Health Literacy Beyond UNC

On this page you will find information on health literacy happenings beyond the UNC, Chapel Hill campus.

Health Literacy for Health Professionals

2021 (CDC)

The purpose of this public health literacy web-based training program is to educate public health professionals about public health literacy and their role in providing health information and services and promoting public health literacy. This web-based course uses a 508-compliant template, knowledge checks, evaluation, CE and other credits, include glossary and resources tabs, scenario-based interactions and video clips.

Access Health Literacy for Health Professionals

How to Create Actionable and Engaging Patient Education

July 7, 2021 (Lifeology)

This course will help you learn to create patient education that engaging, helps people make sense of health information, and it’s easy to understand and act on. The course consists of 37 cards.

Access How to Create Actionable and Engaging Patient Education

How Do Vaccines Work? A Lifeology “flashcard” Illustrated Primer


A new collaboration between virology and public health experts Shauna Bennett and Jessica Malaty Rivera (The COVID Tracking Project), and UK artist Matthew Griffiths has resulted in a Lifeology “flashcard” illustrated primer on How Vaccines Work. The primer course is open access (CC-BY-SA) and available in both English and Spanish.



Feel free to use and share. There are other COVID-related illustrated “flashcard” courses available in English and Spanish here:

Easy-to-understand research communications for the real world

(Kaiser Permanente)

The Program for Readability In Science & Medicine (PRISM) was inspired by health literacy concerns in health care and health research. PRISM’s goal is to bring readability awareness and plain language training and tools to researchers nationwide. Using plain language is a proven way to help make scientific and medical information easier for study participants, patients, and the public to understand.

Access Easy-to-understand research communications for the real world

Misinformation Challenge

(Penn State)

This 4-Week Challenge includes tasks designed to test your knowledge of the novel coronavirus, while having fun and learning something new. You’ll spend time evaluating memes, news headlines, potential treatments, and some of the science behind the virus.

Access Misinformation Challenge

Use simple words and phrases


When you’re making word choices, pick the familiar or commonly used word over the unusual or obscure. There are many lists of complex words and suggested substitutes, like the one listed in the following resource.

Access Use simple words and phrases.

COVID-19 Health Resources

(Wisconsin Literacy)

“In this challenging time, staff, tutors, and learners must have accurate health information.” Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. is a non-profit coalition of over 70 community-based literacy programs located throughout the state.

Access COVID-19 Health Resources.

Health Literacy Online: A Guide for Simplifying the User Experience

(Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion)

This research-based guide will help you develop intuitive health websites and digital tools that can be easily accessed and understood by all users — including the millions of Americans who struggle to find, process, and use online health information.

Read the complete publication Health Literacy Online: A Guide for Simplifying the User Experience.

Integrating Oral and General Health Through Health Literacy Practices: Proceedings of a Workshop

July 31, 2019 (National Academy of Sciences)

Oral health care and medical health care both seek to maintain and enhance human health and well-being. Yet, oral care and primary care in the United States are largely separated and isolated from each other. On December 6, 2018, in Washington, DC, the Roundtable on Health Literacy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop that featured invited presentations and discussion on the ways in which health literacy principles and practices can facilitate the integration of oral and general health. The workshop also provided an opportunity to build on the commissioned paper and on the roundtable’s previous efforts related to oral health.

To read more Integrating Oral and General Health Through Health Literacy Practices: Proceedings of a Workshop.

Understandability and Actionability: Using the PEMAT to Benefit Health Literacy

May/June 2019 (Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.)

Nurses recognize the complex challenges of patient education, particularly given the English literacy deficiencies of adults revealed by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy in 2003.1 Nurses and other providers are interested in incorporating written and audiovisual (A/V) teaching tools into patient/consumer education to address health literacy needs from a holistic vantage point. To ensure that tools are appropriately understandable for the intended audience, nurses often rely on commonly used readability tools, including SMOG (simple measure of gobbledygook) index, Gunning-Fog index, and the Flesch Reading Ease score. Nurses recognize, for example, that a postdischarge instruction sheet addressing the importance of daily weight tracking for the patient living with congestive heart failure will be more readily understood if it is written at the eighth-grade level rather than the twelfth-grade level. The generally accepted idea is that lower-grade readability scores will meet the needs of a broader audience.

To read more Understandability and Actionability: Using the PEMAT to Benefit Health Literacy.


Last modified: 07/30/21