Health Literacy Month
The Event Planning Guide
For Health Literacy Advocates
Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L
President of Health Literacy Consulting
Producer and Host of Health Literacy Out Loud
Founder of Health Literacy Month
|Health Literacy Month 2012
October is Health Literacy Month. This is a time for organizations and individuals everywhere to promote the importance of understandable health information.There is no right or wrong way to participate. It is up to you–as a health literacy advocate–to determine best ways to raise awareness with your intended audience.
Here are some resources to help:
About the Health Literacy Month Handbook
I often refer to people like you and me as “health literacy advocates.” We get excited about wanting to ensure that the way people communicate does not get in the way of the healthcare people need. And we are eager to share both our passion for this effort and what we know about the topic with each other and the communities in which we work and live. That desire to share is why I wrote the Health Literacy Month Handbook. It’s meant to be a guide we can all use to create, plan, run, and evaluate events that raise awareness about this very important issue.
Anyone can plan and run an event to mark Health Literacy Month. You probably have some ideas of your own that you’d like to get started on. You may or may not have shared them with others yet, but either way, it’s important to remember you don’t need permission to run an event. All you need is a determination to let the world know that health literacy matters and some kind of map to show you how to get from impulse to event. Think of this handbook as a map. It covers topics ranging from finding people to work with and brainstorming ideas to putting
an event together, marketing it, and assessing its effectiveness. You’ll also find examples of events other people have conducted, along with their insights and observations about how they made it happen and what the event accomplished.
In addition, the Handbook has worksheets, review forms, a sample press release, a countdown calendar, and other practical tools for you to use. There are also references to other resources, including Web sites, where you can learn more or even download a Health Literacy Month logo.
I am a healthcare provider, so throughout the handbook, I’ve used clinical examples and language, but I encourage you to make this handbook your own. For example, when I write “provider,” think of the term as referring to anyone who communicates health information. That could be a clinician, community health educator, public health specialist, teacher, professor, tutor, or librarian. And when I use the term “patient,” think of anyone on the receiving end of health communication such as family members, students, caregivers, and the general public.
And go ahead, write in the margins, fill out the worksheets, and highlight tips you plan to use.
This is your book to use to help make people aware of what health literacy is and why it’s important.
Thank you for being a health literacy advocate.