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What is the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy?

The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy [PDF - 666KB], released May 2010 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked, multi-sector effort to improve health literacy. The plan includes seven broad goals with multiple high level strategies for various stakeholders and provides a focal point for the field.

The plan is based on the principles that (1) everyone has the right to health information that helps them make informed decisions and (2) health services should be delivered in ways that are understandable and beneficial to health, longevity, and quality of life.

What is the vision of the Plan?

The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy provides a blueprint for efforts to improve health literacy and calls for a response from all sectors involved in health information and services to create

A society that:

  • Provides everyone access to accurate, actionable health information;
  • Delivers person-centered health information and services; and
  • Supports life-long learning and skills to promote good health

What are the 7 Goals in the Plan?

How can I use the plan?

The plan can be used as a framework for developing your own organizational plan or for providing a justification for your efforts to address health literacy.

Additionally, the plan can be used to help guide your strategic actions by following the steps below:

  • Review: Examine your organization’s priorities and programs and ask, how could attention to health literacy improve our services and outcomes?
  • Choose: Identify the most relevant goals and strategies in the Plan for your programs
  • Try: Plan and implement strategies
  • Evaluate: Assess the effectiveness of chosen strategies

Download "Making Health Literacy Real: The Beginnings of My Organization's Plan for Action: [PDF - 738KB]

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  • Page last reviewed: April 11, 2011
  • Page last updated: April 11, 2011 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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