Health Literacy Heroes Directory

Health Literacy Heroes take action to solve health literacy problems.

Registered Nurse at Hahnemann Hospital

"Seasoned nurse, teacher of others about nursing. Cares about a lot and makes one feel comfortable even though I was in pain". Posted 2016.


Akanksha Jaiswal and Ankita Arora are both Indian dentists. They observed the lack of reliable health information available in regional languages in India, and the upward phenomenon of Indians becoming digitally competent and seeking health information on the internet. Sehat Funde (Health fundamentals) is the brainchild of Akanksha Jaiswal, who is also a public health professional. Ankita and Akanksha have been working together to create a repository of evidence based health information content in Hindi, English, and other Indian languages in written and visual formats on their website and youtube channel. They share the vision of making reliable and accurate health information accessible to people in India regardless of their socio-economic background through this project.

Alzheimer's Association - Northeast Colorado Region is a Health Literacy Hero because we provide Alzheimer's education programs reaching 9 counties and empowering others to empower themselves. Posted 2014.

Harbin Clinic

It is vitally important for medical personnel to help patients understand health information and empower them to make good health decisions. However, health literacy becomes even more crucial for those who are facing complicated diseases like cancer. Twenty-year Harbin Clinic veteran Amy Brooks serves as a Clinical Nurse Leader and Case Manager at Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren Cancer Center, with the vital job of educating patients on how to take drugs orally to treat various types of cancer. ... By being an engaged and accessible provider, Amy empowers patients to take charge of their treatment, health, and overall healing while reassuring and supporting them every step of the way. It is my privilege to nominate Amy Brooks for the 2014 Health Literacy Hero recognition. Posted 2014.

Center for Reducing Health Disparities
College of Public Health
University of Nebraska Medical Center

My supervisor, Athena Ramos, is a true Health Literacy Hero. With her outreach working group, she has been raising awareness of the importance of providing culturally appropriate information in the various educational and preventive interventions in the Latino community of Omaha, NE. Athena has been conducting research projects with migrant farmworkers in Nebraska and Kansas, and has placed her heart and commitment ensuring that the creation of research tools and educational materials have been designed taking into consideration the level of education and the level of understanding of the subjects involved in their projects. The same commitment has been in place since we started working together in 2002 with our Latino community.

Health Literacy Project

Atlantic General Hospital, in partnership with Worcester County Public Schools and the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland, decided to tackle health literacy at the grassroots level. Under motivated leadership from all partners, a pilot curriculum was developed that integrated health messages into coursework already used by second grade teachers from an identified elementary school. Pre and post testing of student learning on instructed elements of health literacy yielded a significant increase in students’ health literacy knowledge. This program is being expanded to include other grade levels in the 2014-2015 school year. Posted 2014.

Adjunct Lecturer, Southern Connecticut State University

Information literacy is a requirement of Tier 2 courses at Southern Connecticut State University. To integrate this requirement into the Wellness course I am teaching I developed a writing assignment for my students to develop health information literacy skills. They research any topic of interest in the area of health and wellness and then critique the Web sites they used to learn about their topic. They must use critical thinking skills to evaluate the quality of the health information and rate the Web sites for currency, reliability, authority and purpose. They summarize their findings by completing a Web site evaluation grid and by reporting on what they learned about the topic and on the quality of the Web sites they used. Finally, they get the opportunity to propose improvements to the sites based on their evaluation. Through this exercise students learn what makes for credible health information while developing the health information literacy skills they will need when they search for health information in the future. Posted 2014.

Health Literacy Council

Our team has worked hard to host several events for health literacy month. true teamwork!!! Laura McNeely, Director Patient Experience is a rock star at leading our team!!!
we are hosting a health literacy fair with superhero theme... will wear capes...cupcakes with hero toppers...children's book drive with chances to win child's superhero costume and grand prize a bike.... health literacy education will roll out to lunch/learn/webinar sessions and much more...I am proud to be part of this team and Organization!!! Posted 2016.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

It is estimated that over 286,000 Arkansans and 75 million Americans have low health literacy (NAALS, 2003). To raise awareness and kick off Health Literacy Month, we are challenging others to take the plain pledge Oct. 1 - 22. Take a "simple selfie" with a health-related word that you pledge to stop using or better explain. Post your simple selfie on our facebook page or Twitter @UAMS_CHL using the hashtag #plainpledge. Tag your friends and co-workers to challenge them to take the pledge. Participants will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win prizes., Posted 2014.

American College of Physicians (

CPPH believes that all people should have access to clear and understandable health information that will empower and enable them to be active participants in their own healthcare. In line with this belief, CPPH applies health literacy best practices in the development of all of its patient education materials, including: using language that is at or below a 6th grade reading level; ensuring that resources are graphically pleasing and easy to follow through the use of images, streamlined layouts, bulleted lists, and a sufficient amount of white space; and practicing cultural competence by including language and imagery that appeal to the cultural preferences of targeted audiences.

National AHEC Organization Affiliate

Central Colorado Area Health Education Center posted weekly updates on social media to reach community members and partners during health literacy month. Posts focused on what Health Literacy is, why it is important, and how our community members and partners can help. Through these engaging posts, we also included resources that they could seek on learning the key principles and strategies of effective health communication, workshops, panels, and presentations to watch, and newsletters, podcasts, and transcripts to read all focusing on health literacy. Posted 2016.

Each year, we run an 8-month health literacy course which teaches health professionals strategies & techniques to improve health literacy at an organisation level. We are also running a campaign for health literacy month to 'Drop the Jargon' and use plain language for a day on Tuesday 20 October. We also have a health literacy committee which reviews all our publications and resources to ensure they adopt health literacy principles. Posted 2015.

Founder & CEO of Children for Health

Clare Hanbury is a Health Literacy Hero because she founded the charity Children for Health, an organisation which has developed a new system of health education in the developing world, with children as agents of change at its core. The approach recognises the profound influence that children have in preventing disease and injury within their homes and communities, and is delivered across digital, mobile as well as other traditional platforms. Children for Health promotes children to learn, collect and share 100 key life-saving health messages across 10 topics, including Malaria, HIV, Nutrition and others. They develop activities, tools and materials that make learning important, relevant and fun.

Children for Health works in partnership with other international development organisations and charities, providing them with the technical advice and the systems they need to enhance their existing programmes.

Clare is at the driver and inspiration for all that Children for Health does.

Internal Medicine Specialists of Atlanta

Dr. Spivey is that rare breed of physician who takes the time to listen to his patients, to ensure their understanding, and to encourage their questions. When he needs to pause to enter information on an EHR, for example, he asks permission and explains what he is doing. Dr. Spivey's interaction style testifies to his commitment to partnering with patients to ensure astute diagnostics and patient-centered treatment. Posted 2014.

Human Resource Advisor, FedEx Express,

Dawn is a Health Literarcy Hero because of train the facilitators presentations presented to human resource professionals responsible for communicating plan coverage to employees. Posted 2014.

DeafHealth is the most comprehensive website devoted solely to provide clear and concise health education in American Sign Language to promote the overall wellness of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing community. Health education in ASL empowers the Deaf community with an opportunity to make informed decisions. DeafHealth works to reduce risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity. DeafHealth equips the Deaf community to live healthier lives.

Docola is driving health literacy. A digital health platform enabling healthcare providers to aggregate information from any source, combine it into courses, prescribe it to patients and track participation and comprehension. The service is free to all healthcare providers and patients and our mission is to optimize healthcare conversations. Posted 2015.

Chair, Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy

Don Rubin is a Health Literacy Hero for his efforts in creating the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy and bringing the people of Georgia together in improving and inspiring greater health literacy. This October, is recognizing patients and caregivers who are taking charge of their own health by asking "Good Questions for Good Health," and providers and health organizations, who are advancing health literacy in their communities by encouraging questions and giving patients the information they need. Posted 2014.

Hahnemann University Hospital

Explains what pathology is to anyone and ensures their understanding. She breaks down what we do so that people can understand it. Posted 2016.

Hahnemann University Hospital

Dr. May is always concerned about her patients. also, she is concerned about others that are not her patient. Anytime you have a question regarding your health she is quick to answer and she checks up on you to make sure that everything is okay. Posted 2016.


Dr. Pei is a passionate naturopathic doctor that applies passionate care to his patients. He offers free "Doctor's In" Tuesday for the undeserved community in the Southern California.

Physical therapist owned non franchise home Health Company - Sunila Varghese

Sunila is supportive and promotes education on health literacy for patients, families and staff. She has supported and directed managers to build up the company’s health literacy library, and constantly updating and adding more resources.

Pediatric Home Service

We have created and are continuing to create plain language definitions of critical medical speciality terms our clinicians use. These one-page glossaries are of particular help to interpreters who speak languages that frequently do not have companion terms for many English clinical terms. In those circumstances, without these glossaries, clinicians have to rely completely on the medical knowledge base of interpreters for accurate explanations of terms. Additionally, the plain language glossary definitions are useful to Customer Service staff when talking with patients' families on the phone, regardless of language.

Parkland Chapter if the Mood Disorders of Manitoba

Eleanor educates the public throughout the year about mood disorders/mental illness through kiosk displays at different events in the community throughout the year. She also holds group sessions with those in-patient care once a week and outside of hospital who need to meet to talk at a few different areas within the Parkland area a couple times a week throughout the year. ... She also gets us in educating ourselves with the help of her, other health professionals, reading literature and getting involved in helping to educate others who still have a hard time realizing what mental illness is and how the public can help us by mostly trying to understanding it (that is for the lucky ones of us who feel we can be in front of the public in different forums and are not afraid or ashamed to talk about our mental illness like me). Eleanor Snitka is a Health Literacy Hero. Posted 2014.

Emmi is now part of Wolters Kulwer

Throughout the month of October, Emmi will host their 8th annual health literacy month blog series. This years theme is: Boosting the Signal: This is health literacy on technology. Contributors include patients like e-Patient Dave deBronkart and Katie McCurdy, neuroscientists Moran Cerf & Chris Rose, behavior change expert Dr. Amy Bucher, clinicians, and Emmi Health Communication Designers. Check it out or sign up to receive blog notifications as new articles post most weekdays in October at

University of South Florida

Florida Covering Kids & Families (FL-CKF) is frequently called upon as an expert in health coverage and health literacy for its ability to reach out to diverse audiences and educate consumers about health coverage and utilization including those under the Affordable Care Act, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid. Since its inception, FL-CKF has produced enrollment assistance toolkits, online fact sheets, policy briefs, blogs, and articles, as well as, conducted webinars and in-person educational trainings on health care coverage in Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA. FL-CKF, its state coalition, and consortium partners are instrumental in bringing together state and local partners to develop and implement strategies to promote the importance of understandable health information. Posted 2015.

Piedmont Physicians Yorktown
Internal Medicine

Dr. Cole asks for our questions and concerns at each visit and takes time to talk to us about them. Also, he reads and answers our email questions. Posted 2014.

Not-for-profit organization,

A passionately committed group of volunteers from all walks of life (academia, government, private, and others) focused on improving education and awareness of health literacy and eliminating health disparities for all individuals in the state of Georgia.

University of Delaware Extension, Iowa State University Extension, University of Maryland Extension, Michigan State University Extension, University of Minnesota Extension, North Dakota State University Extension, Oregon State University Extension

Faced with the Affordable Care Act requiring consumer decision-making; with research that demonstrated consumer confusion and a lack of funding for consumer education, these universities, under the leadership of the University of Maryland Extension and University of Delaware Extension, created the initiative. As a result, 1010 consumers participated in Smart Choice Health Insurance workshops. Using the American Institutes for Research standardized measurement of health insurance literacy, the team conducted pre and post tests. Statistically significant findings demonstrated the workshops worked. People of a range of diverse characteristics increased confidence and ability to make a smart health insurance purchase choice. Posted 2014.

Why HealthyNews Works is a Health Literacy Hero?
The Healthy NewsWorks student media program enables elementary and middle school students to acquire writing, research, interviewing, presentation, and critical-thinking skills by working on health-related newspapers, books, and other media. They deliver accurate and engaging health news and information to thousands of young readers and their families in the Philadelphia area.
Healthy NewsWorks’ three school-based initiatives enrich health knowledge and understanding in schools and communities:
A health media program teaches children how to gather reliable and relevant health information and report on it in printed school newspapers, online, and video.
A health literacy and education program helps student journalists learn how to access and use health information and communicate it to others.
Through a book program, Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities, students write and illustrate a book each year featuring a dozen Philadelphia-area leaders who are making a difference in the health of our communities.
Healthy NewsWorks student journalists have produced more than 300 school-based health newspapers in 28 schools since its founding in 2003. Posted 2016.


Heidi Fowler is a remarkable individual who has helped 435,225,902 people with her free answers to health questions from all over the world. Her work is scientifically accurate and displays human kindness at its finest. She is my hero. Posted 2014.

Universidade Estadual do Ceará

People need to talk about health literacy since their early profissional training. Unfortunately, in general universities don´t include this theme in their curriculum. We developed an activity to celebrate health literacy month and to put this theme under discussion at our University.

Universidade Estadual do Ceará

HEALTH LITERACY MONTH IN BRAZIL – We need to begin at university
October is the month of Health Literacy, a time when the defenders of this knowledge field spread the importance of making health information understandable.
In Brazil, in a pioneer way, we held an event on November of 2015 called The Health Literacy Event: finding the right words for a better health!, according to the what was proposed by Helen Osborne. This event was organized by the research group of Nutrition in Chronic Diseases - Nutrindo, during the XX University Week of Universidade Estadual do Ceara, located in the northeast of the country.
The event occurred on November, 10th to 12th of 2015, during the afternoon. It did not take place on October because it was programmed to wait for the period of the University Week so that it could gain more visibility.
We developed audio-visual materials focusing 5 points: What is functional health literacy? How can the literacy be measured? What is the importance of literacy on your practice? In which times can you practice health literacy? Why is October the month of literacy?
The event was included in the main calendar of the State University of Ceara, in order to be repeated on November of each year, beginning on 2016.

Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Secretaria de Saúde do Estado do Ceará, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Ceará, Universidade de Fortaleza, Centro Regional Integrado de Oncologia

A previous study of our group has found that people attended by the Brazilian public health service in the city of Fortaleza have inadequate health literacy. Thus, we have developed and executed a training program for the community health agents and for the health staff of the Family Health Support Unit based on the assumptions of health literacy, which made possible for these professionals to act among the health system users in order to expand the understanding of the messages for health promotion and prevention of chronic diseases. Professional representatives from all around the state of Ceará were trained. Posted 2014.

Horry County Literacy Council

HCLC's Health literacy program assists individuals to obtain and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. HCLC partners with healthcare practitioners, such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to increase their understanding of their vital role in the improvement of their patient’s health literacy.

Atlantic General Hospital

With support of Worcester County Public Schools and the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland, Atlantic General Hospital has created an innovative way to increase health literacy in the public school classroom. Through the use of existing STEM standards, Worcester County teachers collaborate with health and education professionals to enhance current core subject area curriculum with key health literacy concepts. The mission is to not add to the workload of the teachers but increase health literacy through integration in existing lessons.
IHLP serves students in grades one through five county-wide. A sixth grade pilot program will begin implementation this school year. The program’s goal is to expand not only into the middle and high school classrooms county-wide but throughout the state and country. For more information, visit Posted 2015.

The Clinic provides medical care to the uninsured and underinsured people of the Kansas City region. In an effort to provide better services to our patients, the Clinic has formed a health literacy committee to insure staff are trained with tools to communicate effectively will all patients and a plain language sub-committee that reviews Clinic documents to make sure that all patient materials are in plain language. The committee has done an initial Clinic health literacy assessment and created a work plan that will be reviewed annually. Posted 2014.

Health media consultant

Kara Tarantino has devoted years to developing patient-centered print and video educational materials materials for delivery in medical offices. She also designs tools to improve patient way-finding in clinical settings. In all this work Kara brings creativity, a keen sense of audience needs, and the kind of pragmatic approach that is key to diffusing health literacy practices in the private sector. Kara has also been most generous with her time and talents in promoting the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy. She is among the most active members, always enthusiastically engaging in activities that raise awareness about health literacy in our state. Posted 2014.

Goias Federal University

A previous study we identified the limited literacy among predialysis patients in a school hospital of the Midwest region of Brazil. To identify the HL was used Brazilian version of the Brief Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (B-THOFLA). However we believe that health literacy is more than reading and numeracy skills and so, we are currently validating a multidimensional instrument Health Literacy Questionnaire for assessing literacy in health to Brazilian population in order to explore the dimensions of the phenomenon and thereby reduce inequalities in health. Posted 2015.

Rutgers School of Health Related Professions
Respiratory Care Program
Program Director and Practical Anthropologist

ENGLISH FOR YOUR HEALTH: English Practice and Pronunciation - Learn English while you learn about your health. Come join the Respiratory Care students and faculty from the Rutgers University Respiratory Care Program at Long Branch Public Library, Long Branch, NJ - Thursdays 6:00-7:30PM
BACKGROUND: Limited English-proficient speakers often have a low level of health literacy in the English dominant society. Low health literacy creates a vulnerable population who suffer from poorer health related outcomes when compared to native English speaker. This program helps to increase health literacy while tutoring English. The learner gains needed language skills while acquiring knowledge about health.

Posted 2015.

Manager: Cassia Community Centre - Sydney/Australia

Kerrie was introduced to Health Literacy in 2012 when invited to join the Health Literacy Network at the Clinical Excellence Commission in Sydney. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness amongst the general community and health services about the importance of addressing health literacy. Kerrie has developed a basic information pack for our website and designed her own English Health Literacy Class which combines improving reading and writing skills whilst learning about health literacy. Posted 2014.

Cassia Community Centre, Sydney Australia.

Why Kerrie is a Health Literacy Hero.
Kerrie works tirelessly in the field of Health Literacy. She conducts regular workshops for parents at the local school. Aged Care Facilities and women & children's refuge's who have escaped from violence. Kerrie's goal is to raise awareness as to the importance of understanding health information, communicating with health professionals and how to access services that are available.

Chairperson and director

Health is wealth. Without health a person can not do anything. Health promotes well being and growth of body and mind.Promoting health requires proper nutrition and good food which is important,Promoting health requires good exercise, thought and environment and education and community support is very much needed.Good environment facilitates change in body and mind and it is helpful for setting up of attitudes and values.Access to health facilities like hospitals and medicines are also needed.Water sanitation are part of the health.Safe drinking water and sanitation enables maintaining of the environment free from contagious and virus diseases. Community health literacy is must for every age group. Posted 2016.

Senior Content Strategist, National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Ms. Grama has made it her mission to insure that cancer data and treatment information on the NCI website is understood and accessible to those individuals fighting the disease, and also Doctors and Researchers working to find a cure. Posted 2014.


The Larry Combest Center is a Health Literacy Hero because it hosted an ice cream social for all the employees who are involved the care of patients being seen for primary care. While at the social the employees were provided a sheet of statistics, an example of health literacy testing using the food label, and were shown videos from AMA about health literacy. Over 75% of the staff was able to participate in the event and nearly all stated they learned something new and would keep this in mind when serving the patients at the center. Posted 2016.

Paisley Butterfly 13 Founding Advocate,
ThyCa Mobile Facilitator

Latrece Johnson, MEd, MS is an advocate for thyroid health awareness and knowledge. She is the facilitator of the Mobile chapter of Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Association, Inc., a worldwide non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of thyroid cancer survivors, family members, and health care professionals.

Health Disparities in Society minor, University of Florida

Dr. Guyer is teaching the next generation of health professionals to incorporate health literacy in daily practice. She developed a 3 credit class, "Fundamentals of Health Literacy," for preprofessional health and public health students. In the service learning course "Practicum in Health Disparities," students evaluate the literacy demands of educational materials used by Health Care Safety Net clinics and revise materials using best practices. In the nationally recognized interprofessional course, Putting Families First, she teaches more than 750 1st year medical, dental, pharmacy, etc. students about literacy, health literacy, patient safety and Teach Back. She also designed an online library guide about health literacy for students, health professionals, faculty and the public,

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of the Commissioner, Office of Planning, Risk Communication Staff

Dr. Zwanziger has led the agency in two strategic planning efforts to ensure that the FDA is strategic in its risk communications and health literacy activities. Dr. Zwanziger most recently completed a year-long process of coordinating representatives from across the Agency to create a 3 year strategic plan for risk communications and health literacy. Dr. Zwanziger also serves as the FDA’s representative on the Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Literacy Working Group, collecting information on FDA’s health literacy work and sharing it with the larger HHS. Dr. Zwanziger is a tireless champion of health literacy, ensuring that health literacy remains visible and a priority at the FDA.


She always make sure she eats healthy and exercise. She always encourages and promotes healthy eating.

Special Projects Coordinator at NC Division of Public Health

Linda Rohret was instrumental in founding the Wake Health Literacy Coalition. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, the coalition is a multidisciplinary group of individuals interested in increasing awareness, knowledge and understanding of health and health care in Wake County. She served as Chair from 2010 to 2013 and is still actively engaged in coalition leadership. Under her leadership the coalition has hosted yearly health literacy awareness events, developed and distributed educational materials about health literacy and created a coalition website:, among other important activities. Posted 2014.

(Myself) Lisa Romard Nurse practitioner, certified asthma educator (NP, AE-C)
KFH(Keeping familes healthy community health workers program)
Both affiliated with Stony Brook Childrens (SBC), Asthma coalition of LI (ACLI),Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program

Throughout the many years working with the pediatric population as a nurse, I have experienced first-hand how important it is to incorporate health literacy tools when offering patient education to patients & families. Health literacy has become a focus of mine throughout the years. I am for a certified pediatric NP, and a certified asthma educator. I am a member of hospital & community committees, coalitions etc. that focus on patient education & health literacy. I identify my role as a health care practitioner, patient/family advocate, & educator. Over the past few years I have partnered with a program developed at our hospital that utilizes community health workers for assisting children and families with home management of asthma. I developed/designed an asthma tool kit (ATK) & named it the SBC ATK. I achieved the development of the prototype for the tool through a small financial grant that I was awarded to purchase supplies. That was the start of something good. The ATK was developed for the reasons of assisting families with their child’s home asthma management plans. The goals were to address medication storage & safety, health communication & monitoring, as well be a home resource tool for the families. With the help of the KFH coordinator & community health workers, we implemented the use of this tool with these families, & through the years have modified the tool kit when needed to meet the individual needs according to their health literacy, language etc. One part of the tool kit is a binder each family get in their ATK bag. The sheets in the binder help to organize the child’s health information, keep important medical documents, is a place for a personalized home plan and education forms. These instruction handouts are personalized, created according to the prescribed home asthma plan for that child, developed in the preferred language, & addressing health literacy needs of the child & adult care takers who will be using this tool. For some families we have to incorporate pictographs, color code information etc. for those who reading and language is a barrier. The ATK bag, & contents, including the log/information book, patient’s stored medication & asthma devices are brought to medical appointments for review with their healthcare providers (HCP). At the apt the HCP and staff can review with the family medications, use of devices, log of symptom & medication used at home. This facilitates the communication, care coordination, education and more. It creates a partnership in asthma care and education with the child and families. We have had positive feedback, & testimonials from the patients, families, healthcare providers, community health workers, public health nurses etc. for who the tool kits have been used & assisted them in the care & communication of the child with asthma. The ATK has been noted to be used as a possible prototype for other disease management & patient care programs. The ATK was added as a tool for the SBC DSRIP project for pediatric patients with asthma. The recognition & inclusion of this tool by the DRSIP management, and consultants gives value & credit to this as a health management & health literacy tool.

Ph.D candidate of health education and promotion
Department of health education and promotion,
Isfahan university of medical sciences and health services,
Isfahan, Iran.

I work at a diabetes clinic in Esfahan, Iran, and educated patients about self care behaviors. Because most of the patients referred to this center generally are from low-income community, so we decided to use health literacy strategies such as plain language and teach back for educating them. It was really helpful and these methods helped patients to better understand. I also make very simple printed materials such as Bulletin with Simple Photos and photonovel for them. I really happy that my patients can better undrestand and better act. Posted 2014.

Matrix Medical Network is a Health Literacy Hero because our national network of Nurse Practitioners educates many thousands of Americans each year. Education includes information about their current health issues, a review of their medications and what therapeutic role those medications have in treating their conditions, and answers to the many health questions that people often never have the time to ask their doctor. Matrix Nurse Practitioners are highly educated, highly skilled, and are caring and empathetic. They are at the core of what makes Matrix Medical Network a health literacy hero. Posted 2015.

Director of Communications & Outreach at the Children’s Dental Health Project (

Matt Jacob has developed valuable training modules to assist dental practitioners and advocates communicate more effectively about community water fluoridation and summarize the research without sounding too clinical. He has trained spokespersons in Wisconsin, New York and other states, including my home state of Florida. Posted 2014.

Health Coach, Truman Medical Center, Kansas City, MO.

Melody is a Health Coach at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City working with high utilizer patients. Realizing the problems our patients have with understanding / reading the labels on prescriptions, Melody created a real life scenerio to educate staff on what a trying and confusing issue this can be for patients. Using made up names of medications, she gives patients instructions to reconcile bags of (candy) medications, once without using Teach Back and again using the process. She opens understanding every time she shares her activity! Posted 2014.

Friend and fellow church member

Nancy Kinzer, Presbyterian minister and graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary is truly a Health Literacy Hero for my husband and me. She accompanied me, time and again to Emory University Winship Clinic, as I went through breast cancer diagnosis, meeting with oncologists and radiologists. She even went with me when we got all the final reports. She gave me beautifully organized, complete, easily understood reports on all that had transpire . She was very invaluable to us. One simply cannot hear, comprehend or process all the information as one walks this path. My husband and I could not have navigated this experience with all it's ramifications without Nancy's help, competence, comfort, prayers, and medial intelligence and experience. Therefore she is truly worthy of a Health Literacy Hero. Posted 2014.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of 28 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education.

NCCN aims to provide state-of-the-art cancer treatment information in easy-to-understand language for people with cancer and the general public. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® are translations of the NCCN Guidelines. These patient guidelines are meant to help people with cancer talk with their physicians about the best treatment options for their disease. NCCN Guidelines for Patients do not replace the expertise and clinical judgment of the physician. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives.

The university of Queensland

I developed a web-based decision aid for parents of children newly diagnosed with autism. The website contents are based on the International Patient Decision Aids Standards and cover evidence-based early intervention strategies for children with autism. The website URL is Posted 2014.

Hahnemann University Hospital

All shift directions are advocates for health literacy as a support for all families who enter our facility. Shift directors are able to provide real time education during rapid response/code situations or during rounding. We are also a resource for staff nurses to utilize during their shifts and for all the patients and their families! Posted 2016.

OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond is a community health center, we are a subcommittee of our clinic's quality improvement committee

Our health literacy subcommittee has robust participation among staff from all work groups at our clinic, as well as patient representation! We meet monthly to identify health literacy specific projects, review written materials and signage, and educate staff on best practices. This group of health literacy heroes is using health literacy to improve the health outcomes of our patients!

Speak Up and Stay Alive Patient Safety Radio

Pat Rullo shares little known healthcare and hospital related stories and guests with the end goal to empower listeners to speak up when they do not understand what their healthcare provider is saying. The entire program is devoted to raising awareness to improve patient literacy, patient safety, and the patient experience. Posted 2014.

President, GA Chapter, Compassion and Choices

As leader of the GA chapter of Compassion and Choices, Perry has worked to spread the message of end of life planning to Georgians. He developed a presentation that educates Georgians on end of life medical care issues and the importance of planning to ensure your or a loved one's death is the way you want it to be. Most families never discuss this topic, even when it is obvious that the end is near, with the result that a loved one's death can find the patient in a hospital undergoing aggressive medical treatment that they do not want, while the families are angry, scared, and unhappy rather than in a position to spend precious time with their loved one. Perry (or his trainees) have given this presentation to over 400 people in the Atlanta metro area. It emphasizes how to complete an advance directive and talk to your family and physician about your wishes for the end of your life. Posted 2014.

Pflugerville Independent School District

PfISD's Wellness CHAMPS are dedicated to educating and energizing 3200 staff members to help ensure optimal learning for 24,000 students. CHAMPS collaboratively plan and implement district-wide and site-based strategies that empower teachers to own their health. The wellness program's "From A to Z...OWN YOUR HEALTH" catch phrase aligns with the District's mission "to provide a quality education with a commitment to excellence by facilitating learning in a safe and nurturing environment." Posted 2015.

The Health Literacy Initiative (HLI) of the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group (PMRG), an independent, non-profit trade association ( founded in 1961 to stimulate the advancement of market research in the healthcare industry.

The Health Literacy Initiative (HLI), which is part of the advocacy branch of the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group (PMRG), was established in 2014 to drive change within the pharmaceutical market research industry and at the FDA. This coalition of dedicated volunteers works together to conduct original research and provide education, resources, and training. The goal is to increase the voice of patients in pharmaceutical market research at all levels of health literacy and, ultimately, enhance patient communications and outcomes. Currently, the Initiative is developing evidence-based best practices for optimizing patient information, and investigating the link between health literacy status and compliance with medication instructions.

Presently, the Initiative includes volunteer members from the following organizations:

Baltimore Research
Jim Kirk (independent consultant)
Sommer Consulting
TGaS Advisors
The Planning Shop International


The Pottsboro Area Library received funding to launch a Permaculture community garden. This innovative project is bringing together people from across the community to work towards a common goal. Permaculture principles include organic gardening, but go far beyond that. Beyond agriculture, Permaculture also looks at many other aspects of living such as: how we design our living spaces, what we do with things that people consider to be “waste” (waste in Permaculture is just an unused resource), eco-systems, community organization, advocacy, global responsibility, and more. There are chef-led classes which focus on budget-friendly, nutritious cooking. Posted 2016.

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center

Regina Carlisle, Senior Nurse Cancer Information Specialist, is regarded as University Hospitals go-to person for patient education. Regina has been an excellent and patient mentor regarding health literacy and use of plain language. Her personal knowledge and familiarity with evidence based practice resources in this specialized realm has been indispensable. Regina is detail oriented and has a gift for discerning what patients might ask or seek out in various learning/education situations. She is truly passionate about health literacy and the tremendous benefit understandable materials have for patients. She willingly shares her expertise across the system, through continuing education classes, individual consultation and guidance for the system education committee. Posted 2015.


Partnership between the Somali Family Safety Task Force and the Congolese Integration Network to provide youth mentorship for our immigrant and refugee students (and their families). Through this program, our students are able to pursue running activities that encourage lifelong health and wellness. More can be found on the following website and social media page, including upcoming events, partnerships, and photos:

Social Media:

Those collaborating on Run For Change - namely, Farhiya Mohamed, Floribert Mubalama, Veena Krishna, Jessica Schreindl, Jim McCue, and Jordan Mutamba - are Health Literacy Heroes because they are directly addressing the health disparities that exist throughout South King County. This initiative is the first of its kind in South King County, and by creating a unified voice for immigrant and refugee families from different countries and cultures, Run For Change acts as a community-based approach to realizing greater health outcomes for all.

Drexel Gastroenterology Fellow at Hahnemann Hospital

"He did a great job on a residency project regarding patient information about Colonoscopy/Bowel Preparation that Hahnemann and Drexel gives to patients". Posted 2016.

Program Lead , South West Self Management Program

Sally is our Health Literacy champion. Our South West Self Management Program offers support and education to people living with Chronic Conditions and health service providers. As Team Lead Sally has developed a HL program that highlights how important our words are to patient understanding and patient health. To date 386 Health Service providers have attended the workshop. Sally is now developing a train the trainer program in partnership with a program in British Columbia. She has changed the way our team develops new programs, delivers workshops, develops promotional material; virtually everything we do. She is our Health Literacy Guru! Posted 2014.


Sandra Jones is dedicated to meaningful health education for children and adolescents. Her company, Health-ettes, produces fun materials so children can get used to talking about health from an early age. In addition, Sandra is a hard-working and effective volunteer for the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy. Among other activities, she organized a health literacy exhibit at a regional festival that drew tens of thousands of attendees. Posted 2014.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Online Branch Information Chief

Scott has led the way in developing innovative accessibility solutions for multiple NIH websites. He recognized the importance of making sure the vital health content online, so important for citizens to understand, was presented in a way that could be understood by all, regardless of any reading limitations they may have. Posted 2014.

Community Healthcare Network - a network of 11 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in New York City that provides health care to over 75,000 patients annually.

Only 12% of Americans have a proficient level of health literacy; however, our health care system generally caters to this 12%, creating significant barriers to effective patient care. In 2011, Community Healthcare Network's (CHN) senior leadership spearheaded an internally funded agency-wide health literacy initiative to address this issue. CHN's health literacy initiative aims to improve patient outcomes by creating an organizational culture based on health literacy principles. CHN's senior leadership has supported the implementation of policies and procedures that allow for the integration of health literacy into organizational structure, including hiring initiative staff, providing extensive staff trainings on health literacy, developing committees to increase staff engagement around health literacy, and incorporating health literacy into all strategic planning. CHN’s senior leadership has been crucial in the advancement of health literacy at CHN. Posted 2014.

Hahnemann Hospital RN

"Shapline is a health literacy hero because she consistently goes above and beyond to educate her patients. Shapline explains educational materials to her patients in ways they understand and answers all questions they have. When discharging patients who speak a language other than English. She takes the time to go over discharge instructions and materials step by step utilizing the language line. She ensures that her patients understand the material and takes the time to answer their questions." Posted 2016.

Bianco Primary Care, Alpharetta GA

In today's busy health care industry, it is refreshing to find a physician who is not only on time for your office appointment, but spends more than fifteen minutes with you! Dr. Shelley Bianco is one of those very special doctors. One of her strengths is her ability to get to know each of her patients as individuals so she can establish a strong patient-doctor relationship and deliver personalized care. She is compassionate, caring, professional who is never in a hurry during an appointment and takes the time to get to know each of her patients well. She is always accessible by phone or e-mail and often follows up an office visit with a personal phone call. Furthermore, she keeps abreast of the current research in health care and nutrition, and enjoys sharing this information with her patients. Dr. Bianco deserves to be recognized for her dedication to her patients and the health care field. She is my Health Care Literacy Hero! Posted 2014.

a coalition of nonprofit health, wellness and human service providers in the Greater Plymouth, MA region

South Shore Community Partners in Prevention is undertaking a Health Literacy Initiative for the 2015-16 fiscal year. We hope to engage health care providers, consumers and community partners in an effort to improve the ability of our residents to obtain information about their health in an easily accessible and understandable manner, and to improve their ability to advocate for their own health. We have developed an Action Plan with ten goals and will be implementing them between now and June 2016. Posted 2015.

Exceptional Family Member Manager
Navy Recruiting Command, Millington, Tennessee
United States Navy

Monthly she trains and informs 6K Sailors and civilians in different programs about health conditions both mental and physical. She established a program that provides resources and maintains personnel mission readiness for now and for the future. Her ability to bring people together and make them feel inclusive and important is apparent through her leadership, program, and correspondence.

Marketing coordinator

TAVHealth is a Health Literacy Hero for many reasons. Our most recent white paper, "Solving the Social Determinants of Health by Improving Health Literacy" is just one of the many example that show our emphasis on improving lives.

Nurses, OT, librarian, clinical director, IT group (MyPennMedicine) RD

The Patient and Family Education Committee members are Health Literacy Heros. Throughout the month of October, This committee demonstrated the Health Literacy Hero Spirit by: rounding on in-patient units and encouraging staff to teach simply. The rounding took place on both day and night shift. Staff were given an opportunity to take a "KISS" (Keep It Simple Selfie). The photo depicted individuals and groups to hold up a dry erase board indicating a medical word they currently use and a simple word that could be used instead (ie. Instead of cathether; I will say tube.). Staff had the option of donning a red cape as a prop demonstrating the role of hero/heroine. The photos were uploaded to our internal intranet and available for other staff to review. Other events this month included information tables in public spaces inside the hospital. Information re: "AskMe3", medication safety and utilization of the patient portal (MyPennMedicine) was available .

The problems of childhood inactivity, obesity, and low student performance are all addressed by The Walking Classroom’s active learning program. The program reaches >10,000 kids each year and encourages healthy lifestyle choices through its use of regular exercise and presentation of health messages before every podcast. By walking while learning core curriculum and health messages (like the importance of exercise, healthy calories, hydration, bullying, etc.), students increase their health awareness and healthy choices while improving their classroom engagement and academic outcomes. Posted 2014.

Author, Butternut to Bionic: A Resource Guide for Hip Replacement Surgery
Founder, Anderson Therapeutics:

Receiving artificial joints is a life-changing procedure. Recipients feel different, move differently, and learn new ways of living. Patients recover wanting to avoid future surgeries and maintain the health and integrity of their artificial joints. Outside of the exam room, patient compliance and lifestyle factors can trump any remedy, procedure, or medication. Butternut to Bionic is a patient advocacy resource to improve understanding and communication between healthcare professionals and patients. This conversational guidebook offers humor, candidness, and laymen terms. To empower recipients, the author shares her first-hand account with this procedure and emphasizes the importance of patient accountability and partnering with medical professionals.


She always takes time to answer questions. Posted 2014.

Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital

This TR team has a goal to help families stay safer and prevent child injury. This is done by "translating" published research into usable, health literate formats so the information quickly gets into the hands of those who need it most - families and caregivers. Health literacy is a foundation block of every press release, toolkit, blog/newsletter article, social media post, infographic, meme, and project website this team employs in their translation work. We also teach others, particularly public health people, how to more effectively convey their message.

School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University

Dr. Duong is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Taipei Medical University, the Assistant Secretary-General of Asian Health Literacy Association. He has been conducting high-quality studies, promoting HL in several Asian countries. He has coordinated the AHLA network seminar monthly in Taiwan (HL agenda in Asia), Vietnam (Teach-Back Method; Health Literate Practices in a Public Hospital), United States (HL micro-lectures), Indonesia (HL: bridging the cultures), Thailand (HL Strategies to Enhance Empty Lifestyles in ASEAN), Bangladesh (HL studies compilation; Host organization and involvement with AHLA), Hong Kong (HL research and practices), Malaysia (HL and communication), Mongolia (HL and addicted behaviors), and Philippines (CAPI method used in National HL Survey).

University Health Network (UHN) - Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Toronto, Ontario, Cananda

With a growing demand on patients to take more active roles in their health, many are seeking medical information from sources such as the Internet. Yet, because 60% of Canadians lack health literacy skills, many will have difficulty using this information.
The UHN Patient and Family Education (PFE) Program ensures patients and families have the right information at the right time, meeting their individual learning needs across the continuum of care. We partner with healthcare professionals and build capacity within our large, multi-site organization to ensure staff have the knowledge, best practices, tools and competencies to ensure patients and families have the skills and knowledge to manage their care, make informed decisions, and ultimately, engage as partners in their care and lead healthier lives.
Our 3 strategic directions (2013-2016) define our commitment to mitigating the impact of low health literacy: 1) Ensure Quality Processes and Systems; 2) Build Patient and Family Education Expertise; 3) Elevate the Art and Science of Patient and Family Education. Posted 2015.

University of South Alabama USA Center for Healthy Communities,

USA Community Health Advocates through kindness, compassion, education, and leadership work to remove barriers to good health and to improve the overall health the Mobile, AL community. There are 12 targeted health disparities in the community: Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Emergency Preparedness, Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS, Infant Mortality, Mental Health, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Sickle Cell Disease and Tobacco. USA Community Health Advocates host and attend events distributing information to community residents. Posted 2014.

Victoria is a preliminary title holder in the Miss NC Scholarship Organization as Miss Goldsboro 2015. She also volunteers her time as as a patient advocate on the NC Quality Center Patient Family Advisory Committee organized by the NC Hospital Association. Victoria is also on the working group for the Patient Safety Movement Actionable Patient Safety Solution (APSS) Hand Off Communication committee. She has developed a web page sharing materials in English, Spanish and Japanese the importance of Speaking up on their health care. As well as coloring book pages for children to learn the importance at a young age. Educating on partnering with your provider to better understand your health.

In June 2013, Victoria visited 5 health care providers in three days before being placed in emergency surgery and off life support. After recovering from Ludwig's Angine, a deep neck space tissue infection, she has devoted her time while in college to engaging, engaging and empowering patients on the importance of taking an active role on their health care team. Posted 2015.

Welsh Mountain Health Centers is a Health Literacy Hero because our mission is to provide quality health services to the community especially those who may have barriers to care. We breakdown the communication barrier so our patients understand and feel comfortable with their treatment.