WVU to host health literacy conference

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University will host a conference April 22 and 23 to help health professionals and others better understand the impact of low levels of health literacy on the quality of patient care.  Participants will also receive training on how to communicate health information clearly.
The Health Literacy and Plain Language Conference at the Health Sciences Center Hostler Auditorium is a joint project of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and the WVU School of Pharmacy.

Health literacy is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2010 initiative as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Any patient can be considered at risk for low health literacy, regardless of functional literacy ability, education, age or income – although the socioeconomic and educational circumstances found in the populations of West Virginia put the state’s residents at particular risk.  Low health literacy correlates to poorer health outcomes and increased health costs.

Guest speaker Sue Stableford, director of the University of New England Health Literacy Institute, will discuss the problems associated with low levels of health literacy and solutions to address them on April 22 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the HSC Hostler Auditorium.  She will also engage the audience in an evidence-based “plain language” exercise.  Her talk is free and open to the public. 

The remainder of the conference will feature an intense workshop scheduled for April 22 from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., continuing on April 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. designed for faculty and healthcare professionals dedicated to promoting health literacy at WVU.  A limited number of seats are available. Anyone interested in the workshop should contact Jenny Ostien at jostien@hsc.wvu.edu or 304-293-0482.





For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
Ss: 4-20-09

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