Publication Date

Spring 5-5-2019



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BACKGROUND: A multidisciplinary group at Children's Mercy Kansas City applied for and received the NNLM MCR's Immersive Workshop Grant in December, 2017, and used the funding to organize and host a two-day immersive, interprofessional workshop in April, 2018, that 1) brought together health literacy-invested groups and individuals within the Kansas City community to learn about health literacy including cultural, language, numeracy and digital inclusion factors; and 2) provided specialized training to targeted CM participants to improve the provision of bedside health information to patients and caregivers. Objectives included: increasing community-wide collaboration, sharing resources, encouraging participants to become change agents, and strategizing organizational initiatives. DESCRIPTION: The project team consisted of 2 librarians, a practicing physician, a child life specialist, and a nurse educator specializing in equity and diversity; all were past or present members of the institution's Health Literacy Committee. Day One, at the Public Library, was open to the community. Over 25 organizations involved with health literacy and health equity were invited to contribute speakers and participants. Dr. Ruth Parker of Emory University delivered two 'keynote' lectures. Other speakers represented an adult literacy volunteer agency, the Public Library, and an immigration support organization. Day Two was held internally, focusing on hospital employees professionally invested in promoting health literacy practices in patient care. Additional training on institution-specific resources was supplemented by interactive, hands-on practice sessions and brainstorming exercises intended to develop internal health literacy pilot projects, with encouragement to reconnect with the community organizations. CONCLUSIONS: Day One had 73 attendees (28% from the community). Day Two had 60 attendees. All participants were fully engaged throughout, including interactive brainstorming activities. All informal comments to organizers were positive and the planning team has received requests to repeat the workshop in the future. A survey was sent to all attendees (67-69% response rates). On a Likert scale from 1-5, the means on questions regarding health literacy awareness, motivation to take action, and increased knowledge of resources and collaboration opportunities ranged from 4.88-4.95 for both days. Internal projects are being developed and communication with external groups has steadily increased.

MeSH Keywords

Health Literacy; Health Communication; Literacy; Education


health literacy; patient education; cultural factors; numeracy, digital divide, diversity; interprofessional education; collaboration; outreach


Civic and Community Engagement | Community Health | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Health and Physical Education | Health Communication | Health Sciences and Medical Librarianship | Interprofessional Education | Language and Literacy Education | Medicine and Health | Public Health


Library Services

Health Literacy Challenges and Opportunities: Bringing Children’s Mercy and Kansas City Together



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