Key Activities in the Development of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy

Many organizations – public and private, large and small – contributed to the development of the National Action Plan. Below are some key activities that brought national attention to limited health literacy as an issue, generated information and created the momentum for a plan.

Initial National Attention (1999-2004)

Further Research (2004-2006)

Workshop and Town Halls (2006-2008)

  • The U.S. Surgeon General hosts a Workshop on Improving Health Literacyexternal icon to present the state of the science in health literacy.
    • Participants identify the public health consequences of limited health literacy and establish a framework for action.
  • As a follow-up to the Surgeon General’s Workshop, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services convenes town hall meetingsexternal icon to explore promising practices to improve health literacy.
    • Representatives from local organizations serving the health, education, social services and information needs of the community attend.
    • To include diverse perspectives, these 1-day meetings take place in New York City, Sacramento, St. Louis, and Tampa.
    • Participants imagine the year 2025 and describe the characteristics of a health literate society and the goals and strategies to create such a society.

Organizational Consultations and Plan Release (2009-2010)


Page last reviewed: April 11, 2011