IHA Health Literacy Conference connections

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 9th annual Institute of Health Advancement Health Literacy Conference where  I was graciously invited to do a  “social media for health literacy” session by Michael Villaire. Not only did I have a really wonderful time with my session participants but I must say that the conference as a whole was one of the most enlightening and enjoyable I have attended. It was an incredibly enriching experience to share perspectives with both researchers and practitioners: health professionals, health educators, communication specialists, health librarians and medical education faculty in their noble quest to ensure health information is made accessible to patients.

Below are some of  the delightful people I was privileged to meet.

With Helen Osborne

With Helen Osborne

  • I was thrilled to finally meet health literacy guru Helen Osborne, Health Literacy Consulting  in person. It’s exciting that Helen has just signed a contract to radically revise her phenomenal book Health Literacy A – Z. I can’t wait to see the new book! Helen is a very generous mentor and I will be tapping into her wisdom at every opportunity.

IHA staff

With Liz Collins, Tobi Aclaro, Yoly Herrera, Michael Villaire and IHA staff

  • The wonderful IHA Health Literacy Conference Team including Michael Villaire, Gloria Mayer, Mario Melia, Liz Collins, Yoly Herrera and Tobi Aclaro were all incredibly kind and helpful throughout the planning process and the conference itself. The conference was extremely well organized.

With Bonnie Graham, Knox County Health Department

Bonnie was very keen to explore social media tools for her health literacy work

  • Bonnie Graham attended my social media session and had a most interesting poster on The Occurrence of Adverse  Childhood Events and Health Literacy on Repeat Sexually Transmitted Infections
Ros, Rhodes University, South Africa

Ros Dowse, Associate Prof, Rhodes University Faculty of Pharmacy is devoted to medication literacy projects in South Africa

  • Ros Dowse, Rhodes University and Sarah Browne, University of California had a poster on Exploring health literacy in a Xhosa-speaking South African population: Is the REALM an appropriate assessment tool? What a thoughtful research question! I am very interested in e-health and health literacy projects in Africa so Sarah and Ros are excellent connections with their South African expertise. Sarah and Ros are very concerned about the lack of accessible drug information for patients and the HIFA2015 community is an excellent forum for expressing these concerns and connecting with likeminded health professionals.
  • Toyosi Adekeye, University of N. Carolina Greensboro had an interesting poster Understanding Health Literacy from the Perspective of the African Immigrant Youth and Elderly: A Photovoice Project. I will be following up with both Toyosi and Roy Sahali of Washington University on their interest in mobile health technologies in Africa.
  • Farrah Schwartz, Toronto institute of Rehabilitation kindly recommended me to Michael as a speaker. It’s very powerful that we can connect with peers virtually and then extend those relationships to real life.
  • Librarians Jean Shipman, Gail Kouame, Kelli Ham and Kathleen Amos. It was so refreshing to see the librarians’ contribution to health literacy discourse and learn about their integral initiatives in health information dissemination. Kathleen is a National Library of Medicine Fellow with the University of Utah Kathleen is a National Library of Medicine Fellow with the University of Utah and has lots of great contacts working  in Africa/global health.
  • Beth Davis of Fraser Health and Lisa of BC Children’s hospital. Is it not fascinating and ironic that it took coming to the conference in California for me to connect with these BC colleagues?

My next few posts will reflect on sessions I attended.

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