News from the Partnership’s Professional Education Workgroup

The Professional Education Workgroup is involved with implementing cathy-irwinstrategies to meet the following goals: 1) Develop a marketing plan to guide professional education efforts, 2) Advocate for health systems change, 3) Assess awareness of health literacy and cultural competence among medical professionals, and 4) Provide health literacy education for medical professionals.

Group members are participating in a variety of activities to advocate health systems change to promote health literacy practices, including a Health Literacy Training Program for the eight UAMS Regional Family Medical Centers; state and national presentations on health literacy; and collaborating with mental health groups in Northwest Arkansas regarding the use of health literacy assessment instruments to improve the quality of care with patients. Additional strategies have been implemented by group members to assess the awareness of health literacy among medical professionals who are participating in the Health Literacy Training Program for the UAMS Regional Family Medical Centers. Process evaluation meetings have been conducted at these Family Medical Centers to assess benefits, barriers, problems, and successes with implementing tools from the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. Pretest and 6-month follow-up health literacy assessment tools were used to assess the impact of the Health Literacy Training at the UAMS Family Medical Centers on health literacy practices.

Workgroup members are involved with providing health literacy education for medical professionals, including 30 health literacy training sessions that have been completed at the eight UAMS Regional Family Medical Centers with a total of 325 attendees. Presentations on health literacy have been provided at state and national meetings for health professionals’ organizations. The Arkansas Department of Health will use the Health Literacy Training Program for the UAMS Regional Family Medical Centers as a model to develop a Health Literacy Training Program for the local health units across the state.

The Professional Education Workgroup would like to invite additional members to attend our meetings, which are conducted by interactive video. The next workgroup meeting will be on June 18, 2013 at 12:00-1:00 PM at the UAMS Center for Rural Health, 4021 W. 8th Street, in Little Rock. You can contact Cathy Irwin for additional information about this workgroup at 479-684-5189.