This past October 2018, Healthy Cleveland’s Health Literacy Committee promoted National Health Literacy Month, reaching thousands of Cleveland residents. Members of the Health Literacy Committee, which includes representatives from the Cleveland Clinic, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, University Hospitals, Cleveland Department of Public Health, Seeds of Literacy, and more, created and promoted a campaign to celebrate National Health Literacy Month. This is celebrated each October by a variety of national and local health organizations to promote health literacy awareness and concepts.

Health literacy is how well people are able to obtain and understand health information. It is also how well the health team explains the information. This year, the committee focused on reaching out to the consumer or patient. Components of the month-long campaign included:

· 5,000 wallet cards distributed

· 16 posters placed in Omni Media street-level kiosks

· Daily posts on Healthy Cleveland Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

· 2 interviews with TV20’s Leah Haslage

· 1 introductory training on health literacy to CDPH staff

As a result of this work, the wallet cards, which provide tips for healthcare visits, have been translated into Spanish and printed for further outreach. Additionally, over 10,000 people were reached on Twitter and over 1,100 on Facebook. Interviews with TV20 will run annually to continue sharing health literacy information, and further training of CDPH staff will occur through implementation of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy’s Health Literacy Champions toolkit.

Next year, the committee plans to focus on healthcare professionals as the campaign’s target population, and planning is already underway! Are you interested in getting involved or receiving more information about health literacy? See our Health Literacy Committee page and contact us for more!