Health Literacy

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Low health literacy is more prevalent among:

  • Older adults
  • Minority populations
  • Those who have low socioeconomic status
  • Medically underserved people

What is our role in promoting health literacy?

Health literacy is a common thread through all of our programs. A large portion of the people we serve are poor and medically underserved.

They need help understanding and navigating a complex health care system. They require culturally competent providers who speak their language so they can make informed health care choices.

A number of patients may be confused with certain medical language, have difficulty understanding English, struggle with filling out forms, or have limited access to health providers in their community.

With the proper training, health care professionals can identify patients' specific health literacy levels and make simple communication adjustments.

Date Last Reviewed: