Building Awareness Through Action

We want to help you promote health literacy by building awareness with engaging action events and uplifting community activities!
Below are successful ideas others have used that may help your planning and some ideas from IHA, too!
We also love hearing your plans! See below for a link to share how you, your team, or your organization is participating in Health Literacy Month. 

Action Ideas from Others

Contributor Organization Action Idea
Natalie Crljenic University Health Network, Toronto
  • Worked collaboratively to light the CN Tower on 10/2 in blue and orange for HL Month
  • Worked collaboratively to light the CN Tower on 10/2 in blue and orange for HL Month
  • Contributed a story to UHN News by a Patient Partners, with health literacy experiences
  • Posted social media clips with CN Tower images and short clips on health literacy skills
  • Promoted Health Literacy Month in hospital displays and our regular email newsletters
Korinne Callihan UK Healthcare Distributed HL newsletter with plain language principles attached to a bag filled plain M&M's and a sticker label "Make it PLAIN!". 
MaryAnn Horst Nicolay, MEd, NDTR Ohio Health Literacy Partners Successfully petitioned the Governor's office to have October declared Health Literacy Month in Ohio!  
Kathryn M. Anderson,  MA University of New Mexico Hospitals Webinar:  I See You! Empathy, Equity, and Health Literacy
Rachel Skoss University of Notre Dame Australia Launched a resource for caregivers: “Health Care For People Who Need Support: a health literacy guide to support the health of people with cognitive impairment or intellectual disability”
Katherine Leath & Tonilee Jackson-Price, MS, CHES UAMS Center for Health Literacy #Plainpledge™ is the name for their month-long social media awareness campaign. They asked people to post selfies holding cards that have a difficult to understand health word that they pledged not to use.
Anna Allen Say Ah! Dedicated Health Literacy Month to supporting Janet Ohene-Frempong (and others!) work to Get Out the Vote (#GOTV). Posted on social media platforms about important state voter registration deadlines.
Carolyn Cutilli PhD RN NPD-BC Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  1. Serving clients at a soup kitchen, giving info on free clinics, and Ask Me 3
  2. Working with patient education team to units with message about our health organization assessment with game and goodies
  3. Night shift table in central area on health literate organization assessment with game and goodies
  4. Patient facing table in ambulatory area with Ask me 3
  5. Speaker on awareness to action for the health system
  6. Article in newsletter on health literate organization assessment
  7. Screensavers on being a health literate organization
Iris Feinberg The Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy and the Adult Literacy Research Center at Georgia State University (GSU) Sponsored a lunch time event with the Law and Health Society at GSU, presenting "From Coverage to Care: Advancing Equity through Health Literacy".
Geri Lynn Baumblett Emmi Solutions Created a blog series where people from different communities contribute, interact, and get exposure to each other – including patients, clinicians, decision scientists, behavioral economists, journalists, and family caregivers.
Hope Schwanhausser, MPH, EdS Carolinas HeatlhCare System Created an online health literacy quiz for employees.
Krista Wright and Angie Knackstedt Children’s Mercy Hospital & Clinics Created health literacy hero t-shirts for committee members. Hosted a Champions luncheon for the hospital president, vice-presidents and department managers. Displayed information on health literacy and teach-back to staff, families and visitors using stickers and handouts in English and Spanish. Gave a hospital-wide Hero award to an employee who utilized health literacy principles to provide exceptional communication.

Action Ideas from IHA

Type Action Idea
  • Check Student Health Center health communication. Do your handouts use HL principles?)
  • Ask the dean of the college of health and human development to announce and think about the applicability to all fields.
  • Design a bulletin board in their department’s hallway, e.g. nursing, public health, health science, social services, etc.
  • Facilitate social campaign #healthliteracymonth – how health literacy impacts their patients, clients, etc.
  • Classroom options:
    • Use HL backgrounds for online classes during the month of October and suggest students do the same.
    • Infuse health literacy into a lecture and facilitate a discussion.
    • Show the AHA! video to students to raise awareness / provide link to website.
    • Add a discussion about health literacy
    • Ask for student input for promoting health literacy to their peers
Government/Public Health
  • Use HL Zoom backgrounds during a meeting in October.
  • Send employees a link to view HL videos to kick off HL Month.
  • Wear COLOR one day of the week to support HL.
  • Facilitate social campaigns to promote the county’s support.
  • Post a banner in the employee break areas that promotes HL month.
Healthcare Organization/Hospital
  • Use HL Zoom backgrounds during meetings.
  • Email employees a link to view HL videos or post them to your intranet site.
  • Dedicate time during an all staff meeting to raise awareness or celebrate your organization’s success stories.
  • Post a Health Literacy banner in your break areas.
  • Promote Teach back training.