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. 

Thinking Big About Health Literacy (HLOL #155)

MAA NCH photo - 09-2014 Chapman,Shelby (014) hi-res2015 Headshot CMHall May 2014






Mary Ann Abrams, MD, MPH, is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She previously led Iowa Health System’s (now UnityPoint Health) health literacy quality initiative and development of Health Literacy Iowa. Dr. Abrams is also author of Building Health Literate Organizations: A Guidebook to Achieving Organizational Change. Cynthia (Cyndi) Hall MHA, CPHQ, works at the Carolinas Healthcare System, rolling out health literacy education to more than 500 medical offices. As Project Manager for her organization’s “Teach Well” educational program, Cyndi inspires teammates to use proven health literacy techniques and best practices. Shelby Chapman, MA is the Health Literacy Program manager at Children’s Hospital Colorado. This program encompasses patient/family education for the whole system, affecting change throughout the organization.

In this podcast, Mary Ann Abrams, Cyndi Hall, and Shelby Chapman talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • Thinking big about health literacy. Examples of system-wide, sustainable changes to help make health literacy a part of an organization’s culture.
  • Lessons learned about key factors such as making a case for health literacy, engaging others, and measuring and documenting success.
  • Tips and recommendations for thinking big at YOUR organization.

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, 4, 27

Read the written transcript.