3057.0 Advancing health literacy through the lens of health communication: Applications at the local, state, and national levels

Monday, November 8, 2010: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2003), only 12% of Americans have proficient health literacy skills. The 2006 Surgeon General Workshop on Health Literacy showed that, “Limited health literacy can affect people’s ability to fill out medical forms and understand food or drug labels.” It also reported that much of today’s available health information exceeds the cognitive capabilities of older adults, and “Health communication deficits exist at all levels of the healthcare system, including providers, educators, policymakers, and through the mass media.” In an effort to address these deficits, the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, was released in May 2010, by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan is a blueprint for national and local public-private sector efforts, to provide everyone access to accurate and actionable health information. This session will highlight aspects of the national plan and its goals. The focus will be on examples of existing evidenced-based health literacy initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. Presentations will cover a cutting edge statewide GIS mapping of health literacy levels, research and development of patient-friendly web-based and video education tools, a healthy lifestyles campaign, and applications for disseminating ehealth information through multiple communication and media channels.
Session Objectives: 1. Discuss the seven goals of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy Organizations across the US. 2. Identify examples of these goals through current health communication research and practice at the national, state and local level. 3. Discuss future health communication initiatives and efforts in development to advance health literacy.

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Organized by: Public Health Education and Health Promotion
Endorsed by: Social Work