Leadership Lesson – October 2022: Health Literacy: A Necessary Element to Achieve Health Equity
This month’s leadership lesson is from JoVonn Givens, MPH, task order director at Alliant Health Solutions, the QIN-QIO for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Health Literacy: A Necessary Element to Achieve Health Equity
“If we want health equity, we need to make health literacy a priority.” Sylvia Matthews Burwell, A.B., B.A., former U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services
October is Health Literacy Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines health literacy in two ways:
- “Personal health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.
- “Organizational health literacy is the degree to which organizations enable individuals to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.”
We want to ensure that our residents, patients, and care partners have the information they need to make informed decisions about their care. Check out our website for materials on various topics that you can download for free, like What You Need to Know About Managing Your Cholesterol and short videos like this one answering “What is Delirium?”. Participating in a local Partnership for Community Health is also a way to share resources with multiple care settings and community-based services to improve health literacy in your community and communication across the care continuum. We have over 80 partnerships across our seven-state region ready to engage with you to help make health care better! We can also support you with implementing Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) to achieve health equity.
The public health emergency we experienced over the past two and a half years has shown us that effective communication is needed now more than ever. We must take it a step further to ensure the people we serve in our communities have access to and understand key health-related information. Do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com with your questions and requests for technical assistance.