HARC Track - Day 1 - October 19th

Breakout Workshop: Public health literacy: what does it mean and how can we measure it? 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (ET)

Breakout Workshop: Public health literacy: what does it mean and how can we measure it?

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Public health literacy widens the health literacy focus from skills to promote individual health, to skills to promote public health. Often what is good for individual health is also good for public health, but at times these two aspects of health literacy may be in conflict. This workshop will use presentations and plenary group work to better understand the concept of public health literacy and its constituent components: conceptual foundations, critical skills, and civic orientation. We will use the exemplar of actions required from individuals to reduce the community transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. Specifically, we will identify areas where individual health literacy and public health literacy are concordant, and areas where there is dissonance.

We will then break out into small groups, one for each of the three constituent components of public health literacy, and start to explore potential items to measure in each area. We will then reconvene in plenary to hear the outcomes of each group.


Diane Levin-Zamir, University of Haifa Israel

Gillian Rowlands, Newcastle University

Oral Abstract Session I 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (ET)

Oral Abstract Session I

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Moderator:  Nancy Morris

Implementing a Low Literacy, Multimedia Health Information Technology Intervention to Enhance Patient-Centered Cancer Care in Safety Net Settings

Elizabeth A. Hahn, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Does Health Literacy Influence Advance Care Directives of Cancer Patients?

Katherine Waite, Boston Medical Center

Deaf Community’s Experience of COVID-19

Daphine Postl, Rochester Institute of Technology

Limited Health Literacy in Midlife and its Associations with Risks for Later Cognitive Decline

Lauren A. Opsasnick, Northwestern University

HARC - Lunch - Special Interest Group 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm (ET)

Lunch: Special Interest Group: IHLA Child and Family Health Literacy SIG: Responding to Coronavirus-Related Health Literacy Needs in Children and Families

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Caring for children's health is complex and requires specific health literacy skills. The International Health Literacy Association (IHLA) Child and Family Health Literacy Special Interest Group’s mission is to advance health literacy-related research, practice-/organizational-level change, education, and policy/advocacy to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents. The group will focus on discussions and initiatives around evidenced-based solutions in pediatric health literacy research, education, and practice-/organizational-level change. This SIG aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents by: (1) promoting the consideration of health literacy in research involving children, adolescents, and families; (2) creating networking opportunities to encourage high quality collaborative research; and, (3) advancing and disseminating knowledge to academic and non-academic stakeholders.

Sasha Fleary, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

Andrea Morrison, Medical College of Wisconsin

HARC - Lunch - Special Interest Group 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm (ET)

Lunch: Special Interest Group: Advocating for Policy: How to Champion Health Literacy?

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This session will: 1) examine existing health literacy policies across the localities, states or countries assimilating common attributes vs. outlying tenets and 2) compare/contrast these policies with the World Health Organization Health Literacy recommendations. Special Interest Group members will collaborate to identify existing policies and connect with IHA or IHLA members within the locality, state or country where the policy exists to potentially contribute to the discussion. Those sharing will discuss how the policy was championed and its impact on health literacy practices within that area. This panel will empower attendees with tools for championing health literacy policy while cataloguing existing health literacy policy for reference.

Elena Carbone, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Joy Deupree, University of South Carolina, College of Nursing

Orkan Okan, Bielefeld University

Chris Trudeau, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Bowen School of Law

Teresa Wagner, University of North Texas Health Science Center

Plenary: Race, the Literacy Gap, and the Pandemic 1:50 pm – 2:20 pm (ET)

Plenary: Race, the Literacy Gap, and the Pandemic

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By drawing from recent research and experiences as a community-engaged pollster, this session explores some health literacy barriers among African Americans while considering potential strategies for overcoming them.


  • Discuss racial-group differences in how the COVID-19 pandemic is experienced
  • Discuss racial-group differences in how COVID-19 is understood
  • Discuss racial-group differences in the intent to adhere to public health recommendations
  • Describe communication strategies for overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in health communication

Introduction: Michael Paasche-Orlow, MD, MA, MPH, Boston University Medical Center

Plenary: Ray Block, PhD

Breakout Panel: Digital Health Literacy and US College Students in the Time of COVID-19 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)

Breakout Panel: Digital Health Literacy and US College Students in the Time of COVID-19

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The health literacy of college and university students has become a topic of increasing relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic. College students have extensive social/social media networks, often live and interact in close quarters, travel from home to school within and across states, and tend to use digital sources to find information. Health-related decisions and behaviors of these students will impact COVID-19 infection rates, health outcomes, and the economic welfare not just of campuses, but also of surrounding communities and local economies. A better understanding of health literacy and digital health literacy for this population is critical to building useful programs, developing policies, and disseminating relevant health information across colleges, universities, health systems, and public health departments. In this panel, we will discuss current research on the health literacy and digital health literacy of U.S. college students.

Kevin Dadaczynski, Fulda University of Applied Sciences

Jennifer Manganello, University at Albany School of Public Health

Phillip Massey, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health

Tetine Sentell, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Oral Abstract Session II 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)

Oral Abstract Session II

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Moderator: Joy Deupree

Is it language or health literacy? Unpacking barriers to refugee health

Iris Feinberg, Georgia State University

Health Literacy in Context: Patients Perceptions about what Health Literacy Skills they Perceive as Important when Navigating through the Healthcare System, and in Managing their Health

Venkata Ratnadeep Suri, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology

Health Literacy and Intercultural Competence Training among Second Year Nursing Students

Michelle M. Ogrodnick, Georgia State University

Organizational assessment of health literacy of an academic medical center

Gyusik Park, University of Alabama School of Medicine

HARC Track - Day 2 - October 20th

Workshop: Is Your WebLitLegit? Helping Teens Discern Health Information Truth from Trash on the Internet 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (ET)

Workshop: Is Your WebLitLegit? Helping Teens Discern Health Information Truth from Trash on the Internet

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The WebLitLegit workshop will be conducted using a train-the-trainer model previously used with schools, libraries, museums, and other community partners serving teen audiences. WebLitLegit workshop participants will be shown the engaging YouTube video and short didactic PowerPoint with demonstration of knowledge and skills needed to locate and appraise online health information. The majority of the WebLitLegit workshop will be dedicated to practice and direct feedback, attendees will practice coaching skills and how to complete a teach-back demonstration with a teen locating and appraising a health website. The presenters will educate attendees on creative perspectives to teaching teens (and other age groups) the difference between commercial health information sites (WebMD) and evidence-based resources (MedlinePlus).

Tracy Adame, Medical City Dallas

Carol Howe, Texas Christian University

Teresa Wagner, University of North Texas Health Science Center

Oral Abstract Session III 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (ET)

Oral Abstract Session III

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Moderator:  Stacy Bailey

The use of a multi-component app-based intervention to build health literacy skills: An Australian feasibility study*

Jennifer Isautier, University of Sydney

*This session will be pre-recorded. All CEUs are available for this recording except CMEs.

A Health Literate Approach to Create a Virtual Sickle Cell Trait Education Program

Mary A. Abrams, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

How can technology facilitate sexual and reproductive health literacy among students within the college clinic setting?

Cheryl A. Vamos, University of South Florida

Digital storytelling as a health literate tool to motivate and educate diverse kidney patients about living donor kidney transplant

Emily H. Wood UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Lunch - Special Interest Group 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm (ET)

Lunch - Special Interest Group: Measuring Environmental Health Literacy

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Environmental health literacy (EHL) is an emerging framework that defines the knowledge and skills that prepare people to make environmentally healthy and protective decisions for themselves, their families and their communities, using available environmental data. Working knowledge of environmental health sciences is critical for people to be able to generalize from one environmental exposure to others. The ability to accurately interpret science-related knowledge is an important dimension of EHL and should inform an individual’s ability to locate and use new information to understand the impact of additional exposures. Measurement of EHL may also include assessment of self-efficacy for health-protective behaviors, especially where behavior change is an identified outcome.

Kathleen Gray, University of North Carolina

Anna Hoover, University of Kentucky

Marti Lindsay, University of Arizona

Ben Richmond, University of Arizona

Victoria Triana, UNC institute for the Environment

Lunch - Special Interest Group 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm (ET)

Lunch - Special Interest Group: Nursing: Research, Practice and Interprofessional Partnerships for Promoting Health Literacy

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Nurses are at the forefront of health care worldwide and are increasingly vital to integrating health literacy into practice, research and education. The integration of health literacy improves care at the bedside, in the community and through interprofessional partnerships using translational research. This Special Interest Group (SIG) highlights the importance of training programs and initiatives at the local, state and national level to bolster nurses' knowledge and skills in health literacy, emphasizing the importance of nurse-led translational research to improve practice and health outcomes and also advocate for community-engaged activities that strengthen consumer understanding about health promotion practices across the learning continuum. Patient engagement, empowerment, and optimal health outcomes will not be achieved unless health literacy is applied universally to each patient in every health care encounter. Providing culturally-competent nursing techniques, including the use of universal health literacy toolkits in health care, can significantly influence how patients perceive and understand health information. Further, this SIG also is intended to generate ideas and discussion from participants about how nurses and other health researchers can be champions for driving health literacy initiatives towards health equity.

Lakeshia Cousin, Moffitt Cancer Center

Joy Deupree, University of South Carolina College of Nursing

Cathy Meade, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

Lunch - Special Interest Group 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm (ET)

Lunch - Special Interest Group: Building a Culture of Health Literacy During COVID-19

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Low health literacy can affect everyone and techniques used to improve the content and delivery of health communication should be universal. Individual health literacy is also contextual and situational – many of us, even highly-skilled readers, are struggling with the barrage of information, misinformation, and conflicting information about COVID-19. Generally, however, low health literacy is highly correlated with lower levels of educational attainment, being a minority, limited English proficiency, having low reading skills and other measures of lower socio-economic status. Research tells us that individuals with lower health literacy also tend to have lower digital skills and less access to the internet, which is incredibly problematic when so much COVID-19 information is disseminated online. Individuals who tend to have low health literacy are struggling with caring for themselves and their families during this crisis because they cannot access, understand, or use COVID-19 health information.

Rene Esler, JSI Research & Training institute, INC

Iris Feinberg, Georgia State University

Brandi Hackett, Family Private Care

Mary Helen, O'Connor Georgia State University

Michelle Hutchinson, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Plenary: Reaching the Hispanic Community in Times of Crisis – Lessons from Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar 1:50 pm – 2:20 pm (ET)

Plenary: Reaching the Hispanic Community in Times of Crisis – Lessons from Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar

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In this session, we will draw from our experiences and discuss the key elements for effectively engaging Hispanic communities to access services and care for their health. Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar (For Our Health and Wellbeing) is a private-public partnership established in Montgomery County, Maryland to tackle the health disparities suffered by Latinos during the COVID-19 pandemic. A crucial element of this project has been the communication efforts specifically designed to reach underserved communities.


  • Describe the importance of going beyond linguistic competence
  • Identify trust brokers in the community you are serving
  • Describe the process for designing an effective communication campaign to reach your community

Introduction - Cynthia Baur, PhD, UMD Horowitz Center for Health Literacy

Gianina Hasbun, Latino Health Initiative, Montgomery County DHHS Nora Morales Identity, Inc

Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera, MD, PhD, Care for Your Health, Inc

Breakout Workshop: Optimizing Medication Information 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)

Breakout Workshop: Optimizing Medication Information

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The quality of health information can affect patient understanding and activation which, in turn, can greatly affect trial recruitment and participation as well as the safe and appropriate use of treatments. There is increasing interest throughout the healthcare industry in optimizing and evaluating information by leveraging both existing internal and external methods and expertise. Industry trends and focus on patient centricity have led to an increase in the development of patient-facing content for general use and regulatory submission.

In this workshop you will learn how to develop a consistent approach to optimizing medication information that objectively assesses these documents following evidence-based health literacy best practices. You will be walked through these recommendations in a step by step process with an industry use case. In addition, you will lean how to optimize information about medication and treatment to improve understandability and actionability while supporting adherence to company guidance on best practices involving patients, healthcare providers and subject matter experts.


Annlouise Assaf, Pfizer / Brown University

Stacy C. Bailey, Northwestern University

Candida Halton, Studio Health

Asia Lem, Pfizer

Michael Wolf, Northwestern University

Oral Abstract Session IV 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)

Oral Abstract Session IV

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Agenda & Speakers

Moderator:  Tetine Sentell

Deaf Community’s Access to Internet and eHealth Literacy

Surya Sahetapy, Rochester Institute of Technology

Double Disparity in Deaf and Hard of Hearing College Students’ Health Literacy

Ashley Mussallem, Rochester Institute of Technology

Parent Health Literacy and Environmental Health-related Perceptions of Risk and Motivation to take Action

Alexander F. Glick, NYU School of Medicine

Improving Awareness of Emotional Wellness Among Rural Arkansans: Development and Implementation of a Health Literacy Based Intervention

Alison Caballero, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Jennifer M. Gan, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Tiffany Haynes, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

HARC Track - Day 3 - October 21st

Opening Plenary: Disseminating Culturally Relevant Social Media Messages 10:45 am – 11:25 am (ET)

Opening Plenary: Disseminating Culturally Relevant Social Media Messages

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This session will focus on how to use research to create and disseminate culturally relevant social media messages.


  • Developing an understanding of the interface between individuals’ ethnic and racial experiences and their health beliefs.
  • Gain awareness of the racial and cultural socialization of individuals in communities of color, as it may assist in finding culturally congruent ways to connect on social media and build trust.
  • How to use research to create messages and locate your social media audience.

Opening - Michael Villaire, MSLM Institute for Healthcare Advancement

Sloane Bickerstaff, MPH Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Breakout Panel: The COVID-HL Consortium 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (ET)

Breakout Panel: The COVID-HL Consortium: Overview and Results Around Digital Health Literacy in University Students from an International Network of Partners from 44 Countries

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The COVID-HL Consortium, an international network of partners from 44 different countries seeking to understand digital health literacy in relation to COVID-19 at a global level, was formed in March 2020. The focal population in the first waves of surveys is university students. Using shared data collection instruments, members of the COVID-HL Consortium have collected data from over 40,000 university students.

In this panel, the COVID-HL Consortium co-leader/founder, will give an overview of the Consortium, information about the harmonized data elements, and preliminary results from the large sample. Distinguished panelists from three diverse settings (China/Philippines/Malaysia/Singapore, Portugal, and Vietnam) who are participating in the Consortium will then present findings from three specific study sites and efforts. This will be followed by an overview of next steps for this effort and discussion/Q&A with audience members.


Orkan Okan, Bielefeld University

Angela Y.M Leung, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Rafaela Rosário, University of Minho

Linh Hoang Thuy Nguyen, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Oral Abstract Session V 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (ET)

Oral Abstract Session V

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Moderator: Lakeshia Cousin

Validation of Three Question Health Literacy Screener in Determining Health Literacy as Compared to Existing STOFHLA

Katherine R. Burkhart, Wichita State University

Development of A skills-based Measure of Health Literacy Regarding on Diabetes and Its Impact on Patients' Glycemic Control

Xinying Sun, Peking University

Evaluating the Validity of a Computational Linguistics-Derives Automated Health Literacy Measure Across Race/ Ethnicity

Dean Schillinger, University of California San Francisco

Concurrent validity of Pictorial Fit-Frail Scale (PFFS) in Older Adults Male Veterans with varying levels of Health Literacy

Lubna Nasr, University of Miami

Closing 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm (ET)


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Cynthia Baur, PhD, UMD Horowitz Center for Health Literacy

Michael Villaire, MSLM, Institute for Healthcare Advancement

Michael Paasche-Orlow, MD, MA, MPH, Boston University Medical Center