Divisions and interest groups

Divisions and interest groups are independent organizational parts of IHLA on specific terms within the field of health literacy and are the best way to get involved, share your expertise, and learn from others doing similar work. Divisions and interest groups determine the vast majority of IHLA programming.

Click the buttons below to view the established interest groups.

How to join an existing or start a new interest group

To be eligible for a Division or Interest Group, you must be an IHLA member in good standing. To join an interest group, contact the chair.  To start an interest group email infor@i-hla.org

Interest groups

 

Health Literacy and Health Equity

Addressing health literacy barriers is essential to achieve health equity and reduce health disparities. The Health Literacy and Health Equity interest group will encourage discussions, networking, activities, and research to strengthen the link between health literacy and health equity while identifying best and promising health literacy practices that reduce health disparities.

Interest group chairs

Marva Schodel (marva.schodel@merck.com)

Monica Patton (MPatton01@jpshealth.org)

 

Librarians Advancing Health Literacy

Libraries and librarians have always been champions and resources for advancing research and practice in health literacy. Health sciences librarians have a long history of involvement in patient education, providing health information written for consumers or the general public, and advocating for clear health communication between providers and patients and their families. The Librarians Advancing Health Literacy interest group will encourage librarians of all types to provide information and assistance to consumers and the general public, as well as health professionals, to reduce health disparities and strengthen health literacy skills and practice.

Interest group chair

Terri Ottosen (ottosen@email.unc.edu)

 

Digital Health Literacy

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Diane Levin
(dianele@clalit.org)

 

Health Literacy and Social Costs

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Gerardine Doyle (gerardine.doyle@ucd.ie)

 

Child and Family Health Literacy

The Child and Family Health Literacy Special Interest Group (SIG) is dedicated to understanding the role of health literacy in the health and well-being of children, adolescents, and families. Members of the SIG are interested in (1) measuring health literacy in children and adolescents directly; (2) understanding the development of health literacy across the lifespan; and (3) connecting health literacy and socioecological influences to further the understanding of the health and development of children. This SIG aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children, adolescents and families by: (1) promoting the consideration of health literacy in research involving children, adolescents, and families; (2) creating networking opportunities to encourage high quality collaborative research; and, (3) advancing and disseminating knowledge to academic and non-academic stakeholders.   

Interest group chair

Sasha Fleary (Sasha.Fleary@tufts.edu)

Cancer Health Literacy

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Loh Siew Yim
(syloh@um.edu.my)

 

Teaching Health Literacy in Medical / Health Professional Schools

Description coming soon...

Interest group chairs

Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan (drshahzadhsa@gmail.com)

Kelvin Ling
(kling.cuhk@gmail.com)

 

International Health Literacy and Nursing

Health literacy is fundamental to every interaction that occurs between patients and health care professionals. Modifying the negative effects of low health literacy and ineffective communication between patient and provider is essential to ensure health equity and to reduce disparities. A nursing workforce that is proficient with health literacy best practices is impeditive to improve patient outcomes and reduce cost. The Health Literacy and Nursing interest group will promote global collaboration among nurses for advocacy, research, and community engagement initiatives to improve health literacy and patient outcomes.

Interest group chair

 

Health Literacy and Patient Safety

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

 

Environmental Health Literacy

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Paras Pokharel (paras.pokharel@bpkihs.edu)

 

Health Literacy and Sustainability

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

 

Health Literacy in Market Research

Including participants at all levels of health literacy in pharmaceutical market research may seem obvious, but in practice it is seldom done. Representation of individuals with lower health literacy remains low even when market researchers intentionally seek to recruit them. IHLA’s Health Literacy in Market Research Interest Group encourages discussion and supports advocacy efforts towards adopting health literacy as a universal best practice in healthcare/pharmaceutical market research design and recruitment.

Interest group chair

Bill Stone
(Bill@sommerconsulting.com)

 

Health Literacy and Primary Care

Description coming soon...

Interest group chairs

Henna Riemenschneider
(Henna.Riemenschneider@uniklinikum-dresden.de)

Laura Sahm
(L.Sahm@ucc.ie)

 

Mental Health Literacy

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Karo Noworyta
(Karo.noworyta@gmail.com)

 

Oral Health Literacy

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Gerhard Seeberger (seeberger.gk@gmail.com)

 

Health Literacy Research

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Tetine Sentell
(tsentell@hawaii.edu)

 

Health Literacy Policy and Advocacy

Description coming soon...

Interest group chairs

Kyskie Bolton
(kyskieb-rd@outlook.com)

Mahesh Bhatt

(mpmbhatt@gmail.com)

Linda Vanessa Ngan (18lvn@queensu.ca)

 

Health Literacy in Schools

Skill development starts early in life and therefore the school setting and the whole educational sector are core contexts to foster health literacy promotion in children, adolescents and young people. In addition, health literacy is also an important issue for educational professions who act as agents for information provision and role models, such as teachers, educational staff and school health professionals. Based on their responsibility for all school matters, school principals should also be addressed to ensure that health literacy is embedded in the organizational context (i.e. as part of a whole-school approach to health). The aim of this interest group is to collaborate about health literacy in schools and launch a global discussion on available school programs and evidence on health literacy interventions in schools, the readiness of the education sector for targeting health literacy in schools and classrooms, new strategies needed for the inclusion of health literacy into whole school approaches to health promotion (i.e. Health Promoting Schools as favoured by WHO, the Schools for Health in Europe (SHE) network and the International School Health Network), the role of technology and new learning environments and teaching methods in education associated with digital change, education policies supporting the uptake of individual and organizational health literacy by schools, and more issues that matter in context of health literacy in schools.

Interest group chairs

Orkan Okan
​(orkan.okan@uni-bielefeld.de)

Leena Paakkari (leena.paakkari@jyu.fi)

 

Health Literacy and Health Behavior

Health literacy is regarded as an important factor influencing health-relevant behavior, which is central to maintaining and promoting health and can support the therapy of various diseases. Health-relevant behavior covers lifestyle factors such as physical activity, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, but also behavior such as coping with stress, sleep patterns, media use and the use of preventive measures. The interest group aims the global exchange of research and practice on different aspects of health literacy and health behavior throughout the life course. It is not only general health literacy that is of interest, but also specific health literacy such as food literacy or physical literacy. The interest group looks at behavioral change through the promotion of health literacy on the individual level but also on the contextual level, e.g. of organizations, structures and policies.

Interest group chair

Susanne Jordan (JordanS@rki.de)

 
 

Nutrition Health Literacy

Description coming soon...

Interest group chairs

Duong Van Tuyen (duongtuyenvna@gmail.com

Teresa Wagner (teresa.wagner@unthsc.edu)

Health Literacy Explorers (new to health literacy)

The aim of the Health Literacy Explorers Interest Group is to provide a platform for young people in similar circumstances, facing similar opportunities & challenges, who would like to share their experience and knowledge on Heath Literacy (HL). Members can share what it means to be a young professional in the field of HL and what inspires them to be involved in HL research with others who can relate. Members can learn about other organizations, settings, and programs that could expand their understanding of HL and contribute to building their network. Members can learn tools and tricks to communicate with other professionals in a multidisciplinary context i.e. how to exchange with policy makers, health care workers, researchers etc. Members can share job posting and career opportunities related to the field of HL. Members can gain a broader perspective on the field and observe through others what professional work in the field of HL can lead to.

Interest group chair

 

Migrant Health Literacy

Improving Health Literacy of all people is a main public health concern worldwide and to focus on those people at risk for low HL is mandatory to reduce health disparities.

Migrants are particularly at risk for low health literacy due to differences in spoken language, in common processes in the health care systems, in preferred ways of exchanging health related information, in struggles and priorities in daily health practice This IHLA’s Interest Group on Migrants’ Health Literacy is motivated to contribute to the increasingly needed scientifical and practical knowledge on the health literacy of all migrant populations (work migrants, international students, refugees etc.) and any topics from describing the peculiarities of migrants’ health literacy, challenges they face, examples of good practice for improving migrants’ health literacy and multiple open questions. As it is not separable, we also touch on the topics of foreign/second language and different cultural preferences concerning health literacy. If you want to join in our discussion, activities and research, we are very happy to welcome you.

Interest group chair

 

Plain Language Equity

This interest group brings together people who want to explore how plain language can achieve equity through transparency and clear communication AND through translation from one language to another. This group will discuss language equity in writing and translation from a global perspective. The purpose of the group is to raise awareness and build a knowledge base by sharing lessons learned in communicating clearly within and across languages and cultures, share and learn from each other in a respectful and equitable way, and explore the application of plain language, translation, and other principles of equity in communication. Members of the IHLA Plain Language Equity Interest Group will strive to empower each other to advocate for plain language, quality translation and cultural relevance in our work, organizations, countries and regions.

Interest group chairs

Lorena Sprager
(lsprager@gorge.net)

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi (sabrina.kurtz_rossi@tuft.edu)

 

Health Literacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Cognitive Impairment

Description coming soon...

Interest group chair

Dirk Bruland
(dirk.bruland@fh-bielefeld.de)