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Health Online: Finding Information You Can Trust

“Health Online: Finding Information You Can Trust” will help persons from underrepresented populations better access, identify and use reliable health information on the internet. With today’s focus on obtaining information online or going mobile, there has become a digital divide for individuals with low health literacy, many of whom are represented among vulnerable populations, using online and other digital tools for health (Pew, 2015). Through this project, Wisconsin Health Literacy (WHL) will offer 32 “digital health literacy” workshops for consumers most at risk for low health literacy, including seniors and individuals with low literacy. WHL uses a proven workshop model which relies on partnership with local organizations to reach vulnerable populations through educational programs offered in trusted settings. WHL will leverage its past experience conducting over 400 of these collaborative workshops on a variety of health topics to create and implement this new program on digital health literacy. Community partners are scattered across the state and will include non-profit literacy councils, 80 of which are members of Wisconsin Literacy. Additional historic partners include public libraries, Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), senior centers, Indian tribes, refugee organizations, and community health centers. (See letters of support.) The workshop delivery and training structure will emphasize training and materials that can be disseminated and used by partnering organizations so that they can continue to offer the program to new participants going forward. There is a variety of training publicly available to help consumers use online health information. However, these sources are less likely to be used by vulnerable populations due to limited digital health literacy. A second project component involves providing 4 regional workshops for librarians, especially in rural areas, on how to effectively help persons with low health literacy find trustworthy health information. This will help them feel more confident in helping all library customers seeking health information, but especially those who have lower health literacy and less on-line expertise.

Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Educator, K-12
General public
Library or information professional
Project Lead:
Steven Sparks
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
May 1, 2018 to Oct 31, 2019
Project Status: