NALHD Awarded $450,000 Grant to Improve Health Literacy
Between May 2012 and 2015, Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors will receive a total of $450,000 to help improve health literacy across Nebraska.
Health Literacy is a set of skills that the public and health care personnel need to communicate effectively with one another. In addition to reading and writing, health literacy also includes the listening, speaking and math skills that patients and health care providers need to understand each other. Close to 90% of adults need some help with health-related communications (ranging from understanding how to take their medications correctly, to understanding insurance forms, to making sense of messages about the best way to stay healthy).
Limited health literacy affects adults of all races, ages and economic status. Research shows that the consequences of limited health literacy include: limited use of preventive services, misdiagnosis, poor management of chronic conditions, medical errors, frequent and longer hospitals stays, higher health care costs, longer length of illness, death, unnecessary emergency room visits and poor response in public health emergencies.
The NALHD Outreach Partnership to Improve Health Literacy (OPIHL) is helping Nebraska's public health workforce to address health literacy's effect on the health of individuals and communities in our state. With this grant, rural local and tribal health departments receive technical assistance, training, and resources that address health literacy needs.
The OPIHL project is a collaborative effort between NALHD, the University of Nebraska Medical Center's College of Public Health and the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity. This project is 100% funded by grant number D04RH23605 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.