Creating Videos of Patients’ Stories to Inspire and Remind Caregivers About Why Their Work Matters (HLOL #143)

2015 headshotChad Brough is Executive Director of the Office of Patient Experience at Cone Health in Greensboro, NC. While his accomplishments are many, Chad succinctly summarized his work in words he uses as his Twitter profile, “Chad Brough stands for healthcare that is more compassionate, less complicated, more affordable, and more predictable.”

In this podcast, Chad Brough talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How patients’ stories help inspire caregivers about the importance of caregiving.
  • Why patients so willingly share their stories as a way to give back and say thanks.
  • Good, better, and best ways to help tell patients’ stories. From reading heartfelt letters, to sharing family photos, to producing videotaped stories.
  • Recommendations, lessons learned, and stories about storytelling in healthcare.

More Ways to Learn:

What To Do When Teaching About the Flu (HLOL #142)

Sparks photoSteve Sparks is the director of Wisconsin Health Literacy, a division of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. There, he provides consultation, training, and coordination for statewide health literacy programs, communications, and interventions. Before Wisconsin Health Literacy, Steve held marketing and communications positions in hospitals, health systems, and taught college-level communication courses.

In this podcast, Steve Sparks talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why it’s important, yet also difficult, to teach about the flu.
  • Strategies that work including collaborating with organizations trusted by the intended audience, meeting at places people already go, creating an informal tone, being interactive, using health literacy principles throughout.
  • How health literacy approaches enhance success in populations harder to reach.
  • Getting funding, measuring success, and other behind-the-scene necessities.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the transcript for this podcast.

Literacy & Health Literacy (HLOL #141)

Michele Erikson photoMichele Erikson has been involved with adult literacy for many years. She started as a volunteer literacy tutor and now serves as Executive Director of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. One of Michele’s many accomplishments is overseeing Wisconsin Literacy’s Health Literacy division that not only hosts national health literacy summits but also works closely with adult learners and healthcare professionals to ensure that health information is communicated in ways everyone can understand.

In this podcast, Michele Erikson talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Literacy, an acquired skill that goes beyond decoding written words.
  • Is reading a problem? Why, who, and what to do to improve understanding.
  • How literacy and health literacy overlap, intersect, and differ from the other.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. Includes information about Wisconsin Health Literacy. At
  • Contact Wisconsin Health Literacy’s director, Steve Sparks at or call 608-257-1655
  • Hotdogs and Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential through Literacy at Any Age, by Rob Shindler. This book includes an insider’s view on tutoring adults.

More Ways to Make a Difference:

  • Volunteer to be a tutor. Change someone’s life through literacy.
  • Advocate to legislators, business leaders and community officials.
  • Ask if your doctor’s clinic participates in Reach Out and Read.
  • Donate or become a member of your local literacy agency.
  • Ask your local service club (Rotary, Kiwanis, Altrusa, Lions, Etc.) to get involved.
  • Use plain language in all your health care communications.

Read the written podcast transcript.

Ethnodrama: Conveying Health Concepts in Culturally Relevant Ways (HLOL #140)

Anita Woodley - Headshot Black & WhiteAnita Woodley is an award-winning actress, playwright, producer, musician, poet, and journalist. She also is a certified HIV counselor and advocate for many healthcare initiatives. One powerful way that Anita communicates is with ethnodramas—non-traditional theatrical performances based on ethnographic research data used to educate, promote, and prevent harmful practices to overall health.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Anita Woodley about:

  • How theatric performances can communicate health messages in meaningful, memorable, and culturally relevant ways.
  • Examples of using characters, language, and laughter to teach about health.
  • Woodley’s suggestions about ways everyone (not just actors) can be authentic and inform those we care about, and care for.

More Ways to Learn

  • Anita Woodley: Award-winning Entertainer, Journalist, and Visual Artist. Read about, watch, and learn much more at
  • Strang F, Gonzalez S, 100 Perks of Having Cancer plus 100 Health Tips For Surviving It. At

Read the written podcast transcript.

Health Literacy and The Joint Commission (HLOL #139)

Cordero 3-13Christina (Tina) Cordero, PhD, MPH, is a Project Director in the Department of Standards and Survey Methods, Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission. Among her many accomplishments, Tina developed the patient-centered communication standards and The Joint Commission monograph Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care: A Roadmap for Hospitals.

In this podcast, Tina Cordero talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why, how, and when The Joint Commission got interested in health literacy.
  • What The Joint Commission requires and recommends in regard to patient communication interaction.
  • The Joint Commission’s Roadmap as a resource and framework for practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the podcast transcript.

Reporting about the Patient Experience (HLOL #138)

BarbaraLambiaso.2013Barbara Lambiaso is Senior Project Manager for Communications at Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) based in Watertown, MA. Building on many years of experience in health and health care communications, Barbara oversees all aspects of, a website where the public can find easy-to-understand information and data about quality healthcare in Massachusetts.

In this podcast, Barbara Lambiaso talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Designing a useful, usable consumer website based on healthcare quality data.
  • Making choices about navigation, wording, images, and layering of information.
  • Working with the intended audience to make this website even better.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

How to Find and Use Health Apps (HLOL #137)

rschnallRebecca Schnall, PhD, RN, is a nurse-researcher whose work focuses on informatics strategies for persons from underserved communities. One of her many accomplishments is researching ways that health information technology can help prevent disease, improve care, and reduce health disparities for persons at risk for, or living with, HIV.

In this podcast, Rebecca Schnall talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What are apps? What are health apps? Examples of how apps can provide real-time, personalized, health information that patients want to know and use now.
  • Tips for finding good health apps. Including how to search for what you need, what to be cautious about, and issues of privacy and confidentiality.
  • Looking ahead to what’s next in health app technology.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Communicating About Health with LGBTQ Youth (HLOL #136)

VettersRalph Vetters MD, MPH, is the site medical director of the Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center, a program of Fenway Health in Boston, MA. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and trained as a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Boston Medical Center. The Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center focuses on caring for youth who are alienated from the traditional health care system – LGBTQ youth, street youth and homeless youth.

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

  • What this term means, who it includes, and how it covers a wide range of issues and identities.
  • Strategies to communicate health information in ways that are respectful, helpful, and inclusive. This includes pronouns, words, non-words, health history forms, and electronic medical records.
  • How health literacy and communicating with LGBTQ youth share many characteristics, goals, and strategies.

More ways to learn:

Read the written transcript.

Reviewing Health News (HLOL #135)

HiRes - STE_7127 2Gary Schwitzer has published since 2006. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and director of the Center for Media Communication & Health. Previously, he directed a health journalism graduate program. Schwitzer has been working in, and with, the media for many years. No surprise, he has received numerous awards for his many contributions to medical communication.

In this podcast, Gary Schwitzer talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How HealthNewsReview analyzes, grades, and works to improve journalism and public dialogue about health news.
  • Ways health communicators can help increase the public’s understanding about health issues, information, and implication of their choices. An example is making sense about screening, versus diagnostic, tests.
  • Resources and models of clearly communicating nuanced health information.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Translating Health Information (HLOL #134)

photoLise Anne Boissonneault, B.Sc.L., M. Ed., is a translator and language instructor who has worked in health care for over 25 years in Northern Ontario, Canada. She has translated countless health-related documents from English to French for the general public and managed a busy translation service. Lise Anne has also taught French to health care professionals and undergraduate students.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Lise Anne Boissonneault about:

  • Role of translations in healthcare and how they differ from interpretation.
  • Important translation considerations including culture, context, and geography.
  • What to do, and not do, to validate that your translated message is correct.

Read the written transcript.

Improving the Patient Experience: How Healthcare Settings Can Build on Strategies that Work Well in Hotels (HLOL #133)

Andrés ValenciaAndrés Valencia is a business leader with more than 10 years experience as a manager in international hospitality. He has worked at top-end hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton. Valencia now brings a wealth of customer service and business best practices from the hotel industry to healthcare. He currently works at the Patient Experience and Engagement Program at the University of Chicago Medicine.

In this podcast, Andrés Valencia talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What’s alike and what’s different in the fields of hospitality, hotel management, and healthcare.
  • Whether in hotels or healthcare settings, the importance of providing a warm welcome, pleasant stay, and warm good-bye.
  • Helping all staff better understand how to improve the patient experience.

Read the written transcript.

Helping Teens Transition from Pediatrics to Adult-Centered Care (HLOL #132)

CDS CAC member Cory NourieCory Ellen Nourie, MSS, MLSP, is the Transition Social Work Coordinator at Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. She supports young adults with disabilities and special health care needs as they transition to adulthood. Nourie is active in research and advocacy work, serves on numerous advisory boards, and frequently gives presentations about young adults’ disease self-management and transitions in healthcare services.

In this podcast, Cory Nourie talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • How a healthcare transition is a planned purposeful movement from pediatric care to adult medicine.
  • Ways children can start assuming responsibility for their own medical management.
  • What physicians, other clinicians, office staff, parents, and others can do to help.

More ways to learn:

  • Got Transition. Includes strategies for health professionals, youth, and families. At
  • Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children produced a series of videos about healthcare transition. They include “Becoming an Adult: Taking More Responsibility for My Care” at

Read the written transcript.

A Patient’s Perspective about Health Communication (HLOL #131)

RJoffe web sizeRosalind Joffe is founder and president of ciCoach, giving people who live with chronic health conditions the tools they need to thrive at work. Rosalind knows these issues well as she herself as lived with chronic illness for over 35 years. As both a patient and consumer advocate, Rosalind chairs the Patient Engagement Council of Massachusetts Health Quality Partners. She’s a coach who writes, blogs, and speaks about chronic health challenges and its impact on career.

In this podcast, Rosalind Joffe talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • “Patient-provider engagement,” a term that reflects joint sharing of information.
  • Why two-way health communication matters so much to everyone today.
  • Examples and suggestions about ways that patients and providers can engage in collaborative, respectful, health communication.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Working with Chronic Illness: A blog about living and working with chronic illness and difficult health challenges. At
  • Joffe R, Friedlander J. Women, Work and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working Girlfriend! A book published by Demos Health, 2008.
  • Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, at

Read the written transcript.

Health Literacy and Hearing Loss (HLOL #130)

MckeeMikeMichael McKee, MD, MPH, is a family medicine physician and Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. McKee’s clinical work and research focuses on health care access, health literacy, and health communication with disadvantaged populations including those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Dr. McKee not only has a professional interest in this topic but also personal experience as he himself has a profound hearing loss.

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

  • How hearing loss can affect health knowledge and understanding.
  • Assessing a person’s preferred language and mode of communication.
  • Respectful ways to improve communication as with pictures, technology, and community education.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Teach-back (HLOL #129)

Dean's photoDean Schillinger MD is a practicing primary care physician and Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California San Francisco and Chief of the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. He also directs UCSF’s research program about health communication with vulnerable populations. Dr. Schillinger has authored over 200 publications about this work. Dr. Schillinger recently co-founded a novel public health literacy campaign called “The Bigger Picture,” harnessing the voices of young people to help change the social and environmental conditions leading to the epidemic of diabetes in minority youth.

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

  • Teach-back, a technique to arrive at shared meaning.
  • What to do (and not do) before, during, and after teach-back.
  • How teach-back can be freeing, not restrictive, for your practice.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Why Health Professionals Should Go Online (HLOL #128)

Kevin Pho for Health LeadersDr. Kevin Pho is an internal medicine physician and founder of the very popular, award-winning health blog, Dr. Pho’s unique perspective as a practicing physician and health care social media leader has been recognized by hospitals, medical societies, universities, and mainstream media that includes CBS Evening News, CNN, USA Today and the New York Times.

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

  • Social media: A platform that providers and patients can use to share stories, curate content, and get health messages heard.
  • Why Dr. Pho created this blog and how it has changed and grown over the years.
  • Suggestions, recommendations, and cautions about using social media to spread your health message.

More ways to learn:

Read the written transcript.

Partnering with the Media to Promote Health Literacy (HLOL #127)

CHENEY_HLMChristopher Cheney is a professional journalist. He began as a staff writer at a community newspaper about 20 years ago and has worked in multiple newsroom capacities ever since. Cheney’s experience not only includes print and online media but also producing content for radio and television. Cheney now is an editor and health plan columnist at a multimedia healthcare journalism outfit, HealthLeaders Media.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Christopher Cheney about:

  • How media can broaden the reach of your health literacy message.
  • Multi-media today. Options to direct content to your specific audience.
  • Benefits, risks, and ways to create trusted partnerships with journalists.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Research About Using the Milliliter as a Standard Unit for Liquid Medication (HLOL #126)

Yin_Dreyer_IMG_4472Benard Dreyer, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Director of Pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital, and a pediatric hospitalist at NYU Langone Medical Center. He co-chaired the American Academy of Pediatrics “Project Advisory Committee on Health Literacy,” co-edited the book Plain Language Pediatrics, and serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy Roundtable.

Shonna Yin, MD, MSc, is a general pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center. She is an NIH-funded researcher focused on the development and evaluation of low literacy strategies to improve parent understanding of health information, including medication instructions.

In this podcast, Dr. Dreyer and Dr. Yin talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • Common dosing errors parents make with liquid medication
  • Research about using the milliliter as a standard dosing unit
  • Ways professionals and parents can help improve medication safety

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Talking with Children about Troublesome Family Issues (HLOL #125)

Picture of DebbieDeborah Wachenheim has been working for many years in health care advocacy. This work became more personal after her sister’s suicide in 2013. Deb now speaks out for more education and awareness about mental health care issues in general and postpartum mood disorders in particular.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Deb Wachenheim about:

  • Postpartum mood disorder and its role in Deb’s sister’s suicide.
  • Issues to consider when talking with children about troublesome, complex family issues.
  • Communication tips such as being open and honest, addressing questions that children ask, and being prepared for information that children find on the Internet.

More Ways to Learn:

Read the written transcript.

Health Literacy Screening Tools (HLOL #124)

IMG_2662Barry D Weiss, MD is a tenured professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He also is an affiliate professor of public health in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Weiss has been involved in health literacy and patient-physician communication for much of his professional career. Among his many accomplishments, he has written more than 150 journal articles, authored several books, advised numerous committees and organizations about health literacy, and developed the health literacy screening tool, the Newest Vital Sign.

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

  • Several well-known health literacy screening tools including the REALM (Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine), TOFHLA (Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults), Single Item Health Literacy Screen, and NVS (the Newest Vital Sign).
  • Reasons to use, and more importantly, not to use health literacy screening tools in routine clinical settings.
  • Recommendations about communicating effectively with everyone.

More ways to learn:

Read this podcast’s written transcript.

Health Literacy & the Newly Insured (HLOL #123)

DrDonRubin headshot 2010 compressed documents 269kbDr. Don Rubin is Emeritus Professor of Speech Communication, of Language & Literacy Education, and of Linguistics, at the University of Georgia. Among his many projects and responsibilities, Don chairs the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy. He also works closely with community-based organizations that offer Navigator services—designed to assist consumers seeking health insurance through Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.

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

  • Why health insurance is difficult for many Americans to understand.
  • How health insurance Navigators are helping. And why Dr. Rubin considers them to be Health Literacy Heroes.
  • Examples of strategies that Navigators are using to clearly explain complex health insurance concepts.

More Ways to Learn:

Read this podcast’s written transcript.

Disruptive Innovation: The Next Generation of Health Literacy Products and Services (HLOL #122)

Bio PicPamela Kelly, MBA, MJ is Director of Partnerships & Initiatives at Health Literacy Missouri (HLM). Since joining HLM in 2012, she has been reinventing what it means to be a health communications leader in the 21st century marketplace. Pam leads HLM’s statewide business development efforts and has succeeded in strengthening strategic partnerships with clients across the public and private sectors. She indeed has had a significant, measurable impact on health in Missouri.

In this podcast, Pamela Kelly talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why it’s time for health literacy to move from an educational to a business model.
  • Disruptive innovation. Reaching audiences in new and different ways.
  • Tips and lessons learned for health literacy advocates at all levels of experience, savvy, and spheres of influence.

More Ways to Learn:

Read this podcast’s written transcript.

Learning and Teaching about Health & Insurance (HLOL #121)

BonnieBraunheadshotBonnie Braun, Ph.D., served as the first Director and Endowed Chair of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. Bonnie Braun is a lifelong adult educator. Her many accomplishments include authoring nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles, founding and chairing Health Literacy Maryland, and leading the creation of the award-winning consumer curriculum, Smart Choice Health Insurance.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Bonnie Braun about:

  • Teachable moments, when learners have a need or problem to solve.
  • Building a teaching framework based on well-established theories of adult learning, education, and psychology.
  • Who, why, what, and how. Essential questions to answer when preparing to teach about health or health insurance or other topics.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, go to

Patients Unlike Others You’ve Treated Before (HLOL #120)

Becky-1546-5x7_ppBecky Curran was born an achondroplastic dwarf. She is passionate about finding a way to change how people with physical differences, including little people, are perceived in the media. Becky is committed to helping everyone accept the differences in others.

In this podcast, Helen Osborne talks with Becky Curran about:

  • Why health communication can be difficult when providers treat patients with rare disease and conditions.
  • A patient’s perspective about ways providers can build trust and communicate effectively with everyone.
  • How to portray the diversity of your audience in print and web materials.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, go to

Before You Teach Find Out What Learners Know, Feel, and Believe (HLOL #119)

Susan ReidSusan Reid is the Consulting Manager at Workbase, a not for profit organization in New Zealand that specializes in workforce and health literacy issues. Susan and her colleagues are currently working with New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and healthcare organizations to identify the impact of health literacy on their systems, workforce, and patients and families.

In this podcast, Susan Reid talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What to know about learners before deciding how much to teach.
  • How reading theory helps make health teaching more effective.
  • Examples of ways to learn about your learners.

More Ways to Learn:

To read a written transcript, go to