Annegret Hannawa, PhD (Founding President)
Annegret Hannawa, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Health Communication at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the University of Lugano (Università della Svizzera italiana), where she also directs a Center for the Advancement of Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety (CAHQS). Prior to joining USI, she served as Assistant Professor of Health Communication and Empirical Research Methods at Wake Forest University, North Carolina. Professor Hannawa’s scientific expertise lies in the domains of interpersonal communication, patient safety, and advanced empirical research methods. Her research agenda focuses on transdisciplinary approaches to optimizing health care delivery, and positive health outcomes that can be achieved through competent interpersonal interaction. Her most recent grant (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation) conceptualizes and operationalizes Medical Error Disclosure Competence (MEDC) as an empirical construct. Furthermore, she has developed a Tool for Retrospective Analysis of Critical Events (TRACE) in collaboration with Debra Roter, which operationalizes a theoretically framed, interdisciplinary conceptualization of medical error. Her research also examines physicians’ verbal and nonverbal disclosure styles of medical errors to patients that facilitate positive and negative physiological, psychological, relational, organizational, and systemic health outcomes. Prof. Hannawa founded and presides the Global Center for the Advancement of Communication Science and Medicine (ISCOME), which actively pursues innovative interdisciplinary research collaborations to improve patient safety.