Conference Agenda – Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Please note all times are in Pacific Standard Time (PST)

8:30 am – 9:00 am


9:00 am – 10:15 am


10:30 am – 11:30 am

A Statewide Approach to Improving Health Communication Through an Antiracism Coalition | Live Session

Wendy Nickel
CEO, Health Care Improvement Foundation


  1. Explain the core components and steps to building a statewide coalition to meet the health literacy needs of a large population.
  2. Apply engagement strategies for engaging diverse communities and geographic regions with differing needs in implementing health literacy actions.
  3. Recognize the intersection of health equity, health literacy, and anti-racism and apply strategies to integrate these concepts in practice.


Over the past 13 years, the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) has supported Pennsylvania in improving health literacy and antiracism. HCIF convened a multi-stakeholder coalition that has developed health literacy training modules, consumer education, a health literacy champions network, and educational conferences. Participants will hear about: 

  • The building blocks necessary to establish a coalition, such as goal setting.
  • The connection between health equity, health literacy, and antiracism.
  • How to engage diverse stakeholders across a variety of geographic regions and communities, even during a pandemic.

10:30 am – 11:30 am

Engaging Health Literacy Partners to Advance Health Equity in Rural Communities: One Community’s Approach to Better Understanding Health Literacy and Access in a Rural-Border Region | Live Session

Shiloh A.Williams, PhD, RN, NPD-BC, CNE
Assistant Professor
San Diego State University


  1. Explain the challenges faced by rural healthcare systems in supporting national/international health literacy practices.
  2. Recognize the importance of engaging with current and future healthcare professionals to address health literacy as a health equity issue.
  3. Apply the ideas and concepts presented through case study to your own health literacy practices and settings to engage a multidisciplinary health literacy team.


The call for the need to address health literacy as a necessary component of health policy development has been clear, but rural healthcare systems struggle to implement sustainable efforts to address low health literacy in the populations they serve. Further, health literacy is not a critical component of professional healthcare provider curriculum, resulting in providers with limited or no understanding of health literacy and its impact on patient engagement and care outcomes. In this session, participants will be able to brainstorm ways in which they can engage both traditional and nontraditional health literacy partners and continue to move health literacy to the forefront of our healthcare system.

11:45 am – 12:45 pm

How Unclear Communication Creates Inequities for Older Adults: A Call to Address Systemic Ageism in Healthcare | Live Session

Cliff Coleman, MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Oregon Health & Science University


  1. Describe how health literacy, clear communication practices, and age intersect to produce healthcare inequities for older adults.
  2. Provide examples of how commonly observed health communication practices contribute to systemic ageism.
  3. Discuss a variety of practical policy interventions at the individual organization or healthcare system level that can mitigate systemic ageism in health communication.


Systemic ageism occurs when a policy or practice that is the same for everyone has an unfair effect on a person because of their age. Adults 65 and older have the highest burden of chronic disease and highest utilization of health services—but lowest average health literacy skills—of any age group. This presentation highlights how the failure of the U.S. healthcare system to adopt and incentivize widescale universal precautions for clear communication disproportionately affects older adults and presents a call to action for addressing systemic ageism through improved health communication. Session participants will develop a new approach to advocating for organizational health literacy change, focusing on the ethical implications of care for older adults, a vulnerable but financially important patient constituency within healthcare systems.

**Improving Cultural Competency and Awareness for Health Professionals.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

**Community-Grounded Development of Health Literacy Materials | Live Session

**Workshop - additional fees apply to attend this session

Anna Allen, MS
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Say Ah!

Carol S. Lemus, MPH
Say Ah!


  1. Describe a community-grounded approach to materials development.
  2. Develop a materials development plan that incorporates input from key sectors of a target community.
  3. List some of the key messaging that should be included in health literacy materials.


Say Ah! is using a community-based process to develop relevant, culturally and linguistically appropriate health literacy cards and messaging to help individuals manage chronic illness, navigate the healthcare system, and ensure they receive high quality health services. This workshop will describe the successes and challenges used to develop health literacy materials that reflect the community they serve. Participants will learn the steps to identify relevant and accessible messaging that resonates with the target population. Participants will develop a series of questions to gather necessary data relevant to their specific target community.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Addressing Barriers in Health Literacy Within the Deaf Community | Live Session

Nancy M. Crider, DrPH, MS, RN
Assistant Professor Department of Graduate Studies
Cizik School Of Nursing UTHealth Houston

Colleen A. Manning, MSN, APRN, FNP-C
DNP Candidate
Cizik School Of Nursing at UTHealth Houston


  1. Identify language barriers that hinder health literacy among the Deaf.
  2. Name at least one ASL video relay interpreting service that can be used remotely to improve communication with Deaf people/patients.
  3. Identify aspects of Deaf culture that impact health literacy.


The intention of this presentation is to educate attendees on Deaf culture and its unique aspects, which are often overlooked, to help bridge the health literacy gap by improving overall communication. The presentation will include:

  • A brief overview of Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
  • Information/resources that support American Sign Language (ASL) as the primary and preferred mode of communication.
  • How using ASL video relay interpreting (VRI) services on demand allows for more effective and quick communication.
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