Prof. Goldsmith

Joy V. Goldsmith


Art & Communication Bldg 235
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Joy V. Goldsmith, PhD, conducts research about health communication science, specifically in the context of serious and chronic illness. Her numerous books and articles in clinical as well as communication journals address health literacy, communication pedagogy, oncology nurse communication, interprofessional communication, and family caregiver communication. CommunicateComfort.com, a long-time initiative of Dr. Goldsmith, serves to house and disseminate a range of research interventions and education/training curriculum for healthcare providers.

Storyboard creation and development, e-learning module formation, and mhealth design and navigation are dimensions of Goldsmith’s applied research linking media, theatre, and film across her body of work. COMFORT training has occurred through regionally and nationally grant-funded training courses as well as healthcare systems including MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Veterans Administration, in addition to undergraduate and graduate university provider training programs across America, Australia, and Kenya. Goldsmith is the co-author of seven books, with the last four published with Oxford University Press. Her team is currently writing their eighth volume, Essential Communication in Nursing, published by Elsevier Press. Joy is the Founder and Co-Director of the University of Memphis Center for Health Literacy and Health Communication. She also serves as an Affiliate Faculty member in the School of Public Health.


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

Recent Honors and Awards

2022              Benjamin W. Rawlins, Jr. Meritorious Professorship Award, College of Communication and Fine Arts, University of Memphis.

2022              Graduate Mentor Award, Graduate Student Association, University of Memphis.

2022              Top Paper, Communication and Aging Division, National Communication Association. Ball, H., Bevan, J., Wittenberg, E., & Goldsmith, J.V. Understanding the Perspectives of Family Caregivers of an Older Adult Relative During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Investigation.

2022             Top Paper Panel, Training and Development Division, National Communication Association. Terui, S., Goldsmith, J.V., Wittenberg, E., & Alabere, R., Williams-Click, Y.  An mHealth Communication Training Resource for BSN Nursing Students: The COMFORT Communication App.

2021             University Research Professorship. University of Memphis.

2021             Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Research in the Social Sciences, Business & Law. University of Memphis.

2020             Brommel Award, Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service in Family Communication. National Communication Association.

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



Selected Publications

Goldsmith, J. V., Wittenberg, E., Chen, C., Ragan, S., & Prince-Paul, M. (under contract for 2026). Essential Communication in Nursing. Elsevier.


Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J. V., Savage, M., & Sullivan, S. (2023). Exploring differences in caregiver communication in serious illness. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 26(7), 922-929. https://doi: 10.1089/jpm.2022.0406 (1.917 impact factor)


Wittenberg, E., Bevan, J. & Goldsmith, J. (2023). Assessing Family Caregiver Communication in Chronic Illness: Validation of the FCCT-C. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 40, 500-507. https://doi: 10.1177/10499091221106694 (2.090 impact factor)


Pfender, E., Wittenberg, E., Kerr, A., & Goldsmith, J. V. (2022). (Epub ahead of print). Family Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Applying the Family Caregiver Communication Typology to Parent Caregivers. Health Communication. (3.501 impact factor)


Wittenberg, E., Goldsmith, J. V., & Rios, M. (2022). Improving Cancer Caregiver Communication and Health Literacy with a Brief Online Training Module. PsychoOncology. 31(9):1616-1618.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.6003 (3.455 impact factor)

Selected Grant Activity

Faculty. Workforce Pipeline Grant. CDC. Submitted 8.1.22. PI Joshi Ashish. (Funded $13.8 Million,

December 2022-2027).

Co-Investigator. Intervention Adaptation of the COMFORT Caregiver Module. Institute for Health

Transformation, Deakin University, Australia. Submitted 10.22. PI Eva Yuen. (Funded $22,000, March 2023-March 2024).