Sparking Curiosity About Health Literacy to Improve Patient Outcomes

Course Number
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 Leigh Ann Porter, MA, CCC-SLP & Megan Berg, MA, CCC-SLP
What is health literacy? How does health literacy improve outcomes? How do we incorporate health literacy into our everyday practice? We discuss how the therapeutic interaction is one of providing information and empowering a medical culture of respecting and valuing individual choices based both on a growing and evolving evidence base as well as personal values and priorities. We discuss the continuum of health literacy from functional (e.g., “Here is a handout on your condition.”) to interactive (e.g., “Here is the time and address to a support group in your area.”) to critical (e.g., “There is a clinical study gathering data about people who are experiencing your diagnosis. Would you like to participate?”). We also discuss how increasing diversity fosters a culture of innovation, collaboration, and a broader lens through which to view solutions to problems. To sum up, the future of rehabilitation therapy lies in building interdisciplinary connections from diverse communities that create critical health literacy opportunities (such as the Learning Health System) that allow us to bridge the gap between clinical research and clinical practice. 

By the conclusion of this Podcourse, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the difference between functional, interactive, and critical health literacy.
  2. Define the purpose of a Learning Health System. 
About Leigh Ann: Leigh Ann earned her master’s in Communication Sciences from the University of Central Florida in 2013, and has enjoyed being an SLP ever since. While at UCF, Leigh Ann was part of a grant to prepare SLPs to work with English Language Learners, earning a graduate certificate of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Leigh Ann now resides in Kansas City where she divides her time working across outpatient, acute, and inpatient rehab settings. She has presented for ASHA CEUs to regional SLPs on topics such as how the respiratory system and cough influence dysphagia, a review of the literature on dysphagia exercises, and generating measurable dysphagia goals. For multidisciplinary continuing education with PTs and OTs, Leigh Ann has presented on topics such as Cognitive Retraining with an emphasis on memory strategies, and the SLP’s scope of practice & making appropriate patient referrals to the SLP. 

About Megan: 
Megan spent 8 years as a science communicator before returning to grad school to pursue a career in speech-language pathology. Working and living with scientists from Antarctica to New Zealand to Tanzania built her skills in visually distilling complex information for diverse audiences. In order to capture the science story, she's gone 5 weeks without a shower, survived 40 below temperatures camping on an ice sheet, and driven 8 hours in first gear of a busted Land Cruiser in the middle of the night across the east African rift. 

Megan received her undergraduate degree from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and graduated with a masters in speech-language pathology from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She interned for the Oglala Lakota County School District in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and on the stroke and traumatic brain injury units at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. She completed her clinical fellowship at the Weld RE-4 school district in Windsor, Colorado and is currently with Infinity Rehab in Missoula, Montana. She owns Therapy Insights, a company that provides handouts, interventions, and resources to SLPs, OTs, and PTs via Therapy Fix, a monthly subscription box. 

Megan brings her broad range of experience as a science communicator to the field of clinical rehabilitation by creating visually engaging, inspirational therapy materials that are balanced with both evidence-based practice and the art of human connection.

Additional Information

This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level, Related Area)

Time-Ordered Agenda:
1-13: Welcome and background of Megan Berg and Therapy Insights 
13-24: The 3 areas of health literacy: functional, interactive, and critical. 
24-35: Learning Health Systems: the potential to capture data in real time to expand research’s reach. 
35-44: SLP Diversity Corp: ideas need diversity to bloom 
44-48: Next steps for our field: we need problem solvers, solution generators, and take-action leaders to foster a community that will enact needed changes.
48-60: Question and Answer


Disclosure Statement for Megan Berg:

Financial: Megan Berg is a presenter for and receives royalties. 

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Disclosure Statement for Leigh Ann Porter:

Financial: Leigh Ann Porter is a presenter for and receives royalties. 

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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