Health Literacy Institute

Reach out and engage your audience with clear health communication. Turn complexity into clarity using health literacy and plain language.

We can work with you to:

  • Assess your communication needs and plan a communication strategy
  • Research, develop, design and test print web-based materials
  • Speak at your meeting or conference
  • Partner on your research team or innovative project
  • Design curriculum and teach health literacy and health communication skills

Our prize winning track record includes:

  • 20 years serving the public, private, academic and nonprofit sectors
  • A nationally renowned Health Literacy Summer Institute held each year in Maine
  • Award-winning plain language projects
  • Participation in research and advocacy
  • Publication in professional journals
  • Reputation for excellence

Health literacy = universal challenge

Clear health communication = universal solution

The Challenge: Only 12% of American adults have proficient health literacy skills. Most struggle to understand and use health-related information such as medication instructions, consent forms, directions for tests and procedures, care instructions, risk assessments and food labels. As our population ages and diversifies, this challenge will grow. All health professionals need skills to meet the challenge.

The Impact: The Joint Commission, American Medical Association and American Public Health Association identify health literacy as fundamental to:

  • Patient safety
  • Patient-centered care and shared decision making
  • Accreditation and legal compliance
  • Cost effective systems
  • Activated care givers and patients
  • Healthier communities

The Solution: Clear, effective communication based on principles of plain language text, organization and visual design increases understanding. These principles can be applied across:

  • Materials
  • Media
  • Spoken and recorded messaging
  • Presentations
  • Learning systems

Culture. Diversity. Accessibility. Effective communication incorporates attention to and respect for culture, diversity and accessibility. It reflects principles of many disciplines such as social marketing, adult education, health promotion, cognitive psychology and document design to increase understanding for all.

Contact us

Karen O'Rourke
Phone: (207) 221-4620

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