Special presentation from Dr. Rima Rudd, Internationally-Known Health Literacy Expert!
Visit CDC’s Health Literacy site to listen to Dr. Rima Rudd, one of the founders of health literacy scholarship and practice in the U.S., speak on the past and current state of health literacy and how to increase organizational capacity for shaping health messages. In this presentation, Dr. Rudd expresses the need to define and develop health literacy environments that support scientific principles, integrate health literacy findings and are conducive to efficacious action!
Dr. Rima Rudd is a health literacy expert who works domestically and internationally. She has been a member of the faculty at Harvard’s School of Public Health in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, for over 25 years. She currently serves on the Health Literacy Roundtable at the National Academy for Medicine [formerly the IOM] and is engaged in research and policy projects in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and the U.K. Dr. Rudd is a founder of and leader in health literacy studies and has won multiple awards for her contributions.--.--
Learn About Health Literacy
Listen to Dr. Rima Rudd, health literacy expert, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, explain health literacy.
What Is Health Literacy?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V, defines health literacy as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.
Health Literacy Capacity and Skills
Capacity is the potential a person has to do or accomplish something. Health literacy skills are those people use to realize their potential in health situations. They apply these skills either to make sense of health information and services or provide health information and services to others.
Anyone who needs health information and services also needs health literacy skills to
- Find information and services
- Communicate their needs and preferences and respond to information and services
- Process the meaning and usefulness of the information and services
- Understand the choices, consequences and context of the information and services
- Decide which information and services match their needs and preferences so they can act
Anyone who provides health information and services to others, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, or public health worker, also needs health literacy skills to
- Help people find information and services
- Communicate about health and healthcare
- Process what people are explicitly and implicitly asking for
- Understand how to provide useful information and services
- Decide which information and services work best for different situations and people so they can act
Researchers can choose from many different types of health literacy skill measures.
Organizational Health Literacy
Organizational health literacy is what organizations and professionals do to help people.
- Decide on health information and services. Organizations that remove health literacy barriers are health literate[433 KB, 27 pages]
How Can Organizations, Communities, and People Improve Health Literacy?
The resources on this site will help you learn about health literacy and what you, your organization or community can do to improve it. The goals and strategies in the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy are a good place to begin. You also can check the Institute of Medicine’s discussion and commissioned papers for proposed solutions on many health literacy topics.
Businesses, educators, community leaders, government agencies, health insurers, healthcare providers, the media, and many other organizations and people all have a part to play in improving health literacy in our society.