President's Fellows Present White Paper Project on Health Literacy
May 21, 2021
During their presentation, the fellows first provided background information on health literacy as a national issue. They explained that about 36 percent of U.S. adults have below-basic health literacy levels, which is the cause of between 7 and 17 percent of all national health expenditures. The fellows used several methods to research the most effective ways to implement change to improve health literacy including literature review, faculty interviews and questionnaires, student surveys, assessments of current practices in curricula and learning environments, and development of recommendations.
From this research the fellows had several main takeaways. Although health literacy representation could be found in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work, health literacy interventions were not common nor standardized across the professional fields.
“In many cases, we found the education in health literacy was standalone and didn't involve interaction across professions,” explained Sonia Galvan, a first-year student in the University of Maryland School of Nursing. “This is a missed opportunity for expanding health literacy education and demonstrating its place in professional collaborative relationships through interprofessional practice.”
Alice Lu, Fourth-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
Dominique Gelmann, Third-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Elisabeth Fassas, Second-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Henry Inegbenosun, Fourth-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Nursing
Jocelyn Wang, Second-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Law
Karen Jung, Second-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Dentistry
Kelsie Challenger, Student, University of Maryland, College Park
Sakiera Malone, Second-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Social Work
Sonia Galvan, First-Year Student, University of Maryland School of Nursing