All HLOL podcasts

Interviews with those "in the know" about health communication, patient education, and health literacy.

Creating Materials to Meet Urgent Health Needs (HLOL #201)

Iris Feinberg, PhD is the Associate Director of the Adult Literacy Research Center at Georgia State University. She is a health literacy researcher and research assistant professor in the Department of Learning Sciences. Dr. Feinberg and a team created the easy-to-read booklet about COVID-19, “Answers to Coronavirus Questions.”

In this podcast, Iris Feinberg talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Communicating about an urgent medical matter in ways that meet the cultural, linguistic, and literacy needs of a very diverse audience.
  • Refuting myths and explaining truths in an era of rampant misinformation.
  • Creating an effective booklet by working closely with the community, using principles of plain language, and incorporating health literacy strategies throughout.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Especially relevant to this podcast is Chapter 21 that focuses on “Know Your Audience: Literacy.”

Read the transcript of this podcast

Health Literacy Out Loud: 200 Episodes of Listening & Learning (HLOL #200)

Adam Weiss brings years of experience in podcasting, online video, and live broadcasting with a specific focus on scientific and medical content. He has hosted, launched, or produced podcasts for clients that include the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the American Institute of Physics, and the Western Veterinary Conference. One of his early projects was starting the podcast series for Boston’s Museum of Science.

Adam has been the Health Literacy Out Loud podcast editor since Helen started this series in 2008. In honor of its 200th episode, Helen and Adam discuss:

  • Podcasts keep growing in popularity. Reasons why audio podcasts offer an accessible, affordable, conversational, and convenient way to listen and learn.
  • Health literacy keeps growing, too. How HLOL podcasts have helped raise health literacy awareness and shared strategies to communicate more clearly. This information can benefit professionals, patients, families, and the public.
  • Lessons learned from producing 200 HLOL podcasts. Includes taking a risk to try something new, partnering with others who bring needed skills, identifying what does and doesn’t work, and celebrating success all along the way.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Especially relevant to this podcast is Chapter 33 that focuses on audio media

Read the transcript of this podcast

Integrating Health Literacy into Clinical Research (HLOL #199)

Sylvia Baedorf Kassis MPH, CYT focuses on many aspects of clinical research. Her work includes understanding the experience of research participants and incorporating their insights into study processes. Among her many accomplishments, Sylvia and her team created a health literacy website especially for clinical research stakeholders. This is part of a larger initiative from the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials (MRCT) Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard.

In this podcast, Sylvia Baedorf Kassis talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Clinical research and health literacy. Why it is important to consider each of those topics separately as well as look at them together.
  • Challenges faced when communicating with the public or patients about clinical research studies. These challenges include explaining unfamiliar concepts, defining complex terms, and communicating in a range of formats.
  • Tips and recommendations for all listeners who communicate in a variety of ways.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapter 8 is especially relevant to this podcast. It is about decision aids and shared decision-making.

Read a transcript of this podcast

Patient-Oriented Discharge Summaries: Helping Patients Easily Understand Their Transition from Hospital to Home (HLOL #198)

Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg, PhD is a scientist and project lead at the University Health Network’s OpenLab in Canada. She works with a multi-disciplinary team to discover and create solutions to issues in the health system using techniques that span design, research, and operational modeling. Shoshana Hanh-Goldberg manages the Patient Oriented Discharge Summaries (PODS) project that is being used at over 20 hospitals in Ontario, Canada.

In this podcast, Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • PODS. What this discharge tool is, why it was needed, and how it helps.
  • Creating this form with those it is designed to help. That includes working closely with people who have language barriers and limited health literacy.
  • Using plain language and health literacy principles throughout. That includes a conversational tone, limited number of topics, clear headings, interactive checkboxes, icons, and plenty of space for patients to write notes.
  • Ways to access and adapt PODS for use in your own setting.

More ways to learn:

 

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapter 12 is especially relevant to this podcast, “Forms and Other Reading-to-Do Documents.”

Read the transcript of this podcast

Promoting Early Childhood Literacy through Local Laundromats (HLOL #197)

Brian Wallace is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Coin Laundry Association and Executive Director of the LaundryCares Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to provide laundry services, books, and literacy resources to those in need. This includes their Laundry Literacy Coalition–an initiative to promote early childhood literacy through America’s laundromats.

In this podcast, Brian Wallace talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Laundry Literacy Coalition. A novel connection that honors and supports the relationship between neighborhood laundromats and communities they serve.
  • How laundromats are helping to promote early childhood literacy with reading corners, mini-libraries, story times, and visits from library or literacy specialists.
  • Ways to connect with people who need the most help at places they already visit. Examples of how laundromats are working with local health agencies, too.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Especially relevant to this podcast is Chapter 42, “Zest and Pizzazz” that looks at the power of creative, out-of-the-box programs and ideas.

Read the transcript of this podcast

My Life, My Story: In Initiative to Help Tell Each Patient’s Story (HLOL #196)

Susan Nathan, MD is a Geriatrician and Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician at VA Boston Healthcare System. She is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and adjunct Instructor in Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Nathan is the site director for the My Life, My Story Project at VA Boston.

Thor Ringler is a poet and a therapist. He is the national program manager for My Life, My Story and works as a writer-editor at the VA hospital in Madison, WI. Ringler has an MFA in Poetry and an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy.

In this podcast, Susan Nathan and Thor Ringler talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • My Life, My Story. What this initiative is, why it got started, and who is involved.
  • How-to tips to make this happen. Including who does the interview and write-up, how long it takes, and examples of questions to ask.
  • Real-life stories about the impact of this program on providers and veterans.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapters especially relevant to this podcast include “Stories” and “You: Empathy and Humanity.”

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Encouraging Healthy Food Choices with Traffic-Light Labels and Choice Architecture (HLOL #195)

Anne Thorndike MD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Much of her work focuses on individual and population-level behavioral interventions to prevent cardiometabolic disease. Through implementation research, Dr. Thorndike and her team demonstrated the effectiveness of traffic light labels, choice architecture, social norms, and financial incentives to promote healthy food choices in real-life settings, such as worksite cafeterias and supermarkets.

In this podcast, Dr. Thorndike talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • A hospital cafeteria healthy eating program that uses colors, labels, and placement to guide employees, patients, and visitors toward healthier food choices.
  • Research data showing the long-term effectiveness of this program.
  • Lessons learned that can be applied in many settings. These include taking into account many aspects of dietary quality, not just calories. And labeling all foods, not just those that are healthy.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapter 10 is especially relevant to this podcast, “Environment of Care: Entrances, Questions, Signs, and Feng Shui.”

Read a transcript of this podcast

How Chaplains Help Patients Make Meaning of Illness (HLOL #194)

Reverend Christiaan Beukman, a native of the Netherlands, moved to the Boston area decades ago. He attended Harvard Divinity School and Andover-Newton Theological School and was the Protestant Chaplain and Diversity Specialist at a community hospital in Boston. He now serves as the Pastoral Ministries Manager at a large retirement community. He also is an Archdeacon in the Episcopal Church.

In this podcast, Reverend Beukman talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What chaplains do, where they work, and their role on healthcare teams.
  • Ways that chaplains help patients make meaning of their illnesses.
  • How clinicians, educators, communicators and others can work with chaplains to resolve ethical dilemmas and provide culturally competent healthcare.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapter 41, titled “You: Empathy and Humanity,” is especially relevant to this podcast.

Read the transcript of this podcast. 

Communicating About Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (HLOL #193)

Katrien Goethals is Partner at the Institute for the Advancement of Health and Wellbeing: Dementia/Alzheimer’s. She lectures on dementia, facilitates groups for caregivers, and moderates a podcast that is part of a larger project to examine Alzheimer’s and Dementia from a public policy, public relations, and advocacy perspective. In all this work, Goethals brings her perspective as a family member and caregiver and world view from growing up in Belgium.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Katrien Goethals about:

  • Dementia, a cognitive impairment decline that affects mental functioning. There are many types of dementia that can affect people of all ages.
  • Dementia is a looming, yet under-recognized, public health crisis worldwide. Yet there is no definitive way to prevent or treat dementia.
  • How listeners can help raise awareness, educate, and advocate. Examples from many perspectives including public health, clinical settings, and as family members, caregivers, and friends.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapter 19 is especially relevant to this podcast, “Know Your Audience: Emotions and Cognition.”

Read a transcript of this podcast.

PREPARE For Your Care: An Online Tool to Make Medical Decision Making Easier for Patients and Caregivers (HLOL #192)

Rebecca Sudore MD is a geriatrician, palliative medicine physician, and health services researcher. She also is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF (University of California San Francisco). In addition, Dr. Sudore directs the Vulnerable Populations for Aging Research Core of the UCSF Older Adults Independence (Pepper) Center and co-directs the Innovation and Implementation Center in Aging & Palliative Care. Her research is focused on ways to improve advance care planning and medical decision-making for diverse, vulnerable older adults.

Dr. Rebecca Sudore and her team created PrepareForYourCare.org — an interactive, online advance care planning program to help with this process. In this podcast, she and Helen Osborne talk about:

  • Advance care planning. A process meant to support people at any age or stage of health in understanding their own values and preferences regarding current and future medical care.
  • Examples of problems that often occur along with ways to help patients, caregivers, and families feel more empowered and better able to advocate for themselves and others.
  • prepareforyourcare.orgA free easy-to-read and easy-to-use online tool to help clinicians, community organizations, patients, and caregivers engage in the process of advance care planning. 

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018),by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include 12 (Forms, and Other Reading-To-Do Documents, and 18 (Know Your Audience: Culture and Language).

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Health Literacy Month: 20th Anniversary Edition (HLOL #191)

This podcast is unlike most others, for it is a conversation about Health Literacy Month with Helen Osborne and Michael Villaire.

Helen Osborne is president of Health Literacy Consulting, author of the book Health Literacy from A to Z, and founder of Health Literacy Month. She also is producer and host of this podcast series, Health Literacy Out Loud.

Michael Villaire is President/CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA). Michael’s many accomplishments include being co-author of two health literacy books. He has also written several chapters and dozens of articles on the same topic.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Health Literacy Month, Helen and Michael discuss many aspects of this worldwide annual event. Topics include:

  • Health Literacy Month origins. Including Helen’s story of starting this with 15 cents.
  • Health Literacy Month was, and is, a grassroots initiative. There is no wrong way to participate. Examples of events for different types of audiences.
  • Helen and Michael’s visions for Health Literacy Month—now, and in years ahead.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 27, 42.

Read the transcript of this podcast. 

When Patient’s Create Their Own Medical Binders: A Powerful Way to Get Organized and Feel More in Control (HLOL #190)

Bridget Gaglio PhD, MPH is a Senior Program Officer for the Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science program at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She works to improve communication and dissemination of evidence-based information among patients and their healthcare providers. Gaglio has published papers on patient-centered communication, health literacy, and dissemination and implementation of health interventions. But this podcast isn’t about that. Rather, it’s about experiences and lessons Bridget and Helen each learned as patients.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Bridget Gaglio about:

  • Becoming a patient can happen in a moment, whether from an accident or unexpected diagnosis. Some reasons that communication can be very hard, even for patients who are good readers and savvy about health.
  • Why to create your own medical binder and what to include. How such binders (on paper, electronic, or both) can help patients feel empowered and more in control.
  • Tips, suggestions, and lessons learned for patients and providers, alike.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018),by Helen Osborne. Chapter 5 is especially relevant to this podcast, “Communicating When Patients Feel Scared, Sick, and Overwhelmed.”

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Vaccine Literacy (HLOL #189)

Scott Ratzan M.D., M.P.A., M.A., has three decades of pioneering accomplishments in the U.S. and globally in health literacy, health communication, and strategic diplomacy. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, and serves on the Board of Global Health for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Beyond his many publications and ongoing advocacy, Dr. Ratzan is co-author of the definition of health literacy that was adopted by the US Government and incorporated in the Affordable Care Act. He now taking on the challenge to improve “vaccine literacy.”

In this podcast, Dr. Scott Ratzan talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Vaccine literacy. How it is alike yet differs from health literacy. And why vaccine literacy is needed now.
  • Examples of how vaccine literacy requires a multi-level effort from policy makers and industry leaders, along with caring advocates.
  • Ways we all can help communicate clearly, accurately, and actionably about vaccines.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include 1 (“About Health Literacy”) and 13 (“General Public: Talking With Patients About What They Learn From the Media”).

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Health Literacy Listening Tour (HLOL#188)

Audrey Riffenburgh Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience in health literacy and plain language. Dr. Riffenburgh is President of Health Literacy Connections (formerly Plain Language Works). Her firm helps healthcare systems, health-related agencies, and companies use health literacy and plain language to improve audience communication and meet organizational goals.

Dr. Riffenburgh is widely recognized for her many health literacy accomplishments. This includes being the Senior Health Literacy Specialist at an academic health system where she led efforts to improve communication and access for patients and families and become a more “health literate organization.”

Dr. Riffenburgh often speaks at conferences and workshops, co-authored several publications, and has served on national panels and committees. She earned a Ph.D. in Health Communication, focusing on the implementation of health literacy initiatives in healthcare organizations.

In this podcast, Audrey Riffenburgh talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Health Literacy Listening Tour. A quick, focused way to get the “lay of the land” within your organization so as to develop meaningful health literacy programs.
  • Practical tips that include meeting with key leaders, framing health literacy as an important issue, and learning about organizational goals, strategies, and needs.
  • Using this opportunity to build goodwill, raise awareness about your program, develop allies, create networks, and develop projects with measurable outcomes.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 4, 27.

Read a transcript of this podcast. 

Archie Willard Talks About Struggling to Read (HLOL #187)

In this podcast first broadcast in 2008, Archie Willard shares a message that is as important today as it was then. I hope you enjoy and learn from this HLOL Classic.

Archie Willard was an ardent and articulate advocate for health literacy. He chaired health literacy workshops and participated in health literacy programs run by organizations including the Iowa Health System, American Medical Association, and the Joint Commission. Archie also was a guest speaker at health literacy conferences across the United States. But he didn’t learn to read until he was 54 years old, after being diagnosed with severe dyslexia. Of note: Archie Willard died in 2017 when he was in his mid-80s.

In this podcast, Archie Willard talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Growing up as a non-reader
  • Learning to read as an adult
  • How reading problems affect health understanding
  • Ways we all can help

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 21, 27, 28, 29, 41.

Read the transcript of this podcast.

The Family’s Voice in Practice, Research, and Foundations (HLOL #186)

Sharon Cray earned a degree in accountancy and worked in business for several years. She entered the world of healthcare as a parent, caregiver, and active volunteer when two of her three children were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Her participation now includes volunteering with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and serving on the Family Advisory Council at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Cray is an active member of the I-PASS Family Centered Rounds Study Team, co-authoring the research paper, “Patient safety after implementation of a coproduced family centered communication programme,” published in the British Medical Journal.

In this podcast, Sharon Cray talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Family voice. A shared mental model that helps providers better understand the needs, wants, and lived experiences of patients and their families.
  • Ways the family voice makes a difference in practice, research, and foundations.
  • Recommendations for providers about finding and working with family partners.
  • Recommendations for families about getting involved, being listened to, and helping.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 5, 6, 7, 8, 17, 24, 29, 31, 41

Read the transcript of this podcast.

 

Communicating When There Is a Wide Range of Worry (HLOL #185)

Emilie Johnson, MD, MPH, is a pediatric urologist and health services researcher in Chicago, IL. She cares for pediatric urology patients (and their families) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, and is an Assistant Professor of Urology at Northwestern University. In her practice, Dr. Johnson address the medical and surgical needs of children with a wide range of conditions involving the urinary and genital systems.

In this podcast, Dr. Johnson and Helen Osborne discuss:

  • Communication challenges when a specialist first meets with patients and families about conditions that may or may not be medically concerning.
  • Ways to set a tone of empathy, caring, and respect. One example is inviting patients to share their worries and fears at the beginning of appointments. And only after these are aired, then discussing treatment options and plans.
  • Tools and strategies to increase mutual understanding. These not only include the spoken word but also visuals, diagrams, and primers on terminology.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 5, 8, 17, 24, 41.

Read the transcript of this podcast.

Health Literacy and People Who Are Homeless (HLOL #184)

Samantha Wood devotes herself to serving those who are the most vulnerable and helping them fulfill their life goals. Wood is Senior Housing Stabilization Case Manager at The Haven–a multi-resource day shelter for people who are homeless. The Haven is located in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Samantha Wood takes pride in serving the area near where she grew up.

In this podcast, Samantha Wood talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Being homeless. What this can be like and why it sometimes happens.
  • The intersection of health issues and people who are homeless.
  • Ways that health systems, clinicians, and others can work with, and walk alongside of, those who are homeless to improve health and health communication.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 5, 19, 24, 41.

Read the transcript of this podcast

Building Bridges of Health Literacy: Connecting Globally, Acting Locally, Learning Together (HLOL #183)

Kristine Sørensen is founding director of the Global Health Literacy Academy. Kristine Sørensen also is the first president of the International Health Literacy Association, chair of Health Literacy Europe, and advisor to the WHO on health literacy. She now lives in Denmark. 

In this podcast, Kristine Sørensen talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Health literacy efforts in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the United States. How these efforts are alike and ways that they differ.
  • Why and how to keep doing this work even when faced with resistance. 
  • Health literacy associations, conferences, online discussions, and other ways to learn from and support each other.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 27, 42.

Read the transcript of this podcast. 

Elderspeak (HLOL #182)

Anna I. Corwin Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Saint Mary’s College of California. Trained in Linguistic and Medical Anthropology, Dr. Corwin’s work focuses on understanding how cultural practices and communication shape older individuals’ experiences of their lives, their bodies, and aging.  Much of Dr. Corwin’s research has examined how and why American Catholic nuns age more “successfully” than their lay counterparts, benefitting not only from physical health but also mental and emotional well-being.

In this podcast, Dr. Anna Corwin and Helen Osborne talk about:

  • Elderspeak. Characteristics can include simplified speech and vocabulary, a slower rate, exaggerated intonation, elevated pitch and volume, and collective pronouns. 
  • Why some people use elderspeak. And possible negative outcomes when they do. 
  • Dr. Corwin’s research as a linguistic anthropologist. Stories and lessons learned from her year living with nuns at a Catholic convent.  
  • Examples of effective linguistic tools to try when interacting with people who have aphasia, dementia, or other conditions impeding communication. 

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 11, 14, 19, 22, 24, 31, 41.

Communicating Clearly Takes More Than Simple Words (HLOL #181)

Lauren McCormack PhD, MPSH is Vice President of RTI International’s Public Health Research Division and Adjunct Associate Professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. McCormack’s research bridges the fields of health communication and health policy. It involves developing, testing, and evaluating interventions to promote patient-centered care, patient engagement, and informed decision-making.  An overarching goal is to improve the public’s understanding and use of medical evidence.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Dr. McCormack about:

  • Helping patients and the public make decisions based on information and evidence. 
  • Targeting, narratives, tailoring, framing, expressing uncertainty, and other communication strategies.
  • Tips for using these strategies in your health related materials. 

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 6, 8, 11, 16, 21, 28.

Read the transcript of this podcast. 

The Opioid Crisis and Health Literacy (HLOL #180)

Alex Hogan is a multimedia journalist at STAT, which is a health and science news site from Boston Globe Media Partners. Hogan produces videos, illustrations and animations with the aim of making often complex topics accessible. In 2017, he produced the short documentary, “Runnin,'” which took an intimate look at the impact of the opioid crisis in his hometown of Somerville, MA.

In this podcast, Alex Hogan talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The opioid crisis. How it got started, and why it has become such a problem now.
  • The intersection of the opioid crisis, health literacy, and health communication.
  • Ways listeners can help, such as by not using stigmatizing language.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 13, 31, 36

Read the transcript of this podcast

Plain Language: It’s About Smartening Up, Not Dumbing Down (HLOL #179)

Karen Schriver PhD is President of KSA Communication Design and Research—a Pittsburgh-based consultancy focused on making information clear, compelling, and usable. She helps organizations draw on the latest empirical research so they can write and design more effective people-centered communications. She is a former professor of rhetoric and information design at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Schriver’s book, Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Texts for Readers has been called a landmark in its field. Winner of fourteen international and national awards for her work, Dr. Schriver is writing a new book about ways to reach busy readers through evidence-based information design and plain language.

In this podcast, Dr. Karen Schriver talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Plain language. Includes not only simpler words but also sentence structure, design, and many other ways to help readers find, understand, and use information. 
  • Reluctance and skepticism about plain language (sometimes expressed as concerns about “dumbing down”) from writers and subject-matter experts.
  • Examples and strategies to make a compelling case for using plain language (or, as Helen sometimes calls this approach, “smartening up”).

More Ways to Learn:

  • “Plain Language in the US Gains Momentum: 1940-2015,” by Karen Schriver. Published in IEEE Transactions of Personal Communication, Volume 60, Issue 4. Abstract available at https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8115322/
  • Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Texts for Readers, by Karen Schriver.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1028349.Dynamics_in_Document_Design

For more information, contact Dr. Schriver at kschriver@earthlink.net

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 21, 28.

Read the transcript of this podcast. 

Visual Metaphors: When Words Alone Are Not Enough (HLOL #178)

Alex Thomas MDand Gary Ashwal MA are co-founders of Booster Shot Media. Alex is a board-certified pediatric allergist/immunologist and a cartoonist/illustrator with more than 20 years’ experience. Gary is a health communication specialist and multimedia producer of healthcare content. With 15+ years of creative partnership, Alex and Gary apply their combined experience to produce comic books, animation, and other visual projects to teach people of all ages about complex health topics.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Alex Thomas and Gary Ashwal about:

  • Communicating in non-traditional ways as with comics, animation, and whiteboards
  • Examples of using visual metaphors to help explain complex medical concepts
  • Tips for creating and using visual teaching tools in your healthcare practice

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 14, 16, 25, 28, 31, 38, 42

Read this podcast transcript. 

Health Literacy and Justice-Involved Individuals (HLOL #177)

David Young is a Professor and Community Health Specialist at Montana State University. His work involves improving the health and well-being of vulnerable, at-risk, marginalized, hard-to-reach populations. Young’s research is focused on promoting health literacy, health insurance literacy, and improved self-care management skills of those who are incarcerated.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with David Young about:

  • Justice involved individuals.As many as 1 out of 3 adults in the United States (70-100 million) has a criminal record or is involved with the criminal justice system whether arrested without conviction, in jail, in prison, or under community supervision. Learn more at “Americans with Criminal Records.”
  • Health issues affecting this population. Issues include chronic health conditions, infectious diseases, mental illness, substance use disorders, aging, and trauma. Learn more at “Medical Problems of State and Federal Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011-12.”
  • Health literacy and health insurance literacy programs that educate returning citizens (those returning to the community) to successfully manage their own health.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Young, D and Weinert C, (2013) “Improving Health Literacy With Inmates.” Read the PDF.
  • Young, D and Weinert C, (2016) “Promoting health insurance and enrollment literacy with jail inmates.” Link to access this article.
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2018. “Jails: Inadvertent Health Care Providers.” Link to this report.
  • Brown, PL. “They’re Out of Prison. Can They Stay Out of the Hospital?” The New York Times,May 29, 2018. Link to article.

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 11, 16, 19, 24, 26, 27, 2832, 41

Read the transcript of this podcast.

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