National Forum on Health Misinformation Fosters Learning Network

Duke CTSI partnered with the Duke University School of Medicine, RTI International, and the Coalition for Trust in Health and Science to develop a national event to elevate trusted voices and support accurate content in response to the spread of inaccurate information related to medicine and health.

Held in November at RTI headquarters in the Research Triangle Park, the National Forum on Best Practices to Address Health Misinformation: Healthcare Readiness and Response fostered a learning network of organizations interested in implementing targeted approaches to mitigating the spread and effects of medical misinformation, as well as curating best practices for healthcare organizations and their partners.

The event featured a fireside chat with Mary E. Klotman, MD, executive vice president for health affairs at Duke University and dean of the School of Medicine, and Robert M. Califf, MD, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a former longtime Duke professor and vice chancellor.

Two photos from the event.
Left: Forum Sponsors include: Reed Tuckson (Coalition for Trust in Health and Science), Joseph McClernon, PhD (Duke CTSI), Dean Mary Klotman, MD (Duke University School of Medicine), Tim Gabel (RTI International), and Brian Southwell, PhD (RTI International). Right: Nadine Barrett, PhD, leads a brainstorming session focused on building trust within the community. Both Photo by Les Todd.

A persistent concern throughout American history, medical misinformation and mistrust have surged and flourished during recent events including the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a dilemma for many healthcare leaders. In 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a warning that health misinformation poses a threat to public health and wellbeing.

In March, 50 national organizations launched the Coalition for Trust in Health and Science to combat misinformation and help Americans make science-based health decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities. Also this year, the FDA launched a Rumor Control page to debunk persistent confusion and help stop the spread of misinformation that is putting patients and consumers at risk.