Health Literacy and Health Information Resource Education in the Lawrence Community

Health literacy is the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information in order to make informed health decisions. Limitations in health literacy are associated with ineffective care, poor compliance, increased use of health services and poor health outcomes. Evidence suggests there are disproportionate health literacy limitations among Latino populations, 88 with limited English proficiency, immigrant status, and minority status. The city of Lawrence Massachusetts is comprised of a predominantly Hispanic ~60,000 population with the majority of these residents speaking English as a second language. Furthermore, 28.4% of the residents fall below the poverty line, double the national average. Due to the existing health literacy barriers of language, poverty and immigration status for many Lawrence residents, and the negative consequences that result from inadequate health literacy, this project will provide free health literacy education to this vulnerable population through a multidisciplinary, collaborative community partnership. We propose to continue to offer Health Education And Literacy HEAL classes and a MedlinePlus consumer health information workshop to adult English as second language learners at the Notre Dame Education Center- Lawrence for the 2019-2020 academic year in order to improve the knowledge, skills, motivation, and confidence for 88 to actively engage in their health.

Project Details

Organization Name

Merrimack College

Organization Type
Academic institution
Project Lead

Traci Alberti

Start Date
May 1, 2019
End Date
April 30, 2020
Funding Amount
Library or Information Professional
Adults (19-64 yrs.)
Adults (19-64 yrs.)
Seniors (65+ yrs.)
Blacks/African Americans
Asians/Asian Americans
Hispanics/Latin Americans