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Healthcare Professionals Gather for Health Literacy Symposium

Health Symposium 2016 Participants-249wideThe fourth annual Health Literacy Symposium is under way today at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Unifying health literacy efforts across Texas is the purpose of the day-long event that is being hosted by UNTHSC and sponsored by United Way of Tarrant County, its Area Agency on Aging, and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.

The symposium is part of United Way’s LIVE WELL health initiative. Symposium continuing education credit is available for physicians, nurses, PAs, NPs, social workers and public health professionals. More information is available at

Keynote speaker Cindy Brach, MPP, spoke this morning on “From Health Literacy Evidence and Tools to Patient Understanding and Navigation: The Imperative to Take Action to Improve Health Care Outcomes.” She is Senior Health Policy Researcher at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Washington, D.C. She conducts and oversees research on health literacy, cultural and linguistic competence, quality improvement, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. She serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, where she led the effort to define the attributes of a health literate organization. Her PowerPoint presentation is here.

Other topics and speakers on today’s agenda include:

“Health Literacy in Texas: The State of the State” – Dr. Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, Director of Health Literacy, Literacy Coalition of Central Texas.

“Understanding and Addressing Stigma Associated with Low Health Literacy” – Dr. Michael Mackert, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations; Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

“Health Insurance Literacy – Smart Technology Yields Smart Decisions ‘Train-the-Trainer’ Workshop” – UT Health Science Center San Antonio Medical Students Chelsea Lehman, BA, MD Candidate, and Brian Duffy, BA, MD Candidate.

A best practices panel this afternoon will feature:

“Health Literacy During the Training Years: Changing the Culture of Medicine One Student at a Time – Melanie Stone, MPH, MEd, Assistant Director for Community Service Learning, Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

“Parental Expectations in the Care of Their Children with Diabetes: Health Literacy & Communication
– Dr. Carol Howe, PhD, RN, CDE, Assistant Professor, Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas Christian University.

“My Library Keeps Me Healthy”
– Joanna Saucedo, MPH Candidate, Public Health Educator, Austin Public Library.