Health Literacy Professional Development

The following topics can be delivered as presentations or as interactive sessions and can be customized for each organization. Interactive sessions include presentation material, large and small group activities, and time for discussion. They can be provided individually or packaged as desired.

  • Literacy and Health Literacy 101 (1 hour)
    Participants will learn about the prevalence of adults with low literacy, the challenges and assets of adults with low literacy, the role of shame, and red flags for identifying adults with literacy challenges. They learn the definition of health literacy, the prevalence of low health literacy in America and the connection between low health literacy and specific health outcomes. This session also introduces participants to the various categories for health literacy intervention, including plain language written and verbal communication.
  • Verbal Communication (1 hour)
    Verbal communication training provides opportunities for participants to engage in hands-on activities and games that build plain language communication skills. Activities include Simplify©, a card game that asks participants to reduce the use of medical jargon, and role playing of the Teach-Back Method, a technique for immediately evaluating patient understanding.
  • Written Communication (1 hour)
    This session provides an introduction to the concept of plain language written communication. Practice and hands-on activities can be included. This module can be tailored to groups of health care professionals whose primary role is not related to communications or patient education, but who may need to occasionally develop materials or assess the suitability of materials they provide to patients. 
  • Numeracy and Health (1 hour)
    Participants learn about the prevalence of adults with numeracy challenges and how these can impact health care and health literacy. The session presents best and promising practices for reducing the numeracy burden placed on patients, family members and caregivers and providing support to ensure patient engagement and enhance informed decision-making.
  • Public Health and Health Literacy (2 hour)
    Participants will learn about the definition of public health literacy and the impact of low public health literacy on the cost and burden of population health data. The session provides an overview of health literacy universal precautions strategies to integrate into communication and initiatives to enhance community understanding and actionability of public health information.
  • Health Insurance Literacy (1 to 3 hours)
    Participants will learn the important role that health literacy plays in navigating insurance plans, from enrollment issues to challenges using insurance such as accurately calculating out of pocket costs. We will discuss the impact of low health insurance literacy has on access, cost, and quality of care. The session provides evidenced based strategies and support to enhance health insurance literacy.
  • Age Friendly Conversations (1 hour)
    Participants will learn why it is important to focus on health literacy in older adults. This session will include factors to consider when communicating with older adults such as differences in decision making, changes in cognition, vision, and hearing with strategies to improve conversations.