Health Literacy in Plain Language: The Clifford E. Graese Community Health Library

In 2000, the Clifford E. Graese Community Health Library opened on the campus of Orlando Regional Medical Center to help patients, family members, healthcare professionals and community members better understand healthcare through reliable and reputable resources. 

Professional librarians staff the library and materials are available in person, over the telephone, by email or can be delivered directly to a patient’s hospital room. Materials are customized to a patient’s specific medical condition.  

After being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 1993, Clifford Graese found it very difficult to locate information to help him better understand his diagnosis or what kind of treatment options were available. Through this struggle, Clifford and his wife LaVonne, realized a great need and determined to create a place on the Orlando Health campus where patients and their families could go to find medical information. 

The Legacy of the Library
Today, Clifford and LaVonne’s vision has expanded from a physical space to also include a virtual one. In addition to printed material, the library now offers a wide range of electronic resources. In early 2017, library staff began a new initiative to expand the reach of their resources by visiting areas where patients and family members gather, like waiting rooms, infusion areas, at special events and in Orlando Health’s community hospitals. 

 A focus on health literacy and plain language for patients and caregivers are top priorities for the library, and are being communicated through several mediums including team member and caregiver speaker events, meetings with Home Healthcare Representatives, and through televised programming including one in Spanish. Healthcare professionals nationwide have learned that the more patients and family members understand their conditions and treatment options, the better they can embrace measures to help them recover and thrive.

Continuing Family Support
The Graese Family’s support of Orlando Health, through the Clifford and LaVonne Graese Foundation, began several years before the library was established. Clifford and LaVonne became donors in 1988 when they began supporting several services including the Hubbard House, Orlando Health’s home-away-from-home for family members of patients. Now, thirty years later, their children – Diane Graese, Sally Daugherty, Susan Alfirevic and Larry Graese – continue to support the Library through generous gifts to the Orlando Health Foundation. The Foundation and the many patients served by Orlando Health, are grateful for this special family legacy which is serving the needs of thousands every year. 

Learn More
To learn more about the Clifford E. Graese Community Health Library or to contact a librarian, visit, call 321.841.5454 or email [email protected].