Dr Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for HHS, Talks About Boosting Health Literacy to Move Beyond the Cycle of Costly Crisis Care (HLOL #77)

Dr. Howard K. Koh serves as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Koh is dedicated to the mission of creating better public health systems for prevention and care so that all people can reach their highest attainable standard of health. Health literacy is key to accomplishing this goal.

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

  • How health literacy is a dynamic systems issue and public health challenge.
  • Why health literacy is at a “tipping point,” moving from the margins to mainstream.
  • New Federal policies, initiatives, and tools that boost health literacy.

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.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Plain Writing Act of 2010 (HLOL #73)

Annetta Cheek Ph.D. is an ongoing champion of plain language. With a background in anthropology and many years experience as a federal employee, Cheek helped lead the way to convincing the U.S. Congress to pass the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Now she and others are supporting new legislation to streamline government regulations.

Annetta Cheek’s commitment to plain language is long-standing. Among her many accomplishments, she served as an expert for Vice President Gore’s plain language initiative. More recently, she helped found the non-profit organization, the Center for Plain Language.

In this podcast, Annetta Cheek talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Plain language: What it is and why it is needed for all types of documents.
  • Plain language legislation: How government communications affect everyone.
  • Practical ways to help overcome a “culture of complex 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: 3, 4, 6, 27, 28, 30.

For a transcript of this podcast, please visit http://healthliteracy.com/transcript.asp?PageID=11098

National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy (HLOL #39)

Cynthia Baur, Ph.D., is the Senior Advisor for Health Literacy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She co-chairs several federal health literacy initiatives, including the workgroup for Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology.

Dr. Baur is the lead author for the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and helped develop CDC’s online health literacy training for health professionals. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about the National Plan to Improve Health LiteracyTopics include:

  • How the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy was developed with input from researchers, practitioners, and community members.
  • Ways individuals and organizations can use this health literacy action plan.
  • A national and international perspective about health literacy.

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.

Talking about the Economic Side of Health Literacy (HLOL #14)

George J. Isham, M.D., M.S. is Chief Health Officer and Plan Medical Director for HealthPartners Health Plan in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His many responsibilities include overseeing programs of health promotion and disease prevention, research, professional education, strategic planning, quality and utilization management.

Dr. Isham is active nationally, as well. He works with a wide range of associations including America’s Health Insurance Plans, Alliance of Community Health Plans, Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, and Bridges to Excellence. Dr. Isham chairs the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy.   

In this podcast, he talks with Helen Osborne about economic side of health literacy. Topics include:

  • Framing health literacy economics in terms of effectiveness and efficiency
  • Looking at the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes
  • Making a compelling case for organizations to invest in health literacy

More ways to learn:

  • IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy, http://www.iom.edu/?id=32786
  • Isham G, Halvorson G, 2003. Epidemic of Care: A Call for Safer, Better, and More Accountable Health Care. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.
  • Nielsen-Bohlman L, Panzer AM, Kindig DA, (ed), 2004. Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. The National Academies Press: Washington DC.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words…Making a Bottom-Line Case for Health Literacy,” On Call magazine, Sept/Oct 2006. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=4804
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