At 12% proficiency, U.S. health literacy sets the population at disadvantage for consumer health outcomes and overall healthcare costs NCES, 2006; DHHS, 2017. While efforts exist for improvement via rewriting and training in plain language, these strategies are found to be limited 'pieces of a process that must be placed in a larger community context' NNLM, 2018. Witnessed in this context is variance in access to health resources multiplied by effects of social determinants such as aging, low socio-economic and minority status. Addressing these factors with cultural and community competent health literacy engages individuals in promising self-advocacy for health, but advancements of today also require technology skills to keep pace with online health communications Levy, Janke & Langa, 2015; Sakar, Karter & Liu, 2010. Led by partners at Virginia Commonwealth University VCU, the VCU School of Medicine's Center on Health Disparities CoHD and VCU Libraries' Community Health Education Center CHEC, this project promotes National Library of Medicine NLM resources for online consumer health in interdisciplinary collaboration with public libraries, state and local health agencies. The project will provide community trainings at neighborhood centers in a historically African American, low-income, food and resource desert community of Richmond, Virginia. Participants will receive small group health literacy education via a mobile computer lab to enhance technology access, health application knowledge, and connection to health services and providers. The outreach supports NLM mission through collaborative action that addresses health information needs, improves health information literacy, and ensures healthcare consumers are aware of and have access to high-quality health information resources. This project aims to advance public health by improving access to information and skills that enable individuals to make informed decisions about their health.
Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Health Disparities