Health Literacy Month

Come visit this page again to learn about GAHL’s plans to celebrate 2018 Health Literacy Month

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.

We will list events designed to elevate awareness of the importance of health literacy as we learn about them, so bookmark this page and visit it often.

Health Literacy Learning Opportunities

What: Health Literacy Lunch & Learn

When: Tuesday, October 9, 12pm- 1pm

Where: Shepherd Center Noble Learning Resource Center

2020 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

Who: Shepherd Center patients, families, and staff