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Wisconsin Health Literacy is joining 8 other states (Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan) to hold a collaborative Summit that brings together our diverse health literacy approaches, experiences, and strategies.

In honor of October being a time to formally recognize the importance of health literacy, the Governor has declared October 2023 as Health Literacy Month in Wisconsin.

WHL is pleased to share new mission and vision statements, which were adopted to better align with the activities and goals of the division:

Mission: Advance health equity through health literacy in organizations and communities.
Vision: All people have the skills and a fair opportunity to be healthy.

A unique partnership between Wisconsin Health Literacy’s Vaccine Community Outreach (VCO) initiative and the Eau Claire-based Black and Brown Womyn Power Coalition (BBWPC) resulted in a dramatic increase in COVID-19 vaccination rates among the Hmong population.

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.

This includes smart phones in hand most hours of the day, preordering, contactless pickups, online signups for more reliable PCR tests, online signups for vaccinations, scanning QR codes everywhere, telehealth visits, online health portals, etc. And, for many of us, this is on top of being in online meetings most of the day looking at a screen.

Wisconsin Literacy and Wisconsin Health Literacy were interviewed on WORT 89.9 FM Radio for the "8 O'Clock Buzz." They discussed how adult literacy changes lives and the importance of health literacy for better health outcomes.

The Rural Monitor article covers the importance of using plain language instead of medical jargon to create more equitable healthcare.

“Providers can forget to translate their information back into plain language for their patients,” Stan Hudson, Health Literacy Director of Wisconsin Health Literacy said. “This lends to the creation of an unequal system of information-sharing in healthcare."

In this issue, we feature community programs and opportunities; digital literacy workshops; talking about COVID vaccines in your community; medication label initiative; and health insurance literacy virtual mini-series.

Wisconsin Health Literacy is hiring four Regional Vaccine Community Outreach (VCO) Specialist positions for a 3-year Covid-19 vaccination outreach and education project. Each VCO specialist will be located in a different region across Wisconsin: Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, or Southwest/South Central. Under the general direction of the Health Literacy Director and the VCO Project Manager, VCO Specialists will be part of a team that will design, test, implement, and manage Covid-19 vaccine outreach strategies across Wisconsin.

Thank you, Augusta Public Library, for hosting a free Wisconsin Health Literacy virtual "Let's Talk About Pain Medicine" workshop 11/4. Thanks, WQOW News 18, for sharing how to safely dispose of leftover medication with the general public.

Donna Bohannon, RPh, MS, principal scientist at US Pharmacopeia (USP), and Bhumi Khambholja, PharmD, MSHI, project manager of Wisconsin Health Literacy, discuss how to adopt USP standards for labeling to increase health equity.

Watch the video.

Under the general direction of the Health Literacy Director, the Project Manager will help provide advice, technical assistance, and leadership in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating statewide health literacy strategies and interventions directed toward a broad audience including health and social service professionals, literacy professionals, and healthcare consumers. The Project Manager will also assist in developing and implementing fee-for-service contracts.

Every other year, the Project Manager will serve as one of the primary event planners for the Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit, a significant event in the field of health literacy.

WHL is working with member literacy agencies and community partners to strengthen vaccination efforts in Wisconsin. Under the general direction of the Health Literacy Director, the VCO Project Manager will help provide advice, technical assistance, and leadership in planning, developing, managing, evaluating, and reporting on vaccine community outreach activities across Wisconsin. They will lead a team of four Regional VCO Specialists to conduct and evaluate activities, as well as oversee documentation and reporting for the project.

Prescription labels have a lot of details on them, which can make it difficult for patients to find and use important information.

The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) has funded Wisconsin Literacy for Phase 4 of the Medication Label Project ‘Reducing Medication Errors: Adopting Evidence Based Directions For Use on Prescription Labels’.

This phase of the project will focus on making medication directions easier to understand for patients by increasing the use of the Universal Medication Schedule (UMS) when prescribing medications.

In this issue, you will meet our new Project Manager Bhumi Khambholja, learn about our Talking About COVID Vaccines in Your Community project, get updates on our Medication Label Project, and find out about 2021 community program opportunities.

In this eNewsletter, we shared resources for talking about the COVID Vaccine in your community, welcomed to Bhumi Khambholja to our team, and promoted Achieve Database training.

Wisconsin Literacy received a COVID-19 Community Outreach Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The goal of the project will be to address COVID-19 information, misinformation and vaccination hesitancy in 35 communities statewide. 

The Health Literacy Project Manager will help provide advice, technical assistance, and leadership in planning, developing, and evaluating statewide health literacy strategies and interventions directed toward a broad audience including health and social service professionals, literacy professionals, and healthcare consumers. The Project Manager will also assist in developing and implementing fee-for-service contracts.

Go to the full position description for more information and to apply by March 19, 2021

Listen to the program broadcast where you’ll hear from:

-- one of our library partners about how our Health Online: Finding Information You Can Trust workshop impacted their community; and
-- Dr. Bethany Howlett about online information related to COVID and resources that can help you.

In this issue, you will read about our new material for high school classes, medication label project extension, and our program supporting unpaid caregivers.