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

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.

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