Plain Language Association InterNational (PLAIN) 20th Anniversary Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, October 10-13, 2013

Audrey Riffenburgh participated in and facilitated four sessions at the 20th PLAIN conference. The conference theme was Plain Language Advances: New Skills, Knowledge, Research and Best Practices. Topics ranged from the ethical issues in plain language practice to international collaboration by a consortium of partners creating a postgraduate course in clear communication in an online networked learning environment to how readers make decisions despite what they know.

Jann Keenan keynotes at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

On November 19th and 20th, Jann will present  Health Literacy: The Challenge and Effective Solutions seminars to faculty, students, and medical center health personal. During her visit Jann will also consult with MUSC’s newly formed health literacy committee.

Wendy Mettger to present during the National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) plain language webinar

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is conducting a webinar on November 12, 2013 entitled “Using Plain Language to Make Diabetes Messages Clear and Simple.” Wendy Mettger will be the featured speaker. She will discuss the problem of low health literacy and plain language as one possible solution to the problem. She will use examples from revised NDEP publications to show how plain language strategies can be used to make materials easier to read and understand.

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi will be moderating the Health Literacy Association

Open Forum Discussion at HARC on Tuesday morning October 29th from 7:30 – 8:30 am. Participants will review steps taken to date to explore the concept and propose a vision for moving forward. The session will encourage open discussion as well as generate concrete ideas and commitments to move the idea from concept to reality.

Health Literacy Fair Held at University of New Mexico Hospital, October 1 and 4

To recognize October as Health Literacy Month, CLG member, Audrey Riffenburgh and the health literacy teams at UNM Hospital in Albuquerque sponsored the 2nd annual Health Literacy Fair. The Fair showcased:

  • Health literacy basics
  • New graphic design templates for patient handouts
  • Original and revised versions of printed materials for patients
  • The Health Sciences Center Library health literacy website
  • The “teach back” strategy
  • How the Patient-Centered Medical Home can integrate health literacy

Jann Keenan to Keynote at Cultural Competency Conference- November 1st in Princeton, NJ

Jann will be a featured speaker at the Healthcare Cultural Competency Conference offered by The American Conference on Diversity.™ Her keynote address, “Small Investment/Big Impact: The Top 8 Tips to Creating a Health Literate Organization” will afford participants practical steps to take back to their agencies to implement. She’ll also participate in the open session at the end of the day to help assess attendee’s plain language materials.

IOM Health Literacy Roundtable

CLG members, Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi and Audrey Riffenburgh, spoke at the IOM Health Literacy Roundtable on April 11, 2013. The topic of the meeting was implementing the 10 attributes of a health literate healthcare organization. Audrey was invited to present on the initiative she leads as the Senior Health Literacy Specialist at the University of New Mexico Hospitals in Albuquerque. A video of her presentation now is available here.
Sabrina was invited to summarize what she heard from presenters throughout the day, identify important points, and generate discussion among roundtable members and others. A video of her presentation is now available here.

What happens when policy hits the ground?

This was the title of Sue Stableford’s presentation at the PlainTalk Conference on September 27th. She explored whether new regulations, policies, and tools related to clear communication were having significant impact on medical and public health systems. The subtitle for her presentation offers a clue about her observations: “The Diffusion of Innovation meets Complex Adaptive Systems.” Her conclusion: We have a long way to go until clear communication is the norm.

June 2013 Summer Institute

The national Health Literacy Summer Institute, held in Maine each June for 23 years, filled to capacity June 2-5, with 36 diverse participants. CLG co-founders and trainers, Sue Stableford and Audrey Riffenburgh, shared their expertise for 4 days. They continue to coach participants after the Institute, helping them to apply new skills “back home.”

Sue Stableford a workshop presenter at Maine Quality Counts annual conference, April 2013

Health literacy was critical to the Maine Quality Counts annual conference theme, reflected in the conference title: “Aligning Maine’s Forces to Become the First State to Reach the Triple Aim.” Achieving better patient care, improved outcomes, and lower costs all depend on effective communication. The breakout session focused on the development, training, and coaching of health literacy teams to help achieve the Triple Aim.

Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi actively participated at the Wisconsin Literacy Summit on April 8 – 10, 2013.  She offered a workshop on how to “Plan, Evaluate and Improve Your Health Literacy Interventions and Activities,” and facilitated a Pre-Summit Meeting to discuss foundational issues for establishing a Health Literacy Association.

Sue Stableford featured workshop presenter at Maine statewide Alzheimer’s conference

Sue showcased two Alzheimer’s materials co-authored by CLG member Wendy Mettger: “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease” and “Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease.” These examples of plain language excellence helped participants understand how to communicate effectively about complex, sensitive topics.