205539 Assessing the health literacy environment of a comprehensive cancer center

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stephanie Raivitch, BA , Health Communication and Health Disparities, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA
Linda Fleisher, MPH , Health Communications and Health Disparities, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA
Rachel E. Gallo, BS , Division of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA
Carolyn Weaver, RN, MSN, OCN , Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Linda Hammell , Health Communications and Health Disparities, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA
Rima Rudd, MSPH, ScD , Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Health literacy and its impact on health outcomes is a concern that has driven the development of a focused initiative on this issue at Fox Chase Cancer Center. An interdisciplinary approach to addressing health literacy has been taken with activities including awareness building, educational seminars for staff and plain language evaluation and development services. In 2008, through a Pfizer Visiting Professorship grant, noted health literacy expert Dr. Rima Rudd provided a two-day training seminar for staff on her tool: “The Health Literacy Environment of Hospitals and Health Centers”. Dr. Rudd developed this tool to conduct health literacy organizational assessments. It contains rating systems which allow users to evaluate the channels through which providers interact with the public. These include print, oral, technology, navigation (the physical environment), and the policies and procedures which may impact health literacy within the institution. The tool trains users to identify strengths as well as barriers to health literacy and provides options for reducing and eliminating these barriers. A multi-departmental Fox Chase team of 19 individuals were trained to use the tool. This team was split into two working groups. One group focused on print communication and assessed samples of seven different categories of materials. The second group conducted two rounds of “walk-about” physical navigation assessments. The results of these assessments indicate a clear need to increase efforts to remove literacy related barriers. Data from the assessments, plans for the development of new organizational systems, policies, and future assessments will be highlighted in the poster.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the goals and activities of Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Health Literacy Assessment Team. 2.Understand the components of, and procedures for, conducting an organizational health literacy assessment. 3.Describe how the assessment process can provide the information needed to support organizational change and help create a “health literacy friendly” environment.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Assistant Vice President of the Health Communications and Health Disparities Department at Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Principal Investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s Atlantic Region Cancer Information Service. Many of my research activities have focused on tailoring health communication materials to underserved audiences and on the use of formative evaluation and community participation in developing cancer-related programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.