The Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit Embracing Health Literacy in the New Normal: Digital Communications, Telehealth, Health Insurance, and Health Equity took place on April 4 -6th, 2022. Individuals who work in healthcare, insurance, public health, community-based organizations, research, education, information technology, libraries, literacy and more were able to learn and discuss solutions and strategies to communicate information related to health for improved health outcomes.
Trust and meeting patients where they are were concepts that were heard throughout the conference.
The commitment and energy of the Milwaukee All of Us plenary presenters was infectious. They spoke about their model for true community engagement to build trust between investigators and the community. This involves finding out what the community wants and needs; building citizen scientists and integrating community members in each step of the process; and most importantly investing in the community so they prosper.
The Striving for Digital Health Inclusion plenary presentation provided a framework and ways for all patients to adopt digital health tools such as mobile health applications, patient portals, and telehealth services. The presentation included the idea of partnerships between health systems and community-based organizations to improve access to tools and digital literacy skills. A poster presenter described exactly this type of partnership, where a public library created a telehealth room for patrons to easily access local healthcare providers. The Affordable Connectivity Program that provides a discount on internet service and a computing device for eligible households could also be a resource to recommend.
NNLM staff gave a breakout presentation on Addressing Health Misinformation to Advance Health Literacy and spoke about misinformation, its consequences, and how it can be addressed. Social media has been a breeding ground for medical misinformation and there are a variety of reasons for this. Real events, poor treatment, and cultural norms contribute to belief in misinformation, requiring trusted community members to address misinformation and prevent serious harm.
Individuals who work outside of a clinical setting are often needed to help others find, understand, and use healthcare services and health information. It truly takes an entire community of people to help each and every person lead a healthy life.
The Summit is a biennial event hosted by Wisconsin Health Literacy, a division of Wisconsin Literacy Inc., which is a non-profit organization based out of Madison, WI committed to changing lives by strengthening all forms of literacy. This year’s Summit featured a Pre-Summit Session on vaccine community outreach, seven plenary presentations, 20 breakout sessions, poster presentations, and plenty of opportunities to network with attendees and exhibitors. Visit the Wisconsin Health Literacy website to learn more about this event and the work of the division. Some sessions were recorded and will be available to view on the website. Sign up for our quarterly Health Literacy Digest to stay updated on projects and events.
Guest blog post by Bhumi Khambholja, Project Manager – Wisconsin Literacy Inc & Wisconsin Health Literacy