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Goal 4: Support and Expand Local Efforts To Provide Adult Education, English Language Instruction, and Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Information Services in the Community

Why this goal is important:

Communities and community resources play a central role in supporting efforts to improve health literacy. Emphasis should be placed on community opportunities for communication, education, and peer support surrounding health information seeking and access to care. Communities and organizations can support health information and services as they are natural allies concerned with the well-being of their community members. The strategies and resources below will help achieve this goal.

For more information, please review the complete text of Goal 4 [PDF - 666KB] in the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. See: Section 3, Goal 4.

Strategies by Stakeholders:

Strategies for Educators and Community Service Providers

  • Support community-based programs that empower people to be more involved and active in health and teach skills, such as computer use, to assist people in acquiring credible health information
  • Infuse health literacy skills into curricula for adult literacy, ESOL, and family literacy programs
  • Facilitate collaborations among the adult literacy and ESOL communities; health care partners; and community-, faith-, and academic-based organizations
  • Include high school, college, and professional school students in health literacy programs to bridge cultural and generational divides
  • Collaborate with medical librarians to create health information centers in public libraries
  • Train more librarians and reference staff in health literacy skills and health information technologies so they can help to build the health literacy skills of patrons
  • Create opportunities for health education and learning in communities through creative uses of technology and multimedia
  • Provide professional development in health education topics and skills for those teaching adult literacy, ESOL, and family literacy programs

Strategies for the Health Care Team and Health Information and Library Professionals

  • Become familiar with information and literacy resources in your community and refer consumers to them
  • Invite adult education classes to visit your health center and adult education students to speak at meetings and symposia
  • Be a guest lecturer in an adult education class, serve as a curriculum advisor, or otherwise collaborate with adult educators in your community
  • Build ongoing partnerships with community organizations and local libraries to support the health information needs in the community

Available Resources for

Educators and Community Providers:

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  • Page last reviewed: August 22, 2011
  • Page last updated: February 12, 2014 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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