Health Literacy Month

October is Health Literacy Month, a month dedicated to promoting the importance of understandable health information. The month was first honored as an annual worldwide event in 1999 and continues to be an important initiative in addressing inequities in health literacy.

Healthy People 2020 defines health literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “low literacy has been linked to poor health outcomes such as higher rates of hospitalization and less frequent use of preventive services.”

The year’s theme for Health Literacy Month is “Be a Health Literacy Hero.” This encourages taking action to improve health communication between patients and providers and raising awareness about health literacy to address health disparities. Anyone can be a health literacy hero – an individual, a group of people, or an organization. Learn how to be a health literacy hero by exploring the links and resources below and be sure to check out some of the events Reaching HEALthy and the Central Parkway Library are hosting for this month.

Health & Fitness Health Literacy Month Health Health


  • CDC on Health Literacy
    Information and tools to improve health literacy and public health. Find health literacy activities by state, develop materials, learn about health literacy.
  • Fact Sheet: Health Literacy and Health Outcomes
    This fact sheet summarizes key research findings on the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes.
  • Health and Wellness Resource Center
    The Free Library's database where you can explore different health topics
  • Health Finder
    Use this federally sponsored website tool to learn what you or a loved one can do to stay healthy.
  • Health Literacy Basics
    Definitions and answers to basic questions about health literacy provided by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Health Literacy Month's Website
    This website will provide more information on how you can help support Health Literacy Month's efforts
    Official guide to the health care, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act
  • Local Health Literacy Events
    A list of local health literacy events across Pennsylvania that you can attend
  • Medline Plus
    A web resource that contains reliable health information from the National Library of Medicine to help answer health questions
  • PA Forward: Healthy Literacy
    See what efforts the Pennsylvania Library Association is putting forth to promote health literacy.
  • PubMed Health
    A service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) that provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions
  • Regional Health Literacy Coalition
    A website created by Pennsylvania's Health Literacy Coalition to improve understanding between providers and consumers of health care
    An initiative by the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals (TJUH) to address health literacy in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Electronic Health Literacy Resources by Health

Check out these electronic sources to learn more about health literacy and how it can affect you!

View the full list

Health Literacy 2016 by Health

Check out these resources to learn more about health literacy and how to best communicate health information!

View the full list

Electronic Resources

Upcoming Events

Blog Posts

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October is Health Literacy Month!

October is Health Literacy Month , a month dedicated to promoting the importance of understandable health information. The month was first honored as an annual worldwide event in 1999 and continues to be an important initiative in…

Health Care Health