Health literacy is not simply the ability to read!

Health Literacy is defined in the Institute of Medicine report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, 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."

Health literacy is not simply the ability to read. It requires a complex group of reading, listening, analytical, and decision-making skills, and the ability to apply these skills to health situations. In this report from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, you can learn more about health literacy and cultural context, older adults, immigrant populations, minority populations, economics, initiatives to improve communication and more.  Read more here.

Health Literacy Fact Sheets

The Center for Health Care Strategies reports that nearly 36 percent of adults in the U.S. have low health literacy, with disproportionate rates found among lower-income Americans eligible for Medicaid.1 Individuals with low health literacy experience greater health care use and costs compared to those with proficient health literacy. Through all its impacts — medical errors, increased illness and disability, loss of wages, and compromised public health — low health literacy is estimated to cost the U.S. economy up to $236 billion every year.2

This series of fact sheets was created to help clinicians, patient advocates, and other stakeholders improve care for individuals with low health literacy. The fact sheets define health literacy; describe ways to identify low health literacy; provide strategies to improve print and oral communication for low-literate consumers; provide information about the intersection of health literacy and culture; and highlight key policies relating to health literacy.  Access more facts and fact sheets available for download here.

Video—Staying Active and Healthy with Blood Thinners

Video—Staying Active and Healthy with Blood Thinners

People often worry about how routine medicines like blood thinner pills will affect their lifestyles. With a few simple steps, taking a blood thinner can be safe and easy. In fact, more than 2 million people take blood thinners every day to keep them from developing dangerous blood clots. Staying Active and Healthy with Blood Thinners is a 10-minute video that shows how small changes in daily routines can help people take blood thinners safely.

What is a blood thinner? What does it do? Why it is helpful? These questions are answered in this video, which features easy-to-understand explanations of how blood thinners work and why it's important to take them correctly. It also introduces BEST, an easy way to remember how to fit blood thinner medication into daily life.

Be Careful
Eat Right
Stick to a Routine
Test Regularly

English Version: 10 minutes, 26 seconds: 17.6 MB [Transcript].

Spanish Version: 11 minutes, 34 seconds: 20.6 MB [Transcript].

5 Things to Do to Prevent High Blood Pressure

What can you do to prevent or
control high blood pressure?
1. Quit smoking and/or
chewing tobacco.

Ask your provider for help
with quitting.

2. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
If you are overweight, ask your provider
for help with a plan to lose weight.

3. Be physically active.

  • "Physical activity” includes any activity

that raises your heart rate, such as brisk
walking, working in the house or yard,
or playing sports.

  • Do activity for 10 minutes or more at

a time. Aim for at least 2 hours and
30 minutes of activity each week.

4. Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet.

  • Read food labels. Choose and prepare

foods that are low in sodium or are

  • Ask to see a registered dietitian if you

need help with a plan.

5. Limit alcohol.

  • Men should have no more than

2 drinks per day.

  • Women should have no more than

1 drink per day.

Learn more information and useful tips here.


Peripheral Arterial Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, peripheral artery disease (also called peripheral arterial disease) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs.

When you develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), your extremities — usually your legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication). Read

You can also find association resources here

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

What is CHIP?

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage for more than 7 million children up to age 19.  CHIP covers U.S. citizens and eligible immigrants.

CHIP Is Available in Every State

In general, children in families with incomes up to $47,100/year (for a family of four) are likely to be eligible for coverage.  In many states, families can have higher incomes and their children can still qualify.

What does CHIP pay for?

Each state designs its own CHIP program, including eligibility, benefits, premiums and cost-sharing, and application and renewal procedures. States can decide on the benefits provided under CHIP, but all states cover regular check-ups, immunizations, hospital care, dental care, and lab and x-ray services.  Children get free preventive care, but low premiums and other cost-sharing may be required for other services. 

Learn more about State Children Health Insurance Program,

Learn more about CHIP programs in your state.

Centers for Disease Control: 2008 Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Resources:

If you are under a hurricane watch or warning, please invest time in understand preparation and recovery resources ahead of time. These areas are important: