Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society. Submitted 5.18. (Funded $10,000,
August 2018-August 2019).

Consultant. SMYLS: Self-Management for Youth Living with Sickle Cell Disease. Submitted to NIH
NINR. K23 Award Application. PI Shannon Phillips of the Medical College at University of South Carolina. (Funded $250,000, August 2019-August 2021).