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Health Literacy: Forging A Common Language

Every occupational field has its own language, and the health care field is no exception. When health care providers interact with patients and caregivers, the meaning behind the language is sometimes “lost in translation.” An April 16 health literacy symposium will help the local health care community bridge the gap. The symposium, “Building Health Literate Organizations,” will help organizations identify and more effectively communicate with people for whom unfamiliar medical terms and complicated self-care requirements may hamper their ability to make appropriate health decisions. United Way and its Area Agency on Aging are sponsoring the event along with Texas Health Resources and UNT Health Science Center.

The symposium will feature Michael J. Miller, RPh, DrPH; and Michael Mackert, PhD.

Dr. Miller (shown at left), will speak on
•    Refining methods to measure and identify those at risk for low health literacy
•    Evaluating the literacy-sensitivity of pharmacy processes and environment
•    Identifying interventions that improve health literacy

Dr. MacKert (at left) will discuss
•    Designing health messages for low health literate populations
•    Using e-health and traditional media for message delivery

The symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arlington ISD’s Mac Bernd Professional Development Center, 1111 W. Arbrook Blvd. in Arlington. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.  The event is free, but reservations are required. Register online by April 11 at

This second annual health literacy symposium aligns with United Way’s focus on enabling more adults with chronic health conditions to live healthy at home and avoid costly emergency room, hospital and nursing home options.