Faculty Member

Larry Hershfield M.A.

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
(416) 658-1486
Office Address
554 Rushton Road Toronto, ON M6C 2Y5
Larry Hershfield & Associates, Ltd., The Health Communication Unit (managed at University of Toronto 1993-2011)
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
Adjunct Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member

Research Interests

  • health promotion
  • health communication
  • interactive health communication
  • media advocacy
  • planning, including Intervention Mapping Approach
  • persuasion
  • behavior change

Education & Training History

My interests in communication began long before graduate school, but did lead to my degree in Social Psychology in 1972.

In 1977-9, I received extensive training from Adult Education experts from across the country, and worked with a small group of colleagues from national sister organizations on developing training tools.

After that, I worked in the health promotion field, becoming Director of the Prevention and Health Promotion Programs Division at the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario (now part of CAMH).

Leaving ARF, I started my consulting career in 1991.

As a result of my volunteering at the then Centre for Health Promotion (led by Dr. Irving Rootman) and work with the then Health Promotion Branch, the Ministry of Health funded The Health Communication Unit in 1993. I directed THCU from its beginning until 2011. THCU developed events and materials, serving thousands of health promoters each year. We facilitated numerous events, involving the participation and work of international experts in health communication and health promotion, and produced a large number of materials. A signal achievement was the creation of the Online Health Program Planner with funding from NCCMT (McMaster University).

More recently, I took training from and began an extensive partnership with the principals of Intervention Mapping Approach, a book and approach which I heartily recommend to all those interested in systematic theory and eviddence based interventions.

Several years ago, I initated the DLSPH Health Communication Course, in partnership with Drs. Rootman and MacNeill. I have never stopped learning from my partners and from the students.

Most recently, I am working on projects with the European Centre for Disease Control and Atlanta CDC. Again, inevitably  I learn more from these experiences than I contribute.

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • Health Communication JXP5807H (with Margaret MacNeill )

Professional Summary & Appointments

Editorial Board, Journal of Health Communication (Taylor & Francis)

Honours & Awards

Current Research Projects

  • TACTICC (Tailored Aid for Communities adapting Tested Interventions for Cancer Control)

    University of Texas (Houston).

    This project is a five-year collaborative project (R01 funding from the National Cancer Institute) headed by two co-investigators, Drs. Patricia Mullen and Maria Fernandez, with numerous other partners.  It’s overall purpose is to increase the capacity of cancer control planners to find, adapt and implement Evidence Based Approaches (EBAs) in their communities. The project includes the development of an online tool,  support for cancer prevention planners during implementation, and a sophisticated evaluation by principals at Emory University.

Representative Publications

Larry Hershfield, Dianne Finkle Perazzo, Donna Ciliska, Kathie Clark, Nina I Jetha, Jeannie Mackintosh

Canadian Journal of Public Health, March 1, 2009 outsert

This article provides background about the development and user-testing of the Online Health Program Planner and describes how it can be used as part of a regular planning cycle to help plan programs, access the best available evidence and support partnership and collaboration among community groups.