Clear Communication Index

Presented by Chris Prue of the CDC, this document shares a tool that can be used to develop and assess communication products . Presented Dec 8, 2016 at our  quarterly membership meeting.

Health Literacy OnLine Training

Presented by John Parmer of the CDC, this powerpoint presentation discusses how to create the most health literate on line tools. Presented Dec 8, 2016 at our  quarterly membership meeting.


Tools for Life is a program that helps Georgians with disabilities gain access to assistive technology devices and  services so they can live,learn, work and play independently in the communities of their choice.  Their work is supported by Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act at the Georgia Institute of Technology. For more information, visit their website.

Health Sciences/Medical Librarians Promote Health Literacy

Librarians play an important role in improving health literacy of consumers and patients.  Here is a presentation from a March 2015 GAHL meeting by Shannon Glover MLIS (Supervisor, Library Services at Wellstar Health System), Christine Willis MLIS (Chair, Atlanta Health Science Library Consortium and Librarian at the Shepherd Center) and Tara Douglas-Williams MLIS (Division Head for Information Services at Morehouse School of Medicine).

Health Literacy and the Patient Discharge Process

Nearly 20% of patients experience an adverse event within a month of discharge.  See how health literacy can improve the odds of patients not re-entering the hospital.  Here is a presentation from a September 2014 GAHL meeting by Joyce Reid, Vice President, Community Health Connection at the Georgia Hospital Association.

Improving User Experiences on Health Websites

91% of a website user’s first impressions are design related.  How can you ensure that your website is easy to read and easy to use?  Presented at the December 2015 GAHL meeting, health communication specialist Lisa Richman, HCI-MS, shares the process for redesigning the CDC website.

Working With An Interpreter

Interpretation is critical for patients and health consumers who don’t speak English as their native language.  Presented at a GAHL meeting by Steve Lowndes from the University of Georgia, this presentation shows how eliminating the language barrier provides both communication access and a cultural bridge for better health.

Federal Plain Language Guidelines
Strategies provided by community of federal employees to improve writing skills. The strategies focus on the target audience, developing an organization, principles of writing documents and principles of writing for the web.
Sources: The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN)

Health Literacy Online
Research based guide that helps develop websites and digital tools that provide user friendly health information and services for people with limited health literacy skills.
Source: Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Clear Communication Index Score
A research based tool to help develop and assess public communication materials. The questionnaire portrays important characteristics that improve and assist in a person’s understanding of information.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Questions are the Answers
Website with information on the importance of patients asking question and providing information to the health care providers.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Health Literacy Iowa: Building Health Literate Organizations
Handbook with information on background, resources, examples and lessons on how to build a health literate health care organization.
Source: Unity Point Health

Always Use Teach-back Toolkit
Comprehensive website for healthcare providers to learn how to use the toolkit and support patients and families throughout the care continuum.
Source: Unity Point Health

Teach-back Toolkit in Cardiology Practice (Videos)
A method used to confirm whether the patient understood the medical instructions. Also improves retention of information.
Source: Unity Point Health, You Tube.

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Tool Kit
Collection of tools to help health care professionals meet the health literacy needs of all patients.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals (free CEUs available)
Online course that provides information about the significance of heath literacy in the public health practices.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Writing for the Public

Online course on health literacy, people literacy skills, comprehension of text information, and techniques to present text in clear and understandable way.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Using Numbers and Explaining Risk
Online tutorial with the latest research on numeracy and how to communicate risk and other health information using numbers.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Creating Easier to Understand Lists, Charts and Graphs
Online course on health literacy and improving knowledge and skills to create easier to understand lists, charts, and graphs.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Speaking with the Public
Online course on health literacy and knowledge and skills to speak in a clear, understandable way.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

University of Nebraska Health Literacy and Communication MOOC (continuous enrollment)
Online course offered by University of Nebraska for individuals interested in improving their health literacy and communication skills.
Source: University of Nebraska

Communicate Health/We Love Health Literacy blog
Weekly blogs on health literacy. Posts consists of enhancing texts with visuals, design, usability, typography and much more.
Source: Communicate Health

Health Literacy Out Loud Podcasts
Podcasts hosted by Helen Osbourne, entailing interviews about health literacy.
Source: Health Literacy Consulting

Health Literacy Distance Education
Comprehensive professional development and continuing education program in the field of health literacy. The program builds knowledge and skills to more effectively communicate orally and in writing with people with limited literacy skills.
Source: Ohio State University

Unified Health Communication Course
Comprehensive course focusing on health literacy, cultural competency, and low English proficiency and the affect it has on patient communication.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration

Health Literacy – A Prescription to End Confusion – Patients (Video)
Patients’ testimonials about their experiences on understanding prescription labels.
Source: NASEM Health and Medicine Division, You Tube.


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

Advanced Directives in Georgia

Understanding the options for advanced directives and end-of-life planning is critical. Compassion & Choices can assist individuals and groups in learning more. Click on links for the Georgia Advanced Directives form, as well as Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST.) For more information, please contact: Perry Mitchell, President, GA Chapter, Compassion & Choices, [email protected], or call 404-373-0842.

Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations

Cindy Brach, Debra Keller, Lyla M. Hernandez, Cynthia Baur, Ruth Parker, Benard Dreyer, Paul Schyve, Andrew J. Lemerise, and Dean Schillinger

This paper describes 10 attributes of health literate health care organizations, that is, health care organizations that make it easier for people to navigate, understand, and use information and services to take care of their health. Having health literate health care organizations benefits not only the 77 million Americans who have limited health literacy, but also the majority of Americans who have difficulty understanding and using currently available health information and health services (ODPHP, 2008).

Health Literacy and Numeracy, Institute of Medicine

Melissa G. French, Rapporteur; Roundtable on Health Literacy; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (BPH); Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Health Literacy and Numeracy is the summary of a workshop convened by The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy in July 2013 to discuss topics related to numeracy, including the effects of ill health on cognitive capacity, issues with communication of health information to the public, and communicating numeric information for decision making. This report includes a paper commissioned by the Roundtable, “Numeracy and the Affordable Care Act: Opportunities and Challenges,” that discusses research findings about people’s numeracy skill levels; the kinds of numeracy skills that are needed to select a health plan, choose treatments, and understand medication instructions; and how providers should communicate with those with low numeracy skills. The paper was featured in the workshop and served as the basis of discussion.

Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Institute of Medicine

Maria Hewitt, Rapporteur; Roundtable on Health Literacy; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy focuses on bringing together leaders from the federal government, foundations, health plans, associations, and private companies to address challenges facing health literacy practice and research and to identify approaches to promote health literacy in both the public and private sectors. The roundtable serves to educate the public, press, and policy makers regarding the issues of health literacy, sponsoring workshops to discuss approaches to resolve health literacy challenges. It also builds partnerships to move the field of health literacy forward by translating research findings into practical strategies for implementation. The Roundtable held a workshop March 29, 2012, to explore the field of oral health literacy.

The workshop was organized by an independent planning committee in accordance with the procedures of the National Academy of Sciences. The planning group was composed of Sharon Barrett, Benard P. Dreyer, Alice M. Horowitz, Clarence Pearson, and Rima Rudd. The role of the workshop planning committee was limited to planning the workshop. Unlike a consensus committee report, a workshop summary may not contain conclusions and recommendations, except as expressed by and attributed to individual presenters and participants. Therefore, the summary has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop.

Organizational Change to Improve Health Literacy, Institute of Medicine

Melissa French and Lyla M. Hernandez, Rapporteurs; Roundtable on Health Literacy; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (BPH); Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Organizational Change to Improve Health Literacy is the summary of a workshop convened in April 2013 by the Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice Roundtable on Health Literacy. As a follow up to the 2012 discussion paper Ten Attributes of a Health Literate Health Care Organization, participants met to examine what is known about implementation of the attributes of a health literate health care organization and to create a network of health literacy implementers who can share information about health literacy innovations and problem solving. This report discusses implementation approaches and shares tools that could be used in implementing specific literacy strategies.

Although health literacy is commonly defined as an individual trait, there is a growing appreciation that health literacy does not depend on the skills of individuals alone. Health literacy is the product of the interaction between individuals’ capacities and the health literacy-related demands and complexities of the health care system. System changes are needed to better align health care demands with the public’s skills and abilities. Organizational Change to Improve Health Literacy focuses on changes that could be made to achieve this goal.

Improving Health, Health Systems, and Health Policy Around the World: Workshop Summary (2013)

Lyla M. Hernandez, Rapporteur; Roundtable on Health Literacy; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Institute of Medicine

The roots of health literacy can be traced back to the national literacy movement in India under Gandhi and to aid groups working in Africa to promote education and health. The term health literacy was first used in 1974 and described as “health education meeting minimal standards for all school grade levels”. From that first use the definition of health literacy evolved during the next 30 years with official definitions promulgated by government agencies and large programs. Despite differences among these definitions, they all hold in common the idea that health literacy involves the need for people to understand information that helps them maintain good health.

Although the United States produces a majority of the research on health literacy, Europe has strong multinational programs as well as research efforts, and health literacy experts in developing countries have created successful programs implemented on a community level. Given these distinct strengths of efforts worldwide, there are many opportunities for collaboration. International collaboration can harness the United States’ research power, Europe’s multilingual and multinational experience, and developing nations’ community-based programs to create robust programs and research that reach people—not based on language or nationality but on need and value.

A workshop on international health literacy efforts that feature presentations and discussion about health literacy interventions from various countries as well as other topics related to international health literacy was held as the basis for this report. Health Literacy: Improving Health, Health Systems, and Health Policy Around the World summarizes the findings and discussions at the workshop.