Health Literacy Summit Region 1

Health Literacy Summit

Regional Resource Center I
Indianapolis, IN

Holiday Inn Select

2501 South High School Road,
Indianapolis, IN

March 25-26, 2008

View the Summit Presentations

Health literacy is often defined as the ability to read, understand, and act upon health-related information. Improving health literacy may improve the health status and quality of life of America's adults, especially among adults with marginal literacy skills. Join adult educators, health care workers, and others interested in health literacy to find out about the research on health literacy and some resources for implementing health literacy programming.

Hosted by: National Institute for Literacy and its LINCS Region I Resource Center World Education and Ohio Literacy Resource Center in partnership with Indiana Department of Education/Division of Adult Education

Summit Schedule

Day 1 - Tuesday, March 25, 2008

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Registration
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Opening Session

Health Literacy: A Clinician's Point of View
Paul Smith, MD, Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin, WI


Based on the results of the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of adults have Proficient health literacy. There are a variety of social determinants of health, but literacy seems to be the strongest predictor of health status. Research has shown that people with low health literacy have less health knowledge, poorer health status, higher mortality, an increased frequency of hospitalizations and it costs more for their medical care. The speaker will discuss a multifaceted approach to begin to address the problems associated with low health literacy.
2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Research on the Health Information Seeking Behaviors of Older Adults

Mary Stansbury, Ph.D., Library Science, Kent State University, OH

Ruth Ludwick, Ph.D., CNS, RN, Professor, Kent State University, OH

Dianna Baycich, Ph.D., Literacy Projects Coordinator, Kent State University, OH


Presenters will discuss health information seeking behavior and the results of a research study they conducted which identified ways older adults prefer to receive their health information. Presenters will also discuss the process used to write the materials for the participants in the study and the critical nature of interdisciplinary work in the area of health literacy.

Teaching and Learning about Health in Adult Basic Education
Marcia Drew Hohn, Ph.D., Immigrant Learning Center, MA

Saiyi Diaz and Vanda Ivanenko, Student Health Teams, MA

Come learn about the principles and practices for effective health education in adult basic education and reduce your stress at the same time! Marcia Drew Hohn and former members of the Operation Bootstrap Student Action Health Team will lead you through a stress reduction program based on research-based learning from a two-year participatory action research study. Design, approaches, and methods used in the stress reduction program developed with a Student Health Team will be explained as we move through the program. Approaches and activities to get Student Health Teams started at your program will also be covered. Come have fun, relax and learn! Limit of 20.

3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Breakout Session

Testing Impact of Health Literacy

Susan Levy, Ph.D., FASHA, Professor Emerita of Public Health and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL


This presentation will highlight the development and execution of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education, and the National Institute for Literacy-funded, five-year research project. The project is a randomized, controlled experiment testing the relative superiority of different curricular and teaching approaches on adult literacy and health literacy. Curricular highlights and strategies will be shown, literacy and health literacy results presented, and ongoing analyses, policy implications and lessons learned will be discussed.

Caregiving: How Can We Help?

Steve Quann, M. Ed., World Education, MA

Health literacy in the classroom often means covering basic information about illnesses. But what about help for those looking after family or friends? Project Care is a website that lets high-intermediate to advanced English language learners practice English from the perspective of caregivers. The presenter will discuss strategies for project-based learning and the value of case studies, multimedia, and group work in engaging learners and constructing knowledge.

Day 2 - Wednesday, March 26, 2008

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion of Statewide Initiatives

Michele Erikson, Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., WI

Lori Quaranta, Rhode Island Health Literacy Project, RI

Winston Lawrence, Literacy Assistance Center, NY

Matt McGarvey, The Wellmark Foundation, IA


Panelists from statewide collaborative initiatives will share the features of their health literacy work and how the partnerships were formed.

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Roundtables by State/Region
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Ask Me 3: Three Questions for Better Health

Jane Walker, Ph.D., RN, School of Nursing, Purdue University Calumet, IN

Dolores Huffman, Ph.D., RN, School of Nursing, Purdue University Calumet, IN


The 2006 edition of America's Health Rankings reports that since the year 2000, there has been a major decline in health outcomes in our nation. One factor that has been associated with poor health outcomes is inadequate health literacy. This presentation will address the impact of inadequate health literacy on health outcomes, facilitators and barriers to communicating with healthcare providers, and the Partnership for Clear Health Communication's Ask Me 3 program.

The Role of Study Circles in Promoting Health Literacy

Winston Lawrence, Ed.D., Literacy Assistance Center, NY


This presentation will discuss a major health literacy project developed by the Literacy Assistance Center in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health and the National Center for the Study of Adult learning and Literacy to bring a skills-based approach to teaching health literacy in ABE classes through the use of a study circle model of professional development. It will highlight also some other health literacy initiatives within New York State aimed at enabling adult literacy students and their families to better access and navigate the health care system.

12:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Lunch and Closing Session

Advancing Health Literacy: Building Bridges

Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D., Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University, NJ


While attempting to reflect on and summarize conference proceedings, this session will explore the challenges and potential benefits of forming collaborative projects focusing on health literacy.