Going the distance to slow the spread

The University of Wisconsin Communication Task Force for COVID-19 (UCCC19)

MISSION STATEMENT:  The University of Wisconsin Communication Task Force for COVID-19 (UCCC19) aims to save lives and reduce the incidence of illness through the effective communication of prevention measures such as physical distancing and related behaviors that support overall wellbeing during extended periods when “stay at home” and “physical distancing” policies are in effect. 

BACKGROUND: On March 17, a group of interdisciplinary researchers, outreach specialists, and practitioners came together with the goal of encouraging Wisconsin residents to adhere to physical or social distancing guidelines using evidence-based public health recommendations and communication and behavior change best-practices.  The convening was a joint effort of:

Through a call to community leaders, students, and scholars, an interdisciplinary team came together to tackle this complex challenge.   


Community Partners include:

UW-Madison representatives include:


  • To discover “what works” to foster compliance with life-saving recommendations through a rapid approach to communications and behavioral research.

  • To gather and develop persuasive, effective, targeted messages which convey accurate recommendations related to physical distancing and related behaviors.

  • To distribute messages through appropriate channels, emphasizing social media, but also developing other kinds of educational tools where appropriate. 

  • To use a rapid research to practice approach that includes iterative real-time learning among researchers, communicators and community leaders. 

OUR SPONSORS: We acknowledge with gratitude financial support from the Global Health Institute, the Office of the Provost, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the School of Human Ecology, Life Sciences Communication, Psychology, and the UniverCity Alliance. We also acknowledge with heartfelt thanks to the voluntary efforts of the students, faculty and community partners who have contributed to this effort. 

GET INVOLVED! For more information about how to get involved, please contact :

Gavin Luter, gavin@cows.org, Managing Director, UniverCity Alliance

Lori Diprete Brown, dipretebrown@wisc.edu, Associate Director, Global Health Institute

Haley Madden, hmadden@wisc.edu, Community-Engaged Scholarship Specialist, Morgridge Center for Public Service

Gail Sumi, gsumi@lwm-info.org, Member Engagement and Communications Director

Dominique Brossard, dominique.brossard@wisc.edu,  Professor and Chair, Life Sciences Communication

Markus Brauer, markus.brauer@wisc.edu,  Professor, Psychology & Business

Jonathan Patz, Professor and Director of the Global Health Institute

Find us on social media! https://www.instagram.com/doyourpart.covid/, https://twitter.com/DoyourpartCovid, https://www.facebook.com/DoYourPart2020, https://bit.ly/3bPzRgC