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Training in health literacy, plain language, and culture and communication is essential for anyone working in health information and services. Whether you are new to these topics, need a refresher, or want to train your entire staff, the following courses are a good place to start.

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Start your health literacy training here…

CDC offers seven online health literacy courses for health professionals. We recommend that you take the introductory course “Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals” first and “Writing for the Public” second. The other courses can be taken in any order, depending on your interests.

  1. Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals (free continuing education)
  2. Writing for the Public
  3. Speaking with the Public
  4. Creating Easier to Understand Lists, Charts, and Graphs
  5. Fundamentals of Communicating Health Risks
  6. Using Numbers and Explaining Risk
  7. Effective Communication for Healthcare Teams: Addressing Health Literacy, Limited English Proficiency and Cultural Differencesexternal icon (free continuing education)

Additional Training Resources

Good Questions for Good Health Training

A consumer and patient communication skill-building module. It encourages question-asking and provides strategies for formulating and asking questions before, during, and after medical appointments. The Toolkit pdf icon[1.7 MB, 17 pages] includes a presentation, pdf icon[727 KB, 26 Pages] presentation notes, skill building activity, take-home handout, and an evaluation form.

Listen to Dr. Rima Rudd, health literacy expert, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, explain health literacy.

For more training materials on health literacy, plain language, cultural competency, consumer-patient skill building, and shared decision making, please visit our Non-CDC Training page.


Page last reviewed: October 17, 2019