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Vision

To promote clear communication between those who give and those who receive health care services.

Wisconsin Health Literacy (WHL) is a statewide organization raising awareness of the importance of health literacy and fostering better communication between health care consumers and health care providers. WHL is a division of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., a non-profit coalition of over 70 community-based literacy programs located throughout the state.  Donate to increase literacy skills statewide.

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Health Literacy News

The Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit Embracing Health Literacy in the New Normal: Digital Communications, Telehealth, Health Insurance, and Health Equity took place on April 4 -6th, 2022. Individuals who work in healthcare, insurance, public health, community-based organizations, research, education, information technology, libraries, literacy and more were able to learn and discuss solutions and strategies to communicate information related to health for improved health outcomes.

We are very grateful for the support of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and for the recognition from Governor Evers. Our member agencies and countless other non-profits and public health workers across Wisconsin are working together to make vaccinations and health care more equitable.

A statewide organization that aims to raise awareness about health literacy is next Monday hosting a vaccine community outreach event to help ensure that the public has access to reliable and accurate information about COVID shots.


What is health literacy?

The Institute of Medicine defines health literacy as "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic information and services needed to make appropriate decisions regarding their health." 

Resources on health literacy

Why is it so important?

Literacy skills are the strongest predictor of health status, more than age, income, employment status, education level or racial/ethnic group. 

Health literacy was first measured on a national scale over a decade ago. The results revealed:

  • Only 12 percent of Americans are proficient in health literacy and 93 million Americans 16 years or older (43 percent of the population) read at the two lowest literacy levels.
     
  • Health literacy isn’t just an issue that affects people with limited English or low literacy skills; 88 percent of us are challenged by the health care system.

Health Literacy Services