Public health professionals must address a problematic gap in health-based understanding to make sure that the 90 million people with a literacy deficit have access to the services they need. This course draws on current techniques to provide an overview of health literacy and why it matters, while dealing with cultural differences. It offers practical work and resources to present strategies, including assessment and communication skills, for addressing literacy gaps.

This course covers why health literacy is a serious issue that must be addressed by everyone in the health care environment, from patients to receptionists to patient navigators to physicians. Participants learn specific methods to assess the health literacy of patients and the ability of a health care organization to address problems of health literacy. They come away with proven techniques to use language confidently with patients and clients with low literacy.


This course takes approximately 3 hours to complete.

Learning Outcomes

After the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define and assess health literacy among patients
  • List reasons health literacy is a serious and costly issue in the United States
  • Identify different causes of a patient's health literacy
  • Describe additional ways to communicate health information beyond the written word
  • Assess the ability of an organization to address health literacy issues and provide specific suggestions for improvement
  • Communicate using plain and clear language
  • Communicate with the people in their community

Activities and Quizzes

This course is based on established adult learning principles. Students are given a pre-assessment to measure knowledge before beginning. Activities and quizzes are delivered immediately after material is presented to reinforce key points and enhance retention. A post-assessment at the course end measures knowledge-gain.


This course is also available in Spanish.

Who Should Attend

Frontline workers, such as community health workers (CHWs) and advisors, health promoters/promontoras, dental professionals, health educators, health communicators, administrators, public health program managers, outreach workers, advocates, patient navigators, peer counselors and leaders, health advisors, medical interpreters, and others who work with at-risk groups or patients. Both clinical and nonclinical workers can benefit from the course.


No previous experience in the topic is required. Basic computer experience is required.

Course Delivery Method

This course is delivered via web-based learning management system. It is available as a text-based course and is designed to be led asynchronously by a facilitator.

Contact us for more details including pricing.

Request Info

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.