The magenta sessions are HLiA Track sessions 
The blue/gray sessions are HARC Track sessions           
The light blue sessions are plenary sessions

HLiA Track - Hear from experts about how to use health literacy best practices and principles to move toward health equity. Learn through case studies how health literacy is supporting policy work and helping us through our challenges coming to terms with racial injustice and inequities, COVID-19, and how social media and misinformation affects our messaging.

HARC Track - The Health Literacy Annual Research Conference is an interdisciplinary meeting for investigators dedicated to health literacy research. It is an opportunity to advance the field of health literacy, a method to raise the quality of our research, and a venue for professional development.

Day 2 - October 20th

Opening Plenary: Healthy People 2030 Health Literacy Definitions: Historic and Historical 10:45 am - 11:25 am (ET)

Opening Plenary: Healthy People 2030 Health Literacy Definitions: Historic and Historical

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Learn what is new, and not so new, about Healthy People 2030’s definitions of health literacy. Cindy Brach, Co-Chair of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Literacy Workgroup and a member of the Healthy People Health Communication and Health Information Technology Workgroup, will describe the process of developing the definitions and their implication for research and practice.


Attendees will learn:

  • The new Healthy People 2030 definitions of health literacy
  • How they build upon 20 years of health literacy scholarship
  • How the definitions were developed
  • How they affect researchers and practitioners

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

Cindy Brach, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Breakout: The Double Whammy of Pandemic and Infodemic:
Applying Health Literacy and Clear Communication Principles to Overcome Misinformation 11:30 am - 1:00 pm (ET)

Breakout: The Double Whammy of Pandemic and Infodemic: Applying Health Literacy and Clear Communication Principles to Overcome Misinformation

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The COVID-19 pandemic has put public health front and center in 2020 — and people's ability to access, understand, and use health information to reduce health risks is now more important than ever. But along with the pandemic, we're facing an "infodemic," which may be doing more damage than we realize. With all the false, inaccurate, and misleading health information that's out there, what — and who — can you trust? And how can we overcome information fatigue?

In this session, you'll learn about the psychology behind misinformation, why it tends to stick, and how people with limited health literacy skills can be particularly vulnerable. You'll also learn about strategies to cut through the cluttered information environment by applying health literacy, clear communication, and behavior change principles.


After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define the characteristics of misinformation and disinformation
  • Explain how people — particularly those with low health literacy skills — make sense of health information and why they may be more likely to believe misinformation
  • Identify at least 3 principles that may support health literacy or behavior change
  • Think critically about communication strategies for overcoming health misinformation

Corinne Berry, CommunicateHealth

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

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

Gianina Hasbun, Latino Health Initiative, Montgomery County DHHS

Nora Morales, MA, Program Director, Identity, Inc

Breakout: The MRCT Center Health Literacy in Clinical Research Website: Supporting Clear Communications Throughout the Clinical Research Life Cycle 2:30 pm – 3:10 pm (ET)

Breakout: The MRCT Center Health Literacy in Clinical Research Website: Supporting Clear Communications Throughout the Clinical Research Life Cycle

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In this session the presenter will provide an overview of the MRCT Center’s multi-stakeholder initiative to develop and launch a Health Literacy in Clinical Research website for the clinical research community to use when creating participant-facing materials. The website itself will be showcased through a discussion of the principles of health literacy in clinical research, a review of available resources, and a presentation of case studies. Current and future efforts to support the application of health literacy through a collaboratively developed plain language research glossary as well as other resources will also be reviewed.


At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the application of health literacy principles throughout the clinical research life cycle.
  • Access and use resources on the MRCT Center’s Health Literacy in Clinical Research website to develop participant-facing materials and processes that support participant understanding.
  • Share best practices with their colleagues and team members to promote greater integration of health literacy best practices into their clinical research processes.

Sylvia Baedorf Kassis, MPH, CYT, MRCT Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard

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

Breakout: National Council to Improve Patient Safety Through Health Literacy 3:20 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)

Breakout: National Council to Improve Patient Safety Through Health Literacy

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We will describe the process by which a team of health literacy champions collaborated to develop proposals to The Joint Commission to:

  1. Elevate health literacy to a National Patient Safety Goal, and
  2. Certify organizations as Health Literate Healthcare Organizations once they meet pre-determined criteria


  • Discuss strategies to ensure successful collaborations.
  • Outline three health literacy interventions organizations can implement to improve patient safety.
  • Identify resources available to start your own health literacy organizational assessment.

Karen Komondor, BSN, RN, CCRN, Health Literacy Institute St. Vincent Charity Medical Center