Florida Health Literacy Initiative- Grants Now Available

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Florida Blue and the Florida Literacy Coalition are pleased to continue the Florida Health Literacy Initiative, providing grants up to $5,000 to support health literacy in adult ESOL and family literacy programs.

Low health literacy costs between $106 to $236 billion a year in the form of longer hospital stays, emergency room visits, increased doctor visits, and increased medication, according to a recent report from the University of Connecticut.  Adults with low literacy levels often fail to engage in early detection and preventive health care.  They also have significant difficulties navigating the health care system and following their doctor’s treatment plans.

The Florida Health Literacy Initiative provides training, resources, and funding to assist Florida ESOL and family literacy programs to integrate health education into their instruction.  The objective is to help students develop basic literacy and English language skills while gaining information to make informed choices regarding their health and nutrition.

Applicants must be nonprofit or government-based organizations providing adult ESOL and/or family literacy instruction in Florida.  Services may be delivered via classes, small groups, and one-to-one tutoring.

Click here for the application and grant guidelines.  Proposals must be received by March 4, 2014 by 5:00 pm.

FLC Hosts its First Health Literacy Summit

Health Literacy Summit Opening SessionLast Friday, FLC hosted its first ever Health Literacy Summit at the University of Central Florida’s Morgridge International Reading Center. About 175 professionals from the health care and education fields joined together to discuss strategies on how not only to better educate their patients and consumers, but how to better their systems as well.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew Pleasant, drew on this point when he compared the 2-page form banks had to complete to apply for a bailout to the 10+ page form which Florida residents must complete to apply for food assistance. He alluded to lengthy health forms containing gratuitous verbiage, much of which are incomprehensible to people with literacy skills below the 10th grade level. In fact, the most recent national survey’s results showed that less than 15% of Americans are among the highest level of health literacy required to navigate the health system successfully. Clearly, the system needs to be changed.

The discussion continued throughout the day as concurrent sessions broke out, giving individuals the freedom to choose which session they’d like to attend. Presenters from rather diverse backgrounds shared their knowledge, led discussions and provided health literacy resources to participants.

After lunch, attendees filed into the auditorium to join in the discussion with a panel before breaking out into one final round of concurrent sessions. Finally, Executive Director Greg Smith gave some last remarks and attendees were able to hear a an adult learner, Fatima Freire of GROWS Literacy in Apopka, share her story and experience with the Staying Healthy curriculum. Her words were inspiring and reminded everyone how important it is to address the issue of health literacy.

A special thanks to our presenters, keynote speaker Dr. Andrew Pleasant, attendees, our partner organizations, and of course our sponsors: Winter Park Health Foundation and Allegany Franciscan Ministries.

The Florida Health Literacy Initiative is accepting applications for the 2013 Health Literacy Grants

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Florida Blue and the Florida Literacy Coalition are pleased to continue the Florida Health Literacy Initiative, providing grants up to $5,000 to support health literacy in adult ESOL and family literacy programs.

Low health literacy costs between $106 to $236 billion a year in the form of longer hospital stays, emergency room visits, increased doctor visits, and increased medication, according to a recent report from the University of Connecticut.  Adults with low literacy levels often fail to engage in early detection and preventive health care.  They also have significant difficulties navigating the health care system and following their doctor’s treatment plans.

The Florida Health Literacy Initiative provides training, resources, and funding to assist Florida ESOL and family literacy programs to integrate health education into their instruction.  The objective is to help students develop basic literacy and English language skills while gaining information to make informed choices regarding their health and nutrition.

Applicants must be nonprofit or government-based organizations providing adult ESOL and/or family literacy instruction in Florida.  Services may be delivered via classes, small groups, and one-to-one tutoring.

Click here for the application and grant guidelines.  Proposals must be received by March 19, 2013 by 5:00 pm.

A conference call will be conducted for prospective applicants on February 13, 2013 from 10 am to 11 am to provide an overview of the grant application and to answer questions.  Participation is optional.

Dial-in Number1-800-930-8721
Access Code6577983

If you have any questions, please contact Maribeth Buie at 407-246-7110 ext. 209 or via email at buiem@floridaliteracy.org.

Florida Health Literacy Initiative

2012-13 Florida Health Literacy Initiative Recipients

Florida Literacy Coalition is proud to partner with Florida Blue to make available targeted grants to promote health literacy. The goal is to provide health-education resources for local adult English for Speakers of Other Languages and family literacy programs so that students in these programs can make informed choices about their health and nutrition.

FLC is very proud of the projects that 2009, 2010 and 2011 grant programs have completed. Project-based learning is a power activity that engages and empowers students to utilize the information they learned in the classroom and apply it in a larger context.

During the 2011-2012 grant year:

New Beginnings (Flagler County Schools)
 coordinated with a local elementary school to plant, maintain, and harvest a vegetable garden. They used the fresh produce in healthy recipes and developed their own cookbook.

Students from Motivational Edge created and produced a rap regarding health knowledge and nutrition.

S.B. Idea developed a reference book about the health knowledge they learned and provided sample dialogues between providers and their patients.

Students from Florida State College at Jacksonville took favorite recipes, made healthy substitutions, and gathered to share them.

East and West Area Schools (Polk County Educational Foundation) created meal plans in small groups and included new healthy recipe options.

Here are some ideas you can do for a health literacy project at your organization!

  • Host a health fair, block party, or community bazaar partnering with community organizations to provide Body Mass Index education, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol checks, diabetes information, nutrition guidelines, etc.
  • Partner with an elementary school to grow a vegetable garden.
  • Have students make favorite family recipes using healthy ingredients, and develop a recipe book. Host a food tasting; get students to develop daily/weekly healthy menus to post on YouTube.
  • Invite the medical/safety community to present to the class: a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a WIC representative, a diabetes specialist, a massage therapist, CPR affiliate, fire department, hospital.
  • Partner with a local gym to offer free short-term memberships to students with the possibility of scholarship assistance later on; invite a Zumba/aerobics instructor to create a fun video to distribute.

 

FLC’s New Women’s Health Curriculum Wins National Award

Women's Health

The Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) is proud to announce that its health literacy curriculum, Women’s Health: A Special Addition to Staying Healthy, received the 1st place award for Reads-Easy™ in the National Health Literacy Innovators contest.

The Health Literacy Innovators Awards, a national contest to reward organizations and individuals for their commitment to excellence in plain language and health literacy principles, is sponsored by Health Literacy Innovations, creator of health literacy resources and the Health Literacy Advisor, the nation’s first interactive health literacy software tool.

Women’s Health won the ReadsEasy™ Publication award, which emphasizes the use of plain English, proper graphics and a proven reading level of 6th grade or lower determined by industry assessments.

The Women’s Health curriculum covers topics including menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, breast and reproductive cancers, sexually transmitted infections and domestic abuse. The student guide is loaded with photographs, illustrations and easy-to-read charts; the teacher guide includes practice dialogs and enriching class activities.

FLC is truly honored by this award and shares it with the great team of people who developed the curriculum.  FLC hopes this award will help raise awareness about women’s health and the availability of this free resource.

That’s right – FREE!!  Women’s Health, and its sister publication, Coping With Stress, are special additions toStaying Healthy: An Enlish Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living. Staying Healthy is the core health literacy curriculum FLC developed in 2008 with support from the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education.

As some of you may know, Staying Healthy is the central component of FLC’s health literacy initiative which, through the support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, provides health-education resources for local adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and family literacy programs.

Florida adult ESOL programs can order FREE copies of Staying Healthy, the award-winning Women’s Health and Coping with Stress curricula from FLC by clicking here.  Each of these publications is also available as a PDF here.