Creating a Health Literacy Program/ Resource inside an Adult Literacy Center
Submitted by McComasG09 on May 31, 2013 - 12:00pm
- 7724 Views
- 0 Likes
- 14 Comments
My name is Glenn McComas, and I am a recent graduate of East Carolina University with a B.S Degree in Public Health Studies and a concentration in Health Education and Promotion. I am currently a Health Literacy intern with the Literacy Volunteers of Pitt County and I have the intentions of creating and implementing a Health Literacy program/ resource here at LV-PC. Here at LV-PC they mainly focus on adult basic education. (reading, writing, and math)
Anyway, I am starting from the ground up with this program as nothing has been done like this in this area before. We currently intake students, give them a baseline assessment (CASAS), and based off of their results pair them with a tutor that possess skills they lack but only for math and english. Obviously the paring process is a little more complex than that, but that is the simplified explanation. Students also have a checklist with goals on it, and if they check health literacy related goals such as reaidng a medicine bottle or nutrition lable, then that is breifly touched on with a normal education tutor. Most of these education tutors do not have any health backround.
We currently use the CASAS assessment when evaluating new students and it has minimal health literacy questions on it (max of 3 per test), we are thinking about adding the Wonderlic GAIN assessments to our tool kit but I know that assessment doesn't have any health literacy questions on it either
The only comlete Health Literacy Assessment I found was the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA) and I am afraid it might be too complex for some of our students here. Are you familiar with the TOFHLA? I know there is an S-TOFHLA (short) but I'm also not sure this test would be applicable for our population. Do you use an assessment or what does your intake process look like?
Pitt County is a mostly rural area with one major city in the middle of it, Greenville, NC. Greenville is the home of East Carolina University which offers many great medical programs such a physical therapy school, occupational therapy school, dental school, a top ranked nursing school, and of course Brody School of Medicine. There are medical facilities and resources everywhere you turn in this city, but yet there is no health literacy resource for the population that uses them the most. Rural Pitt county not including the college community has some of the worst literacy statistics in the country (1 in 4 cannot read a sign) and we know this directly correlates to their health literacy as well. I would like to be the first to provide a resource for that population that is aching for one. We already received a small grant to start the program but I'm looking for as much input as I can before I begin spending the budget. I'm in the process of writing a case statement and another grant to hopefully receive more funding but at this point I'm not even sure how to spend it.
So some basic question I have for you:
Do you believe it is a good idea to model the health literacy model after the ABE model, where we do a student intake and offer them the TOFHLA or something of the like, and then stratify their health literacy level. Then pair them with a tutor to educate them from there in a one-on-one format, or would you recommend a workshop format? What does your program look like? Do you mainly focus on workshops and seminars for specific topics i.e diabetes, PA, nutrition
Do you know of any other health literacy assessments that would be applicable for my population, and do you even utilize an assessment in your programs? Also we have a decent amount of ESL students, do you have health literacy tutors that teach in other languages? Or how do you serve that population?
What materials would be best to use? Such as books for the tutors to use to teach with and build the curriculum with? Any material suggestions would be extremely helpful at this point.
Where do most programs get their referrals from? Where do they get there students? Would you recommend I spend a small portion of the budget on printing materials and create brochures or bookmarks to leave in local medical offices? Where do you get your students from?
My vision for the program right now would be to of course help the current students who are here mainly for math and reading, who identify that they have health literacy goals, but to also find a referral process to get more students here just for health literacy. My plan is to work with the internship coordinator at the local university to get a steady flow of two 100 hour per semester interns in here to use as our health literacy tutors each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer). Once I know I will have tutors here then I plan to work on finding the students who just want to be tutored on health literacy or their goals on a certain disease they or a family member may possess. I plan to do this by advertising our health literacy resource at local medical offices with brochures, pamphlets, and book marks. I am undecided if students should take an an intake assessment and which one so I can evaluate their progress. I am also undecided on what materials to use. Like I previously stated we already have a small grant restricted to heath literacy and we are expecting another one to come in soon, so I am planning this program as if money was not a problem.
I may have missed a question or two but I would greatly appreciate any advice or information anyone is willing to share. Thank you so much in advance and I look forward to hearing from you all.