Prof. Goldsmith

Joy V. Goldsmith


Art & Communication Bldg 235
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Joy V. Goldsmith, PhD, 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. 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 teams of translational researchers.


Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
M.S., Southern Illinois University
B.A., Bethel College

Honors and Awards

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

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.

Most Recent Books

Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J., Ragan, S., Parnell, T. (2020). Caring for the Caregiver: Palliative Care Communication and Health Literacy. Oxford University Press.
Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J., Ragan, S., & Parnell, T. (2020). Communication in Palliative Nursing: The COMFORT Model (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Most Recent Peer Reviewed Articles

1. Wittenberg, E., Kerr, A., & Goldsmith, J.V. (In press). Exploring family caregiver communication difficulties and caregiver quality of life. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. (1.655 impact factor)

2. Goldsmith, J.V., Wittenberg, E., & Parnell, T. (2020). The COMFORT Communication Model: A nursing resource to advance health literacy in organizations. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 22(3). 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000647 (0.708 impact factor)

3. Terui, S., Huang, J., Goldsmith, J.V., Blackard, D., Yang, Y., & Miller, C.H. (Epub ahead of print). Promoting transformative community change for equitable health: Peer training and intervention for pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. 10.1080/10810730.2020.1730526 (5-year impact factor 2.596)

4. Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J., & Parnell, T. (2020). Development of a communication and health literacy curriculum: Optimizing the informal cancer caregiver role. PsychoOncology, 29 (4), 766-774. dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.5341 (3.455 impact factor)

5. Terui, S., Goldsmith, J., Huang, J., & Williams, J. (2020). Health literacy and health communication training for underserved patients and informal family caregivers. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 31(2), 634-645. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2020.0050 (1.196 impact factor)

6. Terui, S., Goldsmith, J., Daugherty, C., & Briscoe, J. (Epub ahead of print). A student-driven 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)

Recent Grant Activity

Consultant. Developing and Integrating COVID-19 Pandemic Content for the Health Communication App. Submitted to the Archstone Foundation. Submitted 7.25.20. PI Elaine Wittenberg.

Co-Investigator. Learning System in Health Literacy for Caregivers. Submitted as an STTR to NIH NNR. Submitted 1.5.19. Pl Elaine Wittenberg. (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).