Center for Health Literacy Promotion
A research organization dedicated to enabling adults to use health information and services in ways that promote health.

Data-driven maternal health literacy promotion and a postscript on its implications. 
This article explores findings and implications of the Life Skills Progression Maternal Health Literacy studies. These LSPMHL studies evaluated implementations of an intervention designed to promote health literacy in parents and empower women in the U.S. First, the article reports findings of the most recent of five published LSP-MHL studies with discussion of its implications for future work in this line of inquiry. A postscript highlights two of many implications of the LSP-MHL intervention studies for health literacy research in the third era of modern healthcare.

The Worldwide Universities Health Literacy Network met for two days in conjunction with the Global Public Health Challenge in Southampton, England May 19-23, 2012.  Sandra Smith presented a summary of the Center for Health Literacy Promotion's action research program on promoting maternal health literacy as means of preventing non-communicable disease at the foundation of personal and public health.  View the slides read Smith's commentary.  Some findings are preliminary. All materials are copyrighted. For more information on the research see Research Summaries.

At the first Annual Research Meeting at the University of Washington Tower Sandra Smith presented a scientific poster on preliminary results of a study on the impacts of maternal depression on mothers’ health literacy in the context of home visitation.  To view the poster click here.

Engaging Differences in Healthcare
Sandra Smith October 2006
To read the text click here.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Consumers, the health system health literacy:
Taking action to improve safety and quality.

SAM Guide to selecting or producing health education materials that work
This guide to selecting and producing health education materials that work for a particular audience uses the SAM Suitability Assessment of Materials with examples from the Beginnings Pregnancy Guide. The SAM synthesizes mounds of research on adult learning to rate materials on 21 factors known to affect comprehension and usability of information. It produces that is useful for comparing materials under consideration and for evaluating information under development. Click here to download.

Beginnings Guides and Healthy Start Goals
Beginnings Pregnancy Guide translates the science of prenatal care into actionable understandable guidance for a healthy pregnancy. It puts into print the health promotion content of prenatal care as defined by the US Public Health Service Expert Panel on the Content of Prenatal Care.
Click here to find out more.

Boston University Health Literacy Research Conference
2010 Conference Proceedings

AHRQ Innovations Exchange
Home Visits Using Reflective Approach Improve Functional Health Literacy Among Low-Income Pregnant Women and New Parents

Nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using everyday health information to make good health decisions. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a meeting on May 27, 2010, to explore areas for research in health literacy, the relationship between health literacy and health disparities, and ways to apply information technology to improve health literacy.
*Sandra Smith is a reviewer for this publication

Patient Education Blog: No Time To Teach-The Essence of Patient & Family Education
for Health Care Providers

Health Literacy Institute
The premier learning opportunity in plain language health communication

Health Literacy Special Collection
Tools and resources for Health Literacy initiatives

The Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective is a health literacy resource from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

This National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy seeks to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked, multisector effort to improve health literacy.

National Library of Medicine Webinar: Health Literacy: Beyond Better Information-Sandra Smith

National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved

Parents as Teachers National Center, St. Louis: Missouri Parents as Teachers (PAT) Functional Health Literacy Demonstration Project
This project will integrate health literacy education into its PAT home-based parent education program. This program will increase:

  • PAT parent educators’ knowledge of functional health literacy (FHL).
  • PAT parent educators’ (PE) ability to accurately and comprehensively assess families’ health literacy needs and improve to triage resources for families.
  • Functional health literacy in participating PAT families in Butler County, MO.

County Health Rankings Show There is More to Health Than Health Care
How healthy is your county? A new set of reports rank the overall health of nearly every county in the nation, confirming for the second year the critical role that factors such as education, jobs, income, environment access to health care play in how healthy people are and how long they live.

NLM updated the Health Literacy Special Query
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/queries/health_literacy.html, one of the Special Queries, to retrieve more health literacy relevant records in PubMed. The pre-formulated search now includes retrieval of citations to articles about self-care perception and articles about comprehension of food labels.
See more “preformulated” searches on PubMed online at

they are defined, they are measured, health and literacy are inextricably linked. Parents’ literacy is a determinant of child health. Low literacy is a barrier to delivery of healthcare services and home visitation services. Achieving family goals and program goals for health, school readiness, healthy child development, and self-sufficiency depends on parents’ ability to use information and resources. For these reasons, literacy should be a priority for all MCH home visiting programs.
Sandra Smith, MPH, PhD

Self-Assessment for Cultural Competence
Demographic and caseload changes related to culturally/linguistically diverse (CLD) populations require cultural competence in order to provide clinically competent services. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association resources were developed to help you reflect on your current level of cultural competence to increase and improve service delivery.
A series of checklists were developed to heighten your awareness of providing services to CLD populations.

Health plans need culturally and linguistically appropriate materials for non-English speaking patients. From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Click here to read more.
To download the original document click here.

Health Literacy Resources
For a list click here.

Attributes of a Health Literate Organization
To download the document click here.

Gateway to Health Communication & Social Marketing Practice

Clear Communication: A NIH Health Literacy Initiative

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit
HRSA-Culture, Language Health Literacy

In this Editorial in the January edition of Journal of Health Communication, Asst Secretary for Health, Howard Koh and health literacy experts say that implementing ObamaCare requires a new commitment to "person-centered care" in which people (not just patients) have knowledge and both professional and social support to engage in info-seeking, decision making . This brings health literacy promotion to the forefront. It broadens the concept beyond reading crafted information, beyond understanding and decision-making to health-promoting action,  doctors' office and hospital into families communities. This article is not subject to copyright, share it! 
Click here to download.


The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network of people helping healthcare providers, patients, their advocates carers, make well-informed decisions about human health care by preparing, updating and promoting the accessibility of Cochrane Reviews – published online in The Cochrane Library.

The Campbell Collaboration helps people make well-informed decisions by preparing, maintaining and disseminating systematic reviews in education, crime and justice, and social welfare.

ED/IES What Works Clearinghouse US Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences-A central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education.

RAND Corporation’s Promising Practices Network website is a unique resource that offers credible, research-based information on what works to improve the lives of children and families.

Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) Project The Department of Health and Human Services launched Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) to conduct a thorough and transparent review of the home visiting research literature and provide an assessment of the evidence of effectiveness for home visiting programs models that target families with pregnant women and children from birth to age 5.

National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs (SAMHSA) is a searchable online registry of more than 190
mental health promotion, substance abuse prevention, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Edutopia The George Lucas Education Foundation

OMB: Program Assessment Rating Tool 

Early Head Start Research to Practice Guidance

Cayuga County’s (NY) Partnership for Results The Partnership for Results is an innovative quasi-governmental entity dedicated to promoting the positive social, emotional, and educational development of youth and their families. Directed by leaders of public education, mental health, social services, health, and law enforcement agencies in Cayuga County

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Learning is focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5.


The students the University of Washington Maternal and Child Health
(MCH) Program and in other MCH schools of public health training
programs nationwide created a visual narrative of the public health work
and research they are doing in their communities.
You can view the presentation at


Archived Webinar: Adverse Childhood Experiences and Evidence-Based Home Visiting
New scientific discoveries about the lifelong impacts of adverse childhood experiences shed light on the intergenerational benefits of home visiting.This presentation is aimed at people working with young children and families and anyone interested in parenting and child development.

Home Visiting Programs Provide Opportunity for Enhancing Health Literacy by Sandra Smith
To read more click here from the Northwest Bulletin

Aspiranet-Welcome Home Baby

Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) Project

Healthy Families America


Parents as Teachers

Triple P


Community-Based Doula's Make a Difference in Indiana — Abstract
The Indiana Perinatal Network is collaborating with the Healthy Families Indiana MOM Project to implement the Community-Based Doula program in Indianapolis, Indiana... The doulas are committed to positively impacting the lives of the families they serve, and the Beginnings Guides have helped make this possible.(read the whole article)

This website contains information on tests and procedures related to pregnancy that may be performed either to diagnose existing problems or screen for potential problems. Excellent resource for pregnant individuals and educators. 

Understanding Prenatal Tests
This is a chart of common prenatal tests, how they are done, when, and for what purpose. This chart is a useful but will need translation to plain language when discussing with parents. Appropriateness of a test depends on history of an inherited condition (e.g. muscular dystrophy), ethnic background (e.g. sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs), and mother’s age >35. Prior to the birth of your baby, your professional may recommend one or more of the following tests. Ask your health care professional if any of these tests are right for you

Updated September 2010

Surgeon Generals Call to Action to support breastfeeding Jan 20, 2011

Postpartum Support International is dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression, the most common complication of childbirth. We also work to educate family, friends and healthcare providers so that moms and moms-to-be can get the support they need and recover.


Infant and Newborn Care: MedLine Plus

Center for Disease Control & Prevention
Parent Information

Social and Emotional Development in Children and Adolescents Knowledge

2011 Recommended Immunizations for Children from Birth Through 6 Years Old

Identifying and implementing educational practices supported by rigorous evidence: A guide. http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/rigorousevid/guide_pg4.html#intro

From the Zero to Three Scientific Meeting-John M. Love
Implementing Practice What does it mean and how will it affect programs for infants and toddlers.

Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality
Read this book Online for FREE


EthnoMed contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to Seattle or the US, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.

PubMed Health is Now Available!
PubMed Health is a consumer health Web site produced by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). PubMed Health provides up-to-date information on diseases, conditions, injuries, drugs, supplements, treatment options, and healthy living, with a special focus on comparative effectiveness research from institutions around the world.


Life Skills Progression website
The LSP is a quick, easy-to-use outcome measurement and intervention planning instrument designed specifically for use with parents during pregnancy and early parenting. It shows strengths, needs progress individual, family, caseload and program levels.

Systems Practices for the Care of Socially at Risk Populations 

National Child Abuse And Neglect Data System Glossary
Definitions of terms related to abuse and neglect from the Dept of Health & Human Services, Children’s Bureau

Loveisrespect.org provides resources for teens, parents, friends family, Peer Advocates, government officials, law enforcement officials and the general public. All communication is confidential and anonymous.
Hotline 866.331.9474

Medline Plus-Health Information from the National Library of Medicine

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Choose My Plate

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