About Us

In the Spring of 2009, Wisconsin Literacy held its third biennial Health Literacy Summit at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The presenting sponsors where Verizon and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wisconsin.

An important partner for the Health Literacy Summit was the Missouri Foundation for Health and their Health Literacy Missouri initiative. Health Literacy Missouri is the largest foundation-supported statewide initiative in health literacy underway in the country. There have been discussions before and after the summit regarding a Midwest Health Literacy Coalition of Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.

Highlights of the summit were the keynote by Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D. from Rutgers University author of the book Advancing Health Literacy; Arthur Culbert, Ph.D. and James Kinney, M.D. on the Missouri Health Literacy Initiative; Michael Wolf, Ph.D., M.P.H. from Northwestern University speaking on labeling and medication safety; Christina Cordero, Ph.D., M.P.H. from the Joint Commission on their new health safety standards; Dr. Stuart Slavin from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine discussing health literacy education by health care providers; and Winston Lawrence, Ed.D., from the Literacy Assistance Center of New York speaking on Connecting Hospitals and Literacy Students.

In addition, Julie McKinney the Health Literacy List Moderator from World Education gave a talk on the current health literacy efforts by the National Institute for Literacy and the growth of the HL listserve. Plus, there was a presentation of the DHHS Report on a National Action Plan for Health Literacy by Cynthia Baur, Ph.D., from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As one outcome from the summit, Wisconsin Literacy (WL) will incorporate expert knowledge on research-based interventions in health literacy into a blueprint for health literacy services in Wisconsin.  WL will also produce a Health Literacy Resource Guide (Tool Kit) to aid community representatives, businesses, legislators and adult educators on how to help consumers navigate the health care system.

This blog was started following the 2009 summit. Plans are being made for the next Health Literacy Summit in 2011.

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