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Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D.

Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research

Andrew Pleasant

Andrew Pleasant’s interest in communication, literacy, and social change started while working on his parents’ small-town weekly newspapers. That early inspiration underpins his ongoing professional practice and research in health literacy, science, risk, and environmental communication, and social marketing.

Andrew joined Canyon Ranch Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity, in May 2009. Canyon Ranch Institute catalyzes the possibility of optimal health for all people by translating the best practices of Canyon Ranch and our partners to help educate, inspire, and empower every person to prevent disease and embrace a life of wellness.

Andrew is responsible for advancing the role of health literacy across Canyon Ranch Institute activities, including in current partnerships and programs, as well as in planning future activities. He also leads all research and evaluation activities at Canyon Ranch Institute, and is the program manager for numerous Canyon Ranch Institute partnerships. Andrew is also engaged in developing new programs and partnerships.

Andrew has led and participated in hundreds of presentations and trainings in the United States and around the world, primarily on the topics of health literacy, and science, risk, and environmental communication. He has taught at Cornell University, Brown University, and Rutgers University. Andrew served as a temporary advisor at the World Health Organization Health InterNetwork in Geneva, Switzerland, where he reviewed and evaluated the long-term sustainability and local ownership of the Health InterNetwork India pilot project.

Andrew has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports, and is co-author of the book Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action (2006). He is also a member of the scientific committee of the Public Communication of Science and Technology Network, represents Canyon Ranch Institute on the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, and serves on the Food & Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee. Andrew is a member of Tucson-based Interfaith Community Services’ Faith and Community Health Network Advisory Council.

During Andrew’s earlier career as a journalist, he received numerous awards for his photojournalism and reporting on national and international topics. In 2010, Andrew was a member of the multi-disciplinary team that received the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s (IHA) Innovative Program award for Canyon Ranch Institute partner Time to Talk CARDIO. In 2013, Canyon Ranch Institute became the first organization to receive two IHA awards with the presentation of the Research award to the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program, and Andrew was awarded IHA’s Health Literacy Hero Award. In 2014, Andrew was honored with the Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award, presented by Health Literacy Missouri.

Andrew earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University; a master’s degree in environmental studies from Brown University; and a doctorate in communication from Cornell University. He lives in Tucson, AZ, and enjoys hiking and photography.