Refugee Mental Health and Language Access

National Partnership for Community Training (NPCT), an Office of Refugee Resettlement mental health technical assistance provider, has posted recordings of their most recent webinars, Alternative Approaches to Refugee Mental Health and Language Access: Understand and Advocate for Your Client’s Interpretation Rights, on their website. Click here for more information
With five different subject matter experts highlighted, these presentations include examples of current promising practices, therapeutic techniques, and policies relevant to mental health interpretation rights. The information guide to the Language Access webinar is also now available. This supplemental tool provides pertinent details on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Section 1557 of the ACA in a format that is easy to read and share.

GAHL and Department of Public Health Release First Look at Health Literacy in Georgia

The state-wide Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) included items about health literacy for the first time in 2015.  Preliminary findings were discussed at the October 18 State of Public Health meeting in Athens.  While Georgians tended to rate themselves high in health literacy skills, important differences arose for those with lower health literacy.  Georgians with low health literacy reported more days of poor physical and mental health.  They also reported engaging in fewer healthy behaviors, like eating the recommended portions of fruit and vegetables every day.  Many of these findings remained significant even when accounting for powerful social determinants of health such as education and income.  The results suggest that improving health literacy in Georgia could have a big impact on the health of its citizens.

 

State of Public Health 2016

GAHL HEALTH LITERACY LUNCH & LEARNS REACH 250 HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS IN GEORGIA

Dr. Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, a nationally known Health Literacy educator from Tufts University School of Medicine, led three workshops on behalf of the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy during Health Literacy Month.  On October 18, Dr. Kurtz-Rossi presented “Health Literacy Practices to Improve Patients’ Understanding and Engagement” for 100 students, faculty, and administrators at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Georgia Campus.   On October 19, Dr. Kurtz-Rossi presented two sessions at the Athens Regional Medical Center.  The first session, Becoming a Health Literate Organization, focused on leadership for administrators, department managers, practice managers and physicians.  The second session, Health Literacy: It’s the Best Prescription, was geared toward clinical providers and included physicians, PAs, NPs, nurses, social workers, and pharmacists.  PDFs of Dr. Kurtz-Rossi’s presentations at ARMC can be found Best Practices for Health Practitioners  and Health Literate Organizations.

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Dr. William Craver (Dean of PCOM-GA), Dr. Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi (featured speaker), Dr. Iris Feinberg (GAHL Board Member) and Brandi Hackett (GAHL Board Member) at PCOM-GA Health Literacy Lunch and Learn, Tuesday October 18.

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PCOM-GA Students at the October 18 Health Literacy Lunch and Learn at PCOM-GA

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Dr, Charles Peck (CEO, ARMC), Dr. Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi (featured speaker), Dr. Laurel Murrow (ARMC & GAHL Board Member) and Dr. Don Rubin (GAHL Board President) at ARMC Health Literacy presentations.

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Dr. Kurtz-Rossi presenting at ARMC.

 

 

In It Together: National Health Literacy Project for Black MSM

In It Together is a national health literacy project aimed at increasing engagement in care for Black MSM.  Check out Rene Esler’s presentation from our September membership meeting. Rene is the Director of the Atlanta Office of John Snow Inc. Research and Training Institute. You can see the presentation here: In It Together Presentation

Governor Nathan Deal has declared October to be Health Literacy Month in Georgia

Governor Nathan Deal has declared October to be Health Literacy Month in Georgia. Health literacy helps patients and consumers understand information about their health, so they can make the best possible choices regarding prevention and treatment.  Health Literacy Matters is the theme for Health Literacy Month 2016 in Georgia, to help support individuals and organizations in better understanding health information based on their unique perspectives. These perspectives can include those of patients, consumers, parents, educators, providers, business leaders, government officials, and many others.

Governor’s Health Literacy Month Proclamation

Health Literacy Matters: Health Literacy Month Events Improve Communication for Health Professionals and the Public

Governor Nathan Deal has declared October to be Health Literacy Month in Georgia. Health literacy helps patients and consumers understand information about their health, so they can make the best possible choices regarding prevention and treatment. During Health Literacy Month, The Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy (GAHL) offers presentations and workshops on health literacy for health care professionals and the community. These events include workshops in Athens and Suwanee on better patient communication for health professionals. Other activities include a public forum on clear end-of-life instructions, and release of the first state-wide survey on health literacy in Georgia.

According to the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using routine health information. When individuals cannot understand how to manage their health, they often skip necessary medical tests or vaccinations, fail to control their chronic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure, and make dangerous errors in taking their medications. Low health literacy often results in expensive emergency room visits. “Low health literacy results in huge personal and financial costs,” according to Don Rubin, Chair of the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy. “By improving health literacy we can reduce suffering due to disease, reduce health care expenditures, and even reduce days missed at work because of illness. Health literacy offers a terrific return on investment for Georgia.”

Heath literacy can also help improve health equity or fairness across social groups. For example, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health, black men are almost one-third more likely to die of cancer than white men, due, in part, to a failure to communicate effectively about the need for cancer screening. “Health literacy is an important tool for reducing health disparities and assuring better health and treatment outcomes for Georgians from every racial and ethnic group and geographic locale,” said Oluwatoyosi Adekeye, MD, DrPH, Morehouse School of Medicine, and this year’s Health Literacy Month leader for the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy.

Health Literacy Month events in Georgia include:

  • Health Literacy and End-of-Life Planning: Screening and discussion of PBS documentary, Being Mortal – Oct. 8
  • Heath Literacy and Health Professions Education: Workshop at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Suwanee) – Oct. 18
  • Health Literate Hospitals and Clinics: Presentation for the Athens Regional Medical Center Leadership Group – Oct. 18
  • Health Literacy and Georgia’s Health Report Card: Panel presentation at the State of Public Health Conference, UGA – Oct. 18
  • Health Literacy Awareness and Skill for Healthcare Providers: Workshop at the Athens Regional Medical Center – Oct. 19

Health Literacy Matters is the theme for Health Literacy Month 2016 in Georgia, to help support individuals and organizations in better understanding health information based on their unique perspectives. These perspectives can include those of patients, consumers, parents, educators, providers, business leaders, government officials, and many others. How we receive, process, and use information changes because of our roles, responsibilities, state of being, and perspectives. Health literacy affects every individual. The ability to obtain, understand, and use health information to make sound health decisions does not discriminate. “No individual is exempt from barriers to understanding health, especially when it is our own and that of loved ones,” observed Kara Tarantino, Vice President Marketing and Strategy for Strategic Health Services, and a member of the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy Board of Directors. “To support everyone in their efforts at better health understanding, it is our pleasure to recognize that Health Literacy ‘truly’ Matters indeed.”

Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy (GAHL) www.gahealthliteracy.org is a nonprofit, volunteer and membership-based organization representing educators, researchers, government officials, healthcare providers, healthcare payers, patients and consumers. GAHL members raise awareness about health literacy skills, offer health literacy resources, and foster better communication for a healthy Georgia and a robust health care industry. Email [email protected] for more information and to get involved.

3 Key Questions Every Patient Should Ask Their Doctor

There are many reasons why patients feel uneasy talking about their health woes. Maybe they have only a vague sense of discomfort and feel embarrassed they don’t know more. They might be nervous or scared. Or maybe they think they should just grin and bear it — and not take up time in a doctor’s office.

Atlanta Journal Constitution, October 7, 2016

Improving the User Experience on Health Websites

The following presentation focuses on the importance of understanding the User intimately, what they need and value, their abilities, as well as knowing their limitations. UX targets improving the User’s interaction with and the perception of your products and services.

Presentation by: Lisa Richman, Health Communication Specialist, UX
December 9, 2015, GAHL membership meeting

Best Practices for Improving User Experience on Health Websites-LisaRichman-CDC-120915

Health Literacy Month 2015

Search Smart for your Health

Know where to look and what to use when it comes to searching for health information

ATLANTA, Ga (October 1, 2015) – Governor Nathan Deal has proclaimed October to be Health Literacy Month in Georgia. Health literacy is the ability to obtain, understand, and use health information to make good decisions about your health. In recognition of Health Literacy Month, The Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy and the Georgia Health Sciences Library Association have teamed up to help Georgians learn where to search for easy-to-understand, trustworthy, and actionable information about their health. The 2015 Health Literacy campaign is called Search Smart for Your Health.

The Pew Foundation says nearly three out of four adults used the Internet to search for information about their health over the last year. Experts caution, however, that you can’t believe everything you read about health on the Internet. Search Smart for Your Health offers Internet workshops for older adults and teens in Georgia. Georgians can visit gahealthliteracy.org and click on Search Smart for your Health to learn what websites they can rely on.

“The Internet is a valuable health resource, but it also has confusing and conflicting information, and it is not the only source of reliable information,” says Don Rubin, Chairman, Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy. “This month especially, we want to call attention to the sources and resources that Georgians can rely upon to make the right decisions and find the right care when it comes to preventing illness and managing their health.”

Relevancy is key when searching for the right information. In addition to finding a clinically credible and up-to-date health source online, such as: www.medlineplus.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.healthfinder.gov, and www.ahrq.gov, individuals should drill down further to find information that pertains specifically to them. For example: Are they a senior or a teenager? What is their ethnicity? What condition(s) do they already have? Individuals need to be able to find relevant information that makes sense for them, so they can act upon it and use it to their benefit.

“Using credible sources that use plain language is key,” says Tara Douglas-Williams, Georgia Health Sciences Library Association member. “We support libraries and librarians to ensure they have the most up-to-date and easy to understand information for consumers. We also encourage people to bring the information they find to their providers, and continue to dialogue with caregivers and ask questions.”

Here are some basic “what you need to know” pointers when searching for credible health information:

  1. Compare information – Visit more than one web site and gather information from other sources too, not just web sites.
  2. Find out who is responsible for the web site – Review “About us” and “Contact us” sections, and look for a privacy policy or editorial review board.
  3. Look for web sites with .gov, .edu, .org, – Whose purpose is to provide credible information. They will not sell or lead individuals falsely.
  4. Seek health information based on medical research – Scientifically based information will provide results and is the most trustworthy. Look for article references, dates, and sources to back up the information.
  5. Do not give out any personal information to any web site if you are not sure – Read the privacy policy on the web site first if you have any questions.
  6. Bring a copy of the information you find to your next doctor’s appointment – It is a great opportunity to share information and get better insight about the information you are searching on. Your doctor or provider will be happy you did.

“Good helpful information is out there and readily available. People just need to know where to look to find the most reliable, effective, and easy-to-understand information for their needs,” says Rubin.

For more information please contact:

Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy www.gahealthliteracy.org

The Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy (GAHL) is a nonprofit, volunteer coalition representing educators, researchers, government officials, health care providers, health care payers, patients and consumers. GAHL members raise awareness about health literacy skills, offer health literacy resources, and foster better communication for a healthy Georgia and a robust health care industry. GAHL operates through in-kind donations of meeting space, conference calling capability and collateral development. GAHL’s presence online is funded through donations and is maintained by members of GAHL. Email [email protected].

Georgia Health Sciences Library Association www.gshla.org
The Georgia Health Sciences Library Association (GHSLA) promotes the health sciences in Georgia through activity, communication, and interaction in those wishing to advance in health sciences librarianship. Our membership includes librarians who work in hospitals, clinics, and special libraries associated with health care education or the health care industry, as well as physicians and their associates. Email [email protected].

Click on the link below to find the websites you can rely upon:

Search Smart for your Health – GAHL and GHSLA recognize Health Literacy Month 2015