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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy’ Category

Clear Communication Index Train-the-Trainer

Friday, December 20th, 2013

CDC Clear Communication Index Train-the-Trainer Webinar
January 28, 2013 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Presenter: Anne Conner, Littleton Regional Hospital, New Hampshire
Registration Information: NN/LM NER’s Training Calendar

Anne Conner, the NER’s Health Literacy COI Leader, created a brief presentation on the CDC Clear Communication Index to share with departments at her hospital. The CDC Clear Communication Index (Index) is a new research-based tool to plan and assess public communication materials. Cynthia Baur, the CDC’s Senior Advisor for Health Literacy, presented an introduction to the Index at our Community of Interest’s September webinar. You can watch the recording of the September webinar on our Health Literacy Community of Interest website.

The Index may be new to staff at your organization and presents a great opportunity to be the first to spread word about this helpful resource and use it to create and assess communication materials such as patient education resources. Anne will demo her presentation for you and share her experience working with diabetes education and the infusion department. You can borrow the presentation she created to use at your own hospital/organization.

Health Statistics Book Discussion

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Please join us on March 4, 2013 for a book discussion of Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics with authors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz. The authors presented an excellent presentation at the NAHSL Conference in Vermont several years ago. The NER’s Healthy Communities COI thought it would be fun to read the book together and meet with the authors for a book discussion. The authors will join us to guide the discussion via webinar. To attend, register on our training page.

The first 20 New England Region Network Members registered will receive a copy of the book to keep!

The book is also available on the PubMed Bookshelf at:

Hope you can join us!

Role of Librarians and the ACA

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

[Forwarded from NLM]

WebJunction’s web site has been updated to reflect a question related to the role of libraries and librarians and the Affordable Care Act:

“How can I explain the role of libraries in supporting the ACA to people who wonder how libraries are involved and what our role is?

Libraries have a long history of helping people access health information. A recent study supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that, in one year, 28 million people used a library computer to get health information.

We know that people will continue to go the library for health information and, as the Affordable Care Act is implemented, we can expect that many people will turn to the library for help. Librarians are experts at helping people find web sites and information they are looking for. Library workers can help people find CMS Navigators and certified application counselors in their area who have special training to help people make decisions about health insurance enrollment through the Marketplace.

Public libraries are located in nearly every community in the United States and are recognized as a valuable community resource, offering public meeting spaces, computers, and allowing for quiet conversations—making them a natural location for trained counselors to provide outreach and education efforts.”

Summary: CDC Health Litearcy Agenda Webinar

Monday, September 16th, 2013

By Anne Conner, NN/LM NER Healty Literacy COI Leader; Director, Gale Medical Library, Littleton, NH

Cynthia Baur’s CDC’s Health Literacy Agenda CE webinar on September 11, 2013 was extremely informative.  Cynthia is the Senior Advisor for Health Literacy at the CDC’s Office of the Associate Director for Communication (OADC).  She started off by giving the CDC’s three health literacy goals, which are based on the National Action Plan to improve health literacy goals which came about with the Federal Plain Writing Act of 2010.  What is the CDC doing to promote a clear communication culture across the organization?  Cynthia included a slide detailing their 7-step process in a graphical format.  These steps may be applied in our own organizations.

I really liked The CDC Clear Communication Index, which is a research-based tool to plan and assess public communication materials.  The Index provides a numerical score on a scale of 100, with four (4) questions and twenty (20) items which the research shows are the most important characteristics to enhance clarity and aid people’s understanding.  It’s available through

This tool represents an evolution from several plain language guides produced by the CDC. In addition, there’s a companion guide which details how to use the Index.  I urge you to check it out. I really like the fact that this Index provides an unbiased score, and rates materials in seven areas: main message and call to action, language, information design, state of the science, behavioral recommendations, numbers, and risk. A score of 90 or above indicates that the finished product addresses most items that make materials easier to understand and use; if the score is 89 or below, the material needs revision.  The User Guide gives descriptions and examples for ways to improve the material.

The other important topic Cynthia discussed the potential role for libraries collaborating on clear communication projects with public health agencies. Partnering with local health agencies ties in well with the National Action Plan To Improve Health Literacy’s Goal 4 (, which is to “Support and Expand Local Efforts To Provide Adult Education, English Language Instruction, and Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Information Services in the Community”.  It’s not possible for the CDC to understand the needs of all audiences… everywhere.  We have an opportunity to form relationships with our local health departments, identifying information gaps and audiences not being reached.  In addition, we can review materials for clear communication using the Index.

If you want to view the webinar, point your browser to   I highly recommend this webinar if you are interested in furthering clear communication in your institutions or through public health partnerships in your areas.

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