October is Health Literacy Month; created in 1999 to help spread awareness and educate people on the importance of understandable health information.
The first step in raising awareness of health topics is to identify the gaps in health literacy in our communities. Barriers to communication come in many forms: language, information access, complex medical terms, etc. Especially critical in underserved and rural communities where people are often unaware of possible health concerns until they become emergencies, being able to practically explain health issues, disease symptoms, and health jargon allows people to have a greater understanding and trust of the medical professionals who dedicate their careers to the health of their communities.
Recognizing those in your Healthcare District that are Health Literacy Heroes by publicly acknowledging their service, giving an annual award, or simply encouraging them to continue in their efforts will help to spread awareness and promote health literacy in your community.
How does your Healthcare District ensure that the public in your community is practically informed about their health and public health topics?
For more information on Health Literacy Month and what you can do to be a Health Literacy Hero visit the health literacy website here.