Q: Who needs to be aware of health literacy?
A: Everyone

“Aside from the fact that we’ll all be patients at some point in our lives, health literacy is everyone’s business. Individuals, organizations and society benefits when people can understand and act on health information. Working to improve equity, quality, safety, or efficiency? Address health literacy. Working to elevate patient and provider satisfaction? Address health literacy. Working to meet National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS Standards)? Health literacy is central to that effort, too.


Consider this:

  • Health literacy is a stronger predictor of health than age, income, employment status, education level and race.
  • Only 1 in 10 English-speaking adults in the United States has proficient health literacy skills Health communicators interact with a variety of audiences while advocating for health literacy. Select a group below to learn about its health literacy perspective.

  1. Report on the Council of Scientific Affairs, Ad Hoc Committee on Health Literacy for the Council on Scientific Affairs, AMA, JAMA, Feb 10, 1999.
  2. U.S. Department of Education

Take a self-guided tour of the Health Literacy Ecosystem

The Health Literacy Ecosystem offers an overview of the skills and knowledge, settings and sources, audiences, and communication formats that are foundational to our field. Navigate within and across spheres, or dive into a topic and connect to resources. We welcome your contributions.