Pauline C. Hamel

Title: Adjunct Faculty

Degrees:  B.S., Physical Therapy, Northeastern University, Boston Bouve College
M.Ed., Education/Rehabilitation Administration, Northeastern University Graduate School of Education
Ed.D., Administration, Training, and Policy, Boston University School of Education  

Courses: Health Communication (MET CM 759)
The American Health Care System for Health Communicators (MET CM 750) 

Pauline C. HamelPauline C. Hamel, Ed.D, PT has been teaching in the Master of Science in Health Communication program at Boston University since its inaugural semester in the Fall of 2008. In addition to the American Health Care System for Health Communicators, she also teaches the Introduction to Health Communication course, and health care ethics. Prior to online teaching at BU, she was a Clinical Professor and Director of Clinical Education in the Physical Therapy Department at Northeastern University’s Bouve´ College of Health Sciences, in Boston, MA., where she was responsible for doctoral level clinical education internship placements, student mentoring, advisement, contract negotiations, and recruitment/development of physical therapy clinical sites across the country. For over 25 years, Dr. Hamel’s professional career has included numerous roles as professor, clinician (physical therapist and rehabilitation/ geriatric specialist), administrator, public speaker and consultant in both academia and the health care industry. She has taught graduate courses that include health communication, American health care system, communication skills for health professionals, clinical education, health care ethics, health promotion, geriatrics, psychosocial aspects of health/illness, professional development and service learning.

In partnership with the Department of Public Health, the New Bedford Health Department and leading health-funding foundations,  Dr. Hamel is the Project Coordinator for the New Bedford Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership grant which focuses on community assessment of schools, healthcare organizations, worksites,  community institutions, and the community-at-large to address childhood obesity and related chronic diseases through policy, systems and environmental change strategies.

Dr. Hamel is also a Special Project Consultant to the Greater New Bedford Health Equity Initiative, serving as Liaison between the Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness, Mass in Motion,  and Healthy People 2020. Her work includes community health assessment, coalition building, training of community health workers, and raising awareness of  the social determinants of health and their effects on health outcomes. Additionally, she is on the Board of Directors of Easter Seals Massachusetts which provides disability services, advocacy, youth empowerment, employment, and assistive technologies across the lifespan to ensure that children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to “live, learn, work and play.”

Dr. Hamel has worked and consulted with patients/clients of all ages (with a specialization in older adults) in acute and subacute rehabilitation, community health, and home care settings in Boston and the New England area. She is currently a member of the American Public Health Association and the MA Public Health Association. While a member of the Education, Geriatric, and Health Policy/Administration Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association, she presented her work on health communication, health literacy, and geriatric rehabilitation at national and regional conferences, including the APTA’s national conferences, expositions and combined sections meetings in  San Francisco, Denver, San Antonio, and Boston;  as well as the Public Relations Society of America, the Biocommunications/Health and Science Communications Association, the American Geriatrics Society, and the Institute of Healthcare Advancement (IHA). Additionally, she has provided presentations and interviews on various areas of expertise, including public health, health literacy, contemporary health care trends, and intergenerational health communication.

Ongoing Research:

Dr. Hamel’s research and consulting interests include interdisciplinary and intergenerational health communications, health literacy, the American health care system, patient safety and the prevention of medical errors, public health, clinical education, health promotion, older adult and women’s health, and professional development and training.


Her recent national and regional communication and health literacy presentations include:


  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Health Academy Conference, Chicago, IL: Communicating Complexity, Simply: The U.S. Health Care System for Health Communicators, April 2010
  • The Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) National Health Literacy Conference,
    Irvine, CA: Health Literacy and Physical Therapists: Feedback from the Field, May 2009
  • Health Literacy Out Loud (HLOL) Podcast Presentation
    Intergenerational Health Communication, February 2009
    Available at
  • Co-Presenter, Medical Education for the 21st Century – Teaching for Health Equity conference, Havana, Cuba: Using Communications To Improve Health: A Global Perspective, Dec.  2008
  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Annual Conference & Exposition,
    San Antonio, TX: Health Literacy in Physical Therapy, June, 2008

    Additional Resources:

  • Hamel, P.C., Filling the Void:  Health Communication, Public Relations, and the Marketplace. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Public Relations TACTICS, 15 (6), June, 2008.
    Available at
  • Health Literacy Out Loud (HLOL) Podcast Presentation:
    Hamel, P.C. with Helen Osborne., Intergenerational Health Communication, February 2009
    Available at

    Advice for New Students: Just as students learn from their professors (hopefully!), teachers also learn from their students, so I heartily encourage new MSHC students to bring a spirit of collegiality, creativity, and adventure to our program, and share not only your personal and professional goals and aspirations with faculty and classmates, but also what you know from your own life experiences. Today’s health communications students bring an incredible vibrancy, wealth of knowledge and technology, and professional experience from both the communications and healthcare environments to our virtual, but highly interactive classrooms. We are coming together in this dynamic and emerging field at one of the most exciting and exhilarating times in our nation’s history. By integrating your own commitment and hard work with our faculty’s quality instruction, new media, ongoing discussion and networking, and the tremendous tools, resources, and support offered by the program, Boston University’s MSHC graduates will be the leaders in the field who will surely define and shape the future of Health Communication. Welcome aboard!

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