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For More Information on the Oklahoma Health Literacy Clearinghouse visit: www.okhealthequity.org

At your fingertips you will have access to:

  • Easy to Read Materials
  • Research and Reports
  • Videos & Podcasts
  • Toolkits & Action Plans
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Health Literacy & Health Equity Position Statements
  • Health Literacy Training
  • Health Literacy Assessments
  • Helping Patients Find Help
  • Community Health Workshops - Evidence Based, Including the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, "Living Longer, Living Stronger" 
  • Chronic Disease Self-Management and Health Literacy in Four Ethnic Groups From Health Affairs - New Federal Initiative to Increase "Health Literacy" - 01/18/12
  • New Federal Policy Initiatives to Boost Health Literacy can help the Nation move beyond the "Crisis Care"
  • New Video on Culture, Language, and Health Literacy

Oklahoma's Efforts

"Health information is so important and so many people don't understand how to ask the right questions.  It takes a lot of courage to tell someone you don't know something.  As long as you treat us with respect and show the right attitude, we're not going to be offended by how many questions you have to ask us in order to help us find the information we're looking for." - Carol, adult learner from Tulsa.

In 2011, the 22nd annual America's Health Rankings, produced by United Health Foundation, ranked Oklahoma as one of the bottom 3 least healthy states, 48th overall.  This drop of two places from the previous year prompted the Oklahoma Health Literacy Resource Office to launch a new health literacy initiative.

SInce that time, there have been significant statewide and local health and literacy partnerships, two statewide literacy summits (in 2012 and 2014), a new health literacy website, wide distribution of health literacy resources, and an increase in awareness of the connection between low literacy and poor health.  In 2014, Oklahoma's health ranking improved to 46th place.

Please visit our collaborative partners at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries for even more health literacy information resources: http://www.odl.state.ok.us/literacy/initiatives/health-literacy.htm

Also, visit the Oklahoma Health Literacy Clearinghouse at http://www.okhealthequity.org/health-literacy-clearinghouse.html


Oklahoma 2014 Health Literacy Summit

On Thursday, May 8, 2014, the Oklahoma Health Literacy Partners will have its 2nd Oklahoma Health Literacy Summit, It will take place in Norman, Oklahoma at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.  This three-hour morning Summit (held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Public Health Association Conference) will feature renoun literacy researcher and speaker, Andrew Pleasant, PhD, Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research, Canyon Ranch Institute.

Dr. Pleasant will speak about "Health Literacy: A Powerful Tool for Prevention & Partnership".  The concept of health literacy initially emerged and continues to gain strength as an approach to improving health status and improving health systems because numerous research studies clearly link low levels of education and literacy with poor health and early death around the world.  A review of 16 definitions of health literacy finds that the notion of using or acting on information is the most common attribute. Health literacy, then, becomes a powerful tool of behavior change not just a set of reading and writing skills.  Health literacy has also been shown to be a two-sided  social construct that is relevant to both the public and patients as well as health care professionals and health systems.  In order to remove disparities in health, in order to creat a healthier public, in order to lower costs and improve quality of care health literacy must be fully embraced by public health professionals and clinical practitioners.  Increasingly that is happening as health literacy is beginning to appear in federal legislation, regulations, and guidelines such as the Plain Language Act and the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards in Health and Health Care. While those efforts are important, community-based health literate interventions are also increasingly successful in improving health and wellbeing.  

       Summit Objectives:

       1.  Define and introduce health literacy.

       2.  Discuss health literacy both in clinical and publich health contexts.

       3.  Illustrate the utility of health literacy for prevention, especially of chronic disease.

To Register for the Oklahoma Health Literacy Summit/Oklahoma Public Health Association Conference please visit: www.opha.net.  Register before February 28 for the best rate!  When registering, please mark the box indicating you will attend the Oklahoma Health Literacy Summit.  Call (405) 271-9444, ext. 56410 for more information.  

More Speaker Information:

Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D.

Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research

Faculty Member, The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Andrew Pleasant's interest in communication, literacy, and social change stated while working on his parents small-town weekly newspapers.  That early inspiration underpins his ongoing professional practice and research in health literacy; science, risk, and environmental communication; and social marketing.  Andrew joined Canyon Ranch Institute, a 501 (c)3 non-profit public charity, in May 2009.  Canyon Ranch Instute catalyzes the possibility of optimal health for all people by translating the best practices of Canyon Ranch and our partners to help educate, inspire, and empower every person to prevent disease and choose a life of wellness.  Andrew also has a faculty appointment with The Ohio State University College of Nursing.

Andrew is responsible for advancing the role of health literacy across Canyon Ranch Institute activities, including in current partnerships and programs, as well as in planning future activities.  He also leads all research and evaluation activities at Canyon Ranch Institute, is the program manager for Canyon Ranch Institute's partnerships with Time to Talk CARDIO, BSCS, The Cleveland Clinic, and The Clorox Company.  Andrew is also engaged in developing new programs and partnerships.

Andrew has led and participated in hundreds of presentations and trainings in the United States and around the world, primarily on the topics of health literacy, and science, risk, and environmental communication.  He has taught at Cornell University, Brown University, and Rutgers University.  Andrew served as a temporary advisor at the World Health Organization Health InterNetwork in Geneva, Switerland, where he review and evaluated the long-term sustainability and local ownership of the Health InterNetwork India pilot project.

Andrew has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports, and is co-author of the book Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action (2006).  He is also a member of the scientific committee of the Public Communication of Science and Technology Network, represents Canyon Ranch Institute on the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Health Literacy, and serves as a consultant to the Food & Drug Administration's Risk Communication Advisory Committee.

During Andrew's earlier career as a journalist, he received numerous awards for his photojournalism and reporting on national and international topics.  He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University; a master's degree in environmental studies from Brown University; and a doctorate in communication from Cornell University.           

Oklahoma 2012 Health Literacy Summit

Communicate Clearly for Better Health

September 27, 2012

Health and literacy partners are invited to focus on communicating clearly for better health.  Choose from a variety of health literacy topics presented by state and national experts.

The event will be held at the National Center for Employee Development (NCED) 2801 East State Highway 9, Norman Oklahoma

Leaders (Speakers) in the health and literacy field:

  • Andrew Pleasant, PhD, Health Literacy and Research Director, Canyon Ranch Institute.
  • Julie E. Miller-Cribbs, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work
  • Michael Miller, RPh, DrPH, Associate Professor, OU College of Pharmacy
  • Karen Vargas, MS, Consumer Health Coordinator of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region
  • David Lee, DDiv, Master Trainer for the Stanford University Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self Management Programs
  • Maribeth Buie, PhD, Health Literacy Coordinator at the Florida Literacy Coalition
  • Cheryl Rowan, Public Health Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region
  • Toni Cordell, Nationally recognized public speaker and health literacy advocate

Sharing their expertise in the following areas:

  • Overview of Health Literacy
  • Clear Communication
  • Creating a literacy friendly healthcare environment
  • Effective written communication
  • Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-Management Programs
  • Integrating health education into adult ESOL and family literacy
  • Credible health-related web resources
  • Providing health information to foreign-born populations

Event Registration Information:

Early bird registration is $75.00.  After September 12, the fee will be $90.00. The event will be held at the National Center for Employee Development (NCED) in Norman, OK

Continuing education credits for the following groups are pending approval:

  • Dentists/Dental Hygienists
  • Social Workers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Health Educators

For a complete schedule of events go to www.odl.state.ok.us/literacy

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Health Literacy?
A: Health Literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions

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