Sharing our Health Literacy Action Plan Stories - Guest Discussion - Health Literacy


The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy is an important and vital document for everyone with an interest in health literacy. It gives a framework for us to combine our isolated projects into a common purpose for the nation, and gives us specific strategies for reaching our goals.

Last September we had a discussion on this list about the Action Plan with Cynthia Baur. We will now host a follow-up discussion. The purpose of this discussion is to give you an opportunity to share with your colleagues your story on what you are doing to improve health literacy in your organization, and tie these efforts into the National Action Plan. Sharing our stories may seem like a small thing, but it is an important step, which will continue to bring the national community of health literacy together as a field, enabling us to learn from each other and inspire each other.

Our guest will be Michael Villaire, Chief Operating Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA). He will help us tie our stories into the Action Plan's 7 Goals, and will host further activities to collect and organize the stories into a searchable record of what is happening around the country. For those who are interested, we'll continue sharing in a national online forum at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement's live, national social media discussion on the National Action Plan, scheduled for Wednesday, May 4 at noon Pacific time (as part of IHA's annual Health Literacy Conference).

Here are a few questions to help guide us on the week's discussion:

  1. What are you doing to improve health literacy at your organization? Please share this in story format.
  2. Take a look at the National Action Plan, bottom of page 1. Which goal or goals does this effort fit into?
  3. How can you use this effort to build on for the future? Can you do a little more in this area in the next month/quarter/year?

Guest Biography

Michael Villaire, MSLM is the Chief Operating Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA). He has edited several medical journals and written extensively about health literacy in various medical contexts. He co-authored two books: Health literacy in primary care: A clinician?s guide and What To Do For Heavy Kids.

Perhaps most importantly, for the past ten years he has led the nation's first annual conference solely dedicated to health literacy. The IHA's Health Literacy Conference, held in Irvine, CA every May has brought health literacy advocates together for a decade, and continues to do so.

Preparation Reading

The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacyor visit the website.

Last Year's Discussion: Using the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. Go to the archives and scroll down to message #4932 on Sept. 12th.

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