Lead Health Literacy Initiative"Low health literacy is a threat to the health and wellbeing of Americans. And low health literacy crosses all sectors of our society. All ages, races, incomes, and education levels are challenged by low health literacy." Rear Admiral Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD, MPH
Acting United States Surgeon General
What is Health Literacy?Health Literacy is the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Approximately one-half of the adult population may lack the needed literacy skills to use the U.S. healthcare system. Low literacy has been linked to poor health outcomes such as higher rates of hospitalization and less frequent use of preventive services. Reference: Institute of Medicine. 2004. Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
What is the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch doing to address Health Literacy?
The Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (HHLPPB) is concerned about health literacy. HHLPPB is developing a strategy to address these concerns directly, as well as providing assistance to our childhood lead poisoning prevention partners. Additionally, we have developed several resources that will aid in communication of childhood lead poisoning. As we discover additional resources and develop more materials, we will share them here.
[PDF - 1.33 MB]
Lead Poisoning: Words to Know is a dictionary that gives the meaning of words you often hear or read about lead. It can help you as you try to learn more about childhood lead poisoning and its health affects or how to communicate aspects of childhood lead poisoning to clients.
HHLPPB developed three facts sheets all designed with health literacy principles in mind. They were developed in both English and Spanish.
LinksU.S. Department of Health & Human Services--Health Literacy Improvement website (HHS)
Provides further links to Health Literacy tools, government resources, and reports & research Harvard School of Public Health--Health Literacy Studies website
Provides an overview of Health Literacy, as well as Health Literacy: literature, research & policy, innovative materials, assessment tools, curricula, further links and contact information Institute of Medicine--Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion
Provides access to a report from the Institute of Medicine about Health Literacy in America