Susan L. Santos, PhD, MS, is the Director of Education and Risk Communication at the Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (VA NJ WRIISC). Dr. Santos has more than 40 years of experience in the areas of public and environmental health and risk and crisis communication. Dr. Santos uses public health science, communication theory, social marketing, and social science principals to conduct research and provide education on communicating complex health, safety, and environmental risk–related information and evaluating risk communication and education initiatives.
For the last 19 years, Dr. Santos has overseen all education initiatives for the NJ WRIISC and served as the education lead for VA Post-Deployment Health Services. In this role, Dr. Santos has worked with experts to develop and deliver a monthly webinar series on topics related to post-deployment health, developed an on demand, accredited curricula in post-deployment health, and, most recently, developed a podcast series that also includes sessions on Functional Medicine–related topics for the VA and community healthcare providers, Veterans, and their caregivers.
Dr. Santos also develops and facilitates lectures and classes on risk communication and crisis communication and has been involved in communications on everything from COVID-19 to H1N1 to Ebola, among other topics. Dr. Santos is also involved in a number of research projects on topics such as the use and implementation of integrative health modalities, the communication of bioterrorism-related health information, and provider-Veteran communication for chronic, multisymptom illness. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine (now NAM) Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice for eight years, has served on several NAM committees, and provides input to the Centers for Disease Control on responding to community cancer cluster concerns. Dr. Santos has a number of publications and has been recognized as an international expert in risk and crisis communication.