Institute of Medicine: Attributes of a Health Literate Organization

Kathleen Carlson

I attended the Arizona Health Literacy Coalition training class last Friday( May 4th) in Casa Grande. There were about 50 people from different state agencies and professional organizations.  Everyone was asked to introduced themselves, tell us where they were from and their personal interest in health literacy.

There were two speakers: Andrew Pleasant, PhD,  Canyon Ranch Institute and Marti Lindsey, Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona.

Dr. Pleasant talked about policy issues and health literacy in the United States. He explained there are only 19 states that have a health literacy plan. The most comprehensive state plan is Health Literacy Missouri. Dr. Pleasant handed out a very current article from the Institute of Medicine on the Attributes of a Health Literature Organization. (Reprinted with permission  January 27, 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences, Courtesy of the National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.)


Dr. Marti Lindsey spoke about her instruction to students on health literacy in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. We divided  into small groups and dissected a tri-fold brochure which  we broke down into syllables, words and sentences. Her PowerPoint takes a look at Health Literacy Tools that she graciously allowed me to share (please disregard my notes).

There was a working lunch and the facilitator was Jutta Ulrich of Health Guide America. Attendees talked about what they wanted to see  from the Arizona Health Literacy Coalition. They want to see more hands-on workshops.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Arizona coalition contact Jutta Ulrich at julrich@hgaamerica.org or 602-738-9064.

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