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CALPACT Training: Applying Health Literate Communications: Examples from a Nasty Flu Season


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This resource is from a recent CALPACT webinar. To view the event archive page to access the recording and slides, please visit:


Public Health professionals communicate with a variety of audiences in their daily work. While reasonably well-accepted that special consideration be given to low-literate health care consumers in clinical settings, less emphasis has been given to applying health literacy in diverse sectors of public health. Poor health literacy is not limited to those with language or reading skill barriers - only 12% of Americans understand the health information they receive.

As public health professionals we have a responsibility to understand the health literacy barriers. This presentation will provide tips and resources where public health professionals can make a difference in increasing the success of their communication efforts.

While one flu season can pass mildly and with minimal activity, another may hit the country early and hard. CDC health communicators work with subject matter experts and stakeholders to develop messages for a variety of audiences, employing different types of media for effective reach. Due to unforeseen variables, the 2012-2013 flu season posed specific challenges. This presentation will highlight some of those challenges, showcase strategies and messaging used, and preview what’s to come for the 2013-2014 season.

This resource is from a webinar that was the second session in the CALPACT sponsored Health Communication Matters series, which will help participants in all walks of public health to apply health literacy principles to their everyday communications.

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CALPACT Training: Applying Health Literate Communications: Examples from a Nasty Flu Season

  1. 1. CALPACT Training Resources March 27, 2013 Health Communication Matters! Applying Health Literate Communications: Examples from a Nasty Flu Season Webinar Resources Health Literacy: Undervalued by Public Health?A tool for public health professionals: CDC: Free Flu Resources: CDC: Health Literacy: CDC: Immunization PSAs (including “I Never Get the Flu”): American Medical Association’s health literacy site: http://www.ama-• How to Write Easy to Read Health Materials in English and Spanish (click “Espanol”):• Health Literacy Style Manual:• Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Health Literacy Online:• CDC: Gateway to Health Communication & Social Marketing Practice:• Harvard School of Public Health: Health Literacy Studies: assessing-materials• Improving Readability with Appropriate Design: Readability with Appropriate Design.pdf• Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) readability formula:• Readability Tests and Formulas (including Fernandez-Huerta - For Spanish Texts Modified Flesch Reading Ease): blog/2010/01/14/readability-tests-and-formulas• Readability Index Calculator:• Blog by Joan Guthrie Medlen, MeD, RD, LD at:• Health Literacy Special Collection:• Kentucky Health Literacy Annual Summit resources:• Institute for Healthcare Advancement health literacy resources: