Health Literacy Month is a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. This annual, worldwide, awareness-raising event has been going strong every October since Helen Osborne M.Ed., OTR/L and President of Health Literacy Consulting based in Natick, MA., founded it in 1999 in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Advancement.
What is Health Literacy?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health literacy is defined as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.
Since the observance of Health Literacy Month started, health care organizations, community services, health literacy coalitions, government agencies, literacy programs, universities and many others have hosted a wide-range of Health Literacy Month events. These include how-to workshops for professionals, wellness programs for patients and the public and educational offerings for students at all levels.
Finding Plain Language
Improving your health literacy at Orlando Health can start with an in-person or online visit or call to the Clifford E. Graese Community Health Library located near Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center or on the second floor of Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. The Library’s 2018 focus is on health literacy in plain language and finding ways to help patients and their families understand a diagnosis, medications and anything else that can improve the patient’s health and deter another emergency or visit to the hospital. The library is available to anyone, regardless if you are an Orlando Health patient or physician.