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SHIP : healthliteracy


State Health Improvement Process (SHIP)

Topic of the Month: Health Literacy

Health literacy is a critical determinant of health. Increasing health literacy among Marylanders will improve the overall health status of the state’s population.

Please offer your opinions, questions, ideas and tools or resources about health literacy for the state of Maryland by clicking HERE.

  What is Health Literacy?
  Health literacy is a person’s ability to get health information, understand the information, and use it to make health decisions.

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  The Impact of Low Health Literacy in Maryland
  The impact of health literacy is significant. It influences most health indicators and can diminish overall quality of health. Recent studies have shown that low health literacy results in poorer health outcomes as well as poorer use of health care services in the state.

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  The Critical and Necessary Role of Maryland’s Health Providers, Government and Communities
  The way to improve health literacy in Maryland is to make health messages simple, clear, and connected to people’s everyday lives, and to use sources and channels that are acceptable and easily understood. Click here for tips when communicating about health.
  What does Health Literacy Look Like in Maryland?
  Click here for more information.
  An Example of What is Maryland Doing to Improve Health Literacy in the State
  Maryland’s Public Health Association’s Latino Caucus is working to deliver health messages to Hispanics living in Maryland. Hispanic people face a barrage of difficulties when trying to access health care that includes language barriers and cultural differences. The Latino Caucus is planning on creating health messages that are clearer and simpler, in Spanish, and shared through personal contact and community outreach.
  Resources for Improving Health Literacy in Maryland
  The Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland can be used as a general source for information, research, community service and education in health literacy. Click here to link to their website.
  For General Resources on Health Literacy (click here)
  Guides to help Improve Maryland’s Health Literacy Rates
  See health.gov website, a guide for creating on line health information in simple and clear ways (click here) or a website on how to improve health literacy through use of plain language (click here).
  Get Involved!
  Ask about Health Literacy Maryland: a new state-wide initiative created to give professionals, consumers and legislators a space to learn about health literacy, to discuss the issues and share ideas for improving health literacy, and to advocate for a better state of health for all Marylanders. Email healthliteracycenter@gmail.com and ask for more information about Health Literacy Maryland.
  èConnect Maryland: Please offer your opinions, questions, ideas and tools or resources about health literacy for the State of Maryland