Health Literacy from a Literacy Perspective (HLOL #41)

John Comings EdD is Principal International Technical Advisor at the Education Development Center in Newton, MA. Prior to this, he was Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) and a member of the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Comings’s research and writing focuses on the impact of adult literacy programs and factors that predict persistence of adult education students in the U.S. and Third World countries. In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The literacy part of health literacy, including components of reading skills
  • The health part of health literacy, including functional skills within health contexts
  • Practical literacy strategies that health professionals can use today
  • Ways the health system can collaborate with the adult literacy system

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Teachable Moments: Using Celebrity to Teach About Health (HLOL #32)

Michele Berman, MD is a pediatrician who has practiced in hospitals and pediatric centers across the United States. She also has authored numerous articles, many of them about the practical side of parenting.  But now Dr. Berman is taking on a new role as Managing Partner and Chief Medical Officer of the website, Celebrity Diagnosis.

In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about ways to make the most of teachable moments and use celebrity news to teach about health.

Topics include:

  • How “teachable moments” provide context for new learning
  • Why and how this website connects celebrity with health
  • Lessons learned that all health communicators can apply

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Teaching & Singing About Health in South Africa (HLOL #25)

On a recent trip to Indermark (a village in Northern South Africa), I was privileged to talk with a group of community healthcare workers. They shared ways of teaching about health and nutrition. Two workers sang health songs they wrote. In this podcast you will hear them sing these songs in English, Zulu, and the native language Sepedi.

Here are photos of them listening to this recording:
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Dr. Mache Seibel (“Doc Rock”) Sings 2 Health Literacy Month Songs (HLOL #24)

Mache SeibelThere are many ways to raise awareness about health literacy. I’m delighted to share two Health Literacy Month songs composed and performed by Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Seibel is a practicing physician and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA. He also is a composer and performer who uses music and song to teach about health. You can learn more about Dr. Seibel’s wonderful work by going to his HealthRock website at www.healthrock.com.

In this HLOL podcast, you will hear two health literacy songs along with Dr. Seibel talking about why he composed them. Dr. Seibel has kindly offered a free download in honor of Health Literacy Month. To do so, go to www.healthrock.com and then click “podcasts.”

Why Health Literacy Matters: A Podcast with Many Voices (HLOL #23)

October is Health Literacy Month. This is the 11th year that advocates everywhere are raising awareness about health literacy and ways to improve understanding. This year, we decided to focus on stories – stories about why health literacy matters to healthcare providers, policy makers, researchers, educators, students, patients, families, and all others who care about health.

In this special edition podcast, you will hear five people share their stories about why health literacy matters. I recorded these in May 2009 when I was giving a workshop at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s (or IHA) 8th Annual Health Literacy Conference.

This is the first of two Health Literacy Month podcasts. In this one, you will hear from:

  • Michael Villaire, Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA)
  • Cindy Brach, AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
  • Michael Wolf PhD, Northwestern University
  • Beccah Rothschild, Health Research to Action at UC Berkeley
  • Jutta Ulrich, Health Guide America

More ways to learn:

  • Health Literacy Month website. Thanks to a team of remarkable volunteers and amazing authors, each day in October there are one or more health literacy stories posted at www.healthliteracymonth.org.
  • Health Literacy Out Loud. Hear interviews with those in-the-know about health literacy by going to www.healthliteracymonth.org
  • Health Literacy Consulting. Find out more about Helen Osborne’s work and background by going to www.healthliteracy.com
  • Institute for Healthcare Advancement. Find out about this organization and its upcoming health literacy conference by going to www.iha4health.org

Selina Maphorogo Talks About Community Health Education in South Africa (HLOL #20)

Selina Maphorogo has been a community health worker in Northern South Africa for many years. She recently retired from the Elim Care Group Project where she worked with health professionals, volunteers, and community leaders to help eradicate the blinding eye disease trachoma.

Selina is recognized for her outstanding work. In 1996, she received the Community Builder of the Year award. In 1997, she was a finalist for the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights.

I first learned about Selina when reading the book, The Community Is My University: A Voice from the Grass Roots on Rural Health and Development. On a recent trip to South Africa, I had the privilege of speaking with her and recording this podcast.

In this podcast she talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What trachoma is and how it is passed from one person to another.
  • Strategies to educate a community about disease prevention.
  • Using song, dance, role-play and other ways to teach about health.

 

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Communicating with People Who Have Cancer (HLOL #8)

This Health Literacy Out Loud podcast is like a patchwork quilt, pieced together with many tips and strategies for communicating effectively with people who have cancer. I recorded it at a meeting of Virginia’s Cancer Planning Action Coalition (CPAC) which met in Charlottesville, VA on November 20, 2008. I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at this conference.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with several CPAC conference participants about their tips for good health communication:

  • Sharon Dwyer talks about the power of stories. She highlights how stories can help remove fear, motivate people, and provide support and human connection.
  • Susan Seidler speaks about reaching out to seniors in the community. She also highlights ways to improve communication with seniors, in person and in print.
  • Michael Pyles, PhD highlights the value of community partnerships, cultural diversity, and how listening is key to action.
  • Melanie Dempsey BS, RT(R)(T), CMD discusses the importance of teamwork and how each professional helps with education. She also talks about how stress affects patients’ understanding
  • Laura Humbertson MS discusses how information and resources help empower patients.
  • Donna Moore RN speaks about her work as a Nurse Navigator. This includes listening to patient’s fears, finding and knocking down barriers, and giving patients hope.

More ways to learn:

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Archie Willard Talks about Struggling to Read (HLOL #3)

Archie Willard is an ardent and articulate advocate for health literacy. He chairs health literacy workshops and participates in health literacy programs run by organizations including the Iowa Health System, American Medical Association, and the Joint Commission. In addition, Archie is a guest speaker at health literacy conferences across the United States. But he also didn’t learn to read until he was 54 years old.

In this Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast, Archie Willard talks with Helen Osborne about what it is like to be a struggling reader in healthcare settings. Topics include:

  • 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:

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Adam Weiss Talks about Podcasting (HLOL #1)

Adam Weiss is a successful educational podcaster and podcast consultant. An expert interviewer and communicator, he aims to show that podcasting is more about story, presentation, and technique than fancy gear and tech toys.

He was the creator and of the popular Current Science & Technology Podcast for the Museum of Science in Boston, which he hosted for more than two years. He has also created the critically acclaimed Boston Behind the Scenes Podcast as well as the newly-launched Puzzle Podcast.

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, Adam Weiss talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What podcasts are
  • How people can access and download podcasts
  • Why podcasts are an emerging and important tool of communication

More ways to learn:

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