Connection Between Literacy, Health Explored in Local Forum

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm by bryan

Health and literacy are intrinsically linked; their relationship represents a deeply-rooted issue in the medical world, one that deserves careful attention. Among elderly people, the evidence suggests that those with low health literacy have generally poorer health and die sooner, and the CDC estimates that 80% of adults have trouble understanding medical information.

On Wednesday, Read To Succeed, the Rutherford Health Department, and Primary Care & Hope Clinic will focus on these issues at a Health and Literacy Forum, open to all local medical professionals or interested community members.The forum will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 pm at the Rutherford County Health Dept located at 100 West Burton Street, with lunch provided by Newk’s. Pharmacist Kathryn Ponder, Read To Succeed Adult Literacy Coordinator Shelly Stanley, and a physician from the Health Department will lead a discussion on identifying the signs of a low-literacy-level patient, how to support that patient, and how to improve literacy in our community.


At the first three Read To Succeed Health and Literacy Forums held this past year, conversation generated by both health providers and educators showed a distinctive need for several more of these events.  

"Read To Succeed has begun offering Health and Literacy Forums to showcase the important issue of literacy as it affects not only one's education and career performance, but also how it impacts other aspects of life, including health,” Stanley says. “Many of the learners in our one-on-one Adult Tutoring program have expressed difficultly in handling forms, insurance, preventative care, and especially emergency medical issues because of their lack of reading and writing ability. RTS is striving to educate health care providers to better serve these individuals, while also equipping these individuals to better function in the health care community."

Read To Succeed plans to hold these forums throughout the year.

If you have any questions, please contact Shelly Stanley, 738-7323, 

Sections: News