Health literacy is a relevant and important issue that can also have a meaningful impact. Health literacy for patients, as defined by the CDC, is an individual’s ability to utilize information relating to healthcare, in order to make medical related decisions. The role that government establishments and nonprofit organizations can have in promoting health literacy is significant. The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, from the CDC, is significant through connecting organizations and policymakers to improve health literacy skills. This plan is an effective blueprint in regard to health literacy. It provides accurate health information for patients, and also implements patient-centered health information and services. 

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is also another governmental organization that supports the promotion of health literacy. The HRSA provides tailored training to healthcare professionals. Thai is done in order to identify the specific health literacy levels of patients and make simple communication changes.” This is significant in regard to sharpening communication skills for patients, which is a vital component in the improvement of health literacy. In addition, as discussed in Improving Health by Improving Health Literacy, additional resources are also available to help practitioners who are interested in improving the way in which they provide health information. An example in regard to improving health literacy on the part of providers includes the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This offers an effective way to assess health literacy among patients. 

The role that nonprofit organizations have is also influential in advocating for health literacy. HHP’s online course, “Understanding the Language of Health Literacy,” offered through its Learning Academy, aims to  improve health literacy skills for patients.

In addition, another nonprofit organization, Health Literacy for All, has also contributed in the overall advancement of the issue of health literacy. Based in Schenectady, New York, this organization’s mission is to provide families in New York State with the ability and skills needed to help improve health literacy. This is achieved by families being instructed by healthcare professionals on health literacy, which includes the teaching of communication related skills. This supports the organization’s goal of supporting healthy living through improved health literacy.

 The role that governmental and nonprofit organizations can have on improving healthcare issues for patients, including health literacy, is impactful. Government bodies such as the CDC and the HRSA; as well as nonprofit organizations including Human Health Project, Health Literacy for All, as well as other organizations; can have a significant effect on the issue of health literacy. Ultimately, the overall improvement upon this issue can have a positive effect on the health and well-being for a range of patients.  

More information about HHP’s Learning Academy course, “Understanding the Language of Health Literacy,” can be found here:

More information More information on HHP’s “Understanding the 

Healthcare System” Patient Advocacy workshops can be found here:

Human Health Project (HHP) Programs

Human Health Project (HHP) Programs HHP is a comprehensive holistic health literacy charity. Explore our Shared Patient Information on health conditions like Migraine and Lupus, featuring Causes/Triggers, Treatments, outcomes, and side effects (more conditions being added). Dive into our Learning Academy's short patient education video courses covering topics like Your Rights as a Patient, How to Research Online as an ePatient, and Peer-led Patient Advocacy Workshops. Don't miss our upcoming and past Peer-to-Peer event videos.