Say Ah! is deeply committed to making health literacy a national health priority.
With millions of people about to enter the health care system, and the Baby Boom generation aging, now is the time to create programs and incentives to ensure that all Americans are empowered, educated and engaged health care consumers.
Say Ah! has been advocating for improved health literacy since our founding in 2007. We strongly believe that increased funding for and improved implementation and coordination of health literacy and patient empowerment programs are desperately needed to support consumers who are increasingly called upon to make difficult choices about their health and burdened with complex and sometimes dangerous self-care regimens such as take home chemotherapy.
We also believe health and community service providers should be educated on health literacy and its impact on quality of care and health outcomes, as well as best practices to improve communication with those who suffer from low health literacy. Say Ah! also supports:
- Health and medical information and instructions, and medicine labels (prescription and over-the-counter) written and designed to be accessible to the broadest possible audience, including those with low vision, reading/learning disabilities, and cognitive impairments. While the Plain Language Act of 2010 is a start, Universal Design guidelines must be followed to make written materials useable;
- Research that identifies and fills gaps to reduce communication-based barriers to health and medical information and services;
- Coordination among agencies, particularly between the Departments of Health and Education (on all levels of government) to improve the flow of information, insight and research between these two major influences on health literacy solutions;
- The content of health and medical information and instructions be culturally appropriate and sensitive;
- Secondary schools, ESOL and GED health curricula include health literacy competencies, focusing on health access skills in addition to health information;
- Patients and Caregivers have access through their insurers to classes and other informational resources to improve their ability to access and use health and medical information and the health care system;
- Seniors and patients with low vision be offered the choice of large print handouts and legal documents.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with us about the issues, and ways to get involved and make positive changes for patients-consumers and caregivers.