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DOH Leon Recognizes National Health Literacy Month

By Pamela Saulsby

October 18, 2022

DOH Leon Recognizes National Health Literacy Month 

October 18, 2022

DOH Leon Celebrates Health Literacy Month in October
Improving health literacy helps people stay healthier!

Tallahassee, Fla—The Florida Department of Health in Leon County (DOH Leon) celebrates National Health Literacy Month in October.  It is a time to recognize the importance of making health information easy to understand and the health care system easier to navigate.

Health literacy is something that affects everyone and is dependent on numerous factors, including communication skills of the patient or professional, culture, or knowledge of health topics.

According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy. In other words, nearly nine out of ten adults may lack the skills needed to manage their health and health care. This means that more than 90 million people in the United States have a hard time understanding and using health information.

“From a public health perspective, health literacy is a top priority at DOH Leon,” said Brandi Knight, MPH, DOH Leon Health Officer.  “We want all of our clients, patients, and their families to feel educated and empowered when making decisions about their health. It is not the patient's job to learn our language. It's not the patient's job to figure out how to navigate our system. It is our job to make it easy.”

People with low health literacy are:

  • More likely to use emergency rooms and to be hospitalized
  • More likely to have medication and treatment errors
  • More likely to have chronic diseases
  • Less likely to follow their treatment plans
  • Less likely to understand common insurance terms
  • Less likely to obtain preventative care

People can improve their health literacy by getting comfortable asking questions at doctor appointments.

  • Asking questions improves communication and understanding.
  • Make a list of questions for your doctor before your appointment.
  • Practice asking your questions with family and friends before your doctor appointment.
  • Ask your pharmacist about your prescription instructions and what your medicine should look like and do.

For more information on personal health literacy and organizational health literacy resources visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

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About the Florida Department of Health 

The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts. 

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov.

 

Media Contact:
Pamela Saulsby
Public Information Officer
Pamela.Saulsby@flhealth.gov
Follow DOH Leon on Twitter @Healthyleonfl