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Tufts University School of Medicine

Scott C. Ratzan

Clinical Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine
Vice President Global Health, Johnson & Johnson
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives

Tufts University sign

Scott C. Ratzan

Clinical Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine
Vice President Global Health, Johnson & Johnson
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives

Phone 609-917-4281
Campus: Boston


Dr. Scott C. Ratzan is Vice President, Global Health, Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he is charged with promoting communication, innovation and programs that focus on health literacy and public health policy. He is a pioneer in the areas of health literacy and mHealth communication, having co-authored the definition that serves as the basis for U.S. health literacy efforts.

Additionally, Dr. Ratzan is the Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.  He also serves as co-chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child Innovation Working Group and serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  He is a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy, serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Well-Being and Mental Health, and is a former Ambassador for global health research selected by Research!America.

He advocates for better health in multiple ways. In 2011, he presented the industry’s “Framework for Action for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases” at the UN General Assembly interactive hearing.  In 2010, he was invited to testify before the US Congressional Committee on “Achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals: Progress through Partnerships.”    And recently, he presented at the Harvard Kennedy School Women and Public Policy Board on Global Health Diplomacy.

Dr. Ratzan joined Johnson & Johnson in 2002 as Vice President, Government Affairs-Europe, based in Brussels with responsibility for Government Affairs and Policy issues related to pharmaceuticals in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region as well as in global health initiatives such as HIV.  Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he was Senior Technical Adviser in the Bureau of Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development, (USAID), where he developed the global health communication strategy for U.S. funded efforts in 65 countries.

Dr. Ratzan maintains faculty appointments at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine and George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.  Previously, he has been on faculty at the Yale School of Medicine, the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and the College of Europe. 

Dr. Ratzan has appeared on Good Morning America and Nightline as well as published articles in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Financial Times and in academic journals. His books include the Mad Cow Crisis: Health and the Public GoodAttaining Global Health: Challenges and Opportunities, and AIDS: Effective Health Communication for the 90s. He also has delivered many presentations including the Leiter lecture on Quality Health Communication for the National Library of Medicine and an address on risk communication for the National Cancer Institute that was selected in Vital Speeches of the Day.  Dr. Ratzan also has drafted "Maxims for Effective Communication on Health and Risk Issues" that was published as part of a World Health Organization Consultation in 1998.


Books/Monographs/Invited journal editorship:

  1. Ratzan, S.C., Filerman, G.F., LeSar, J.W.  “Attaining Global Health: Challenges and Opportunities” Population Reference  Bureau, Washington, DC. March, 2000. A 60 page monograph.
  2. Ratzan, S.C. (Editor) The Mad Cow Crisis: Health and the Public Good, University College of London Press, Ltd.  London, UK and New York University Press, New York, NY..  December, 1998. A 256 page book.
  3. Ratzan, S.C.  (Guest Editor) Health Communication: Challenges for the 21st Century. American Behavioral Scientist. Vol. 38, No. 2.  November, 1994.  A 200 page journal.
  4. Ratzan, S.C. (Editor) AIDS: Effective Health Communication for the 90s. Taylor & Francis, Washington, DC. 1993.  A 280 page book.
  5. Payne, J.G. and Ratzan, S.C. Tom Bradley: The Impossible Dream.  Hardcover ed. 368 pp.; Roundtable Publishing, Santa Monica, California, 1986. Paperback ed; Paperjack Press, New York, 1987.  3rd edition 1992.


  1. Ratzan, S.C., Mueller L., Oggel, A. Roman, E.  compilers. Global health communication. Washington, DC: U.S. Agency for International Development; 2000 Dec.   283 citations from January 1990 through October 2000.
  2. Zorn, M.; Ratzan, S.C. compilers. Health risk communication. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2000 Oct. (Current bibliographies in medicine; no. 2000-7). 847 citations from January 1990 through October 2000, plus selected earlier citations. Available from:
  3. Selden, C.; Zorn, M.; Ratzan, S. C.; Parker, R. M., compilers. Health Literacy. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine; 2000 Feb   (Current bibliographies in medicine; no. 2000-1). 479 citations from January 1990 through  October 1999. Available from:

Articles and book chapters (abridged):

  1. Suggs, L. S. and Ratzan S.C. "Global E-health Communication." The Handbook of Global Health Communication. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 251-73.
  2. Spector JM,  Ratzan S.  (Eds.)EWEC IWG Task Force on Checklists. Checklists for the Last Kilometre: Innovative Strategies to Ensure that Life-Saving Commodities and Information Reach Women and Newborns at the Moment of Care. UN Innovation Working Group in support of Every Woman Every Child. New York 2012 [ Report]
  3. Larson, H.J., Cooper. L.Z., Eskola, J., Katz,S.L., and Ratzan, S.C. "Addressing the Vaccine Confidence Gap." The Lancet 378.9790 (2011): 526-35.
  4. Ratzan, S.C. and Apfel, F. NCD Health Literacy: What can Hospitals do? World Hospitals and Health Services. 2011;47(2):8-12.
  5. Miron-Shatz T, Ratzan S.C. The potential of an online and mobile health scorecard for preventing chronic disease. Journal of Health Communication. 2011 Aug;16 Suppl 2:175-90.
  6. Ratzan, S.C. "Vaccine Literacy, a Crucial Healthcare Innovation." Weblog post. Harvard Business Review online, 28 Feb. 2011.
  7. Ratzan, S.C. Integrating Health Literacy into Primary and Secondary Prevention Strategies.  Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy. National Academy of Sciences. 2011.
  8. Haider, M., Ratzan S.C. and Meltzer W. `International Innovations in Health Communication” in (J. Parker and E. Thorson, Editors) Health Communication in the New media Landscape. 2009 Springer Publishing Company New York 373-394.
  9. Wolf M.S., Parker, R.M., Ratzan, S.C. Literacy and Public Health. In International Encyclopedia of Public Health, (2008). Dublin, Ireland; Elsevier Press.98-104.
  10. Ratzan S.C. Health Diplomacy in the 21st Century: Ideas for engagement with the private sector in A. Melbourn Editor, Health and Conflict Prevention; Madariaga European Foundation (2006) Brussels, Belgium 80-89
  11. Parker R.M., Ratzan, S.C., and Lurie N. Health Literacy; A Policy Challenge for Advancing High Quality Health Care. Health Affairs. 22 (4):147-153. (2003)
  12. Ratzan, S.C.,“Mad Cow Disease”  Oxford Compendium of Modern Science. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford, UK. (2002).Ratzan, S.C., Busquets M. “Future of Communication Technologies in Developing Countries” in R. Busko  (editor)  The Future of Health Technology.  IOS Press. Cambridge: MA. (2002).
  13. Ratzan, S.C., “Quality Communication: The Path to Ideal Health.”  Joseph Leiter Lecture -- National Library of Medicine, National Institutes for Health, reprinted in the Journal of Health Communication (6,3) 2001.
  14. Ratzan, S.C., “Health Literacy: Communication for the Public Good.” Health Promotion Int’l. (16,2) 2001, 207-214.