HLiA Agenda – Friday, October 14, 2022

10:45 am – 11:45 am (ET)

The Health Literacy Divide: Healthcare Digitization Opportunities and Challenges

Monifa Vaughn-Cooke, PhD

MedStar Health National Center

Advancements in computing and digital health infrastructure have paved the way for revolutionary advances in the delivery of healthcare. However, patient barriers (health literacy, technological competence, healthcare access) may limit the ability to fully take advantage of these new technologies, further exacerbating gaps in health equity. This session will explore considerations for the design of a patient-centered digital health infrastructure, and strategies to support effective patient-facing technology implementation among healthcare providers.

  • Explore the breadth of current health information and digital health technologies to facilitate and enhance patient care.
  • Understand the heterogeneous characteristics of the patient population that directly impacts technology interaction.
  • Provide practical solutions for digital tool customization and evaluation of effective technological interventions.
  • Discuss future directions in digital health infrastructure innovation and its impact on the patient and provider populations.

11:45 am – 12:00 pm (ET)


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (ET)

See You on Social: Audience-Tailored Social Media Strategy

Emily Jennings, MPH

Communicate Health

Ashley Ring, MPH

Communicate Health

Sharing information via social media is a popular health communication outreach tactic. After all, it's easy to use, it’s inexpensive, and it can reach a massive number of people in a short amount of time — what’s not to love? And with some simple strategic practices, you can take your social media outreach to the next level.

In this session, we'll take a deep dive into some of the most popular social media platforms and how best to leverage them. We'll discuss the importance of considering your audience when choosing platforms and tactics by sharing real examples from national health communication campaigns. Finally, we'll explore ways to evaluate social performance and measure success.

  • Explain the differences between popular social media platforms and how best to use them
  • Select social media platforms and tactics based on your priority audience
  • Identify different ways to measure social media performance and success

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (ET)

A Health Literacy Approach to Involve Family and Friends in Diabetes Prevention

Rebecca Ledsky

Family Health International 360

Lisa Tensuan

Family Health International 360

Danielle Stahl

Washington County Health Department

Angela Deal, CHES

Charles County Department of Health

Judy Schroeder

Program Participant

Mike Schroeder

Program Participant

Many diabetes prevention programs focus on individual behavior changes in diet and physical activity. However, shopping for and preparing food, eating and physical activity are often social activities we do with family and friends who influence our thoughts, information and decisions that can affect our diabetes risk. FHI360, a non-profit human development organization, and the UMD Center for Health Literacy, teamed up to apply a health literacy lens and create a "family and friends" approach to the standard National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Change Program. This panel includes project staff, a lifestyle change coach, and a program participant to discuss their experiences and how a family-friend approach can make lifestyle change programs more accessible to more people at risk for diabetes.

  • Name the health literacy issues in a standard Lifestyle Change program. 
  • Describe at least 2 ways to bring health literacy insights to Lifestyle Change programs
  • Assess how a family-friend approach can be applied to chronic disease prevention programs

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm (ET)


1:45 pm – 2:45 pm (ET)

Communicating Across Diverse Perspectives: Connecting for a Common Goal

Janet Ohene-Frempong

Institute for Healthcare Advancement

Our closing keynote speaker will address the challenges of moving from “clear” health-related communication to “effective” health-related communication, especially when communicating across diverse populations of people, in rapidly changing times. We have guidelines for communicating clearly. We can make information easy to read, hear, and even understand. But can we also communicate effectively? In other words, can we do so without boring, alienating, and even offending people? Hopefully, we try. But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that it is sometimes easier to hope for than to actually achieve. Perceived microaggressions, along with rapidly shifting norms for what is acceptable terminology, can make “walking the talk” of promoting social justice and health equity feel like walking on eggshells.

Explore the steps we can take to minimize unintended biases and perceived microaggressions that undermine our communications about health and wellbeing. Explore, as well, the strategic value of uniting against a common foe – the intentional macro-aggressions that undermine efforts to support health equity, honor diversity, and work for the social inclusion.  By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between communicating clearly and communicating effectively.
  • Identify 3 steps we can take to address and minimize unintended biases and perceived microaggressions in our health communications
  • Identify one step we can take to unite against the violent macro-aggressions that threaten our health, our safety, and our very lives.

2:45 pm – 3:00 pm (ET)


Cynthia Baur, PhD

Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, University of Maryland

Michael Villaire, MSLM

Institute for Healthcare Advancement