Agenda-Wednesday, July 22nd

Our Virtual Conference spans over 5 days starting on Monday, July 20th, and concludes on Friday, July 24th.

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Select the day you want to attend to view a detailed agenda. Please note the schedule is listed in Eastern Time.

Wednesday, July 22

11:00 am – 12:45 pm (ET)


Plenary Host: Julie McKinney
Institute for Healthcare Advancement

Plenary: Addressing COVID-19 Inequities– Strategies To Rebuild Our Nation for an Inclusive Future


Wilma Alvarado-Little, MA, MSW
New York State Department of Health, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention 


Janet Ohene- Frempong, MS
Institute for Healthcare Advancement

Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CHWI
SaferCare Texas

Action is needed to help those most affected by COVID-19 to prepare for subsequent waves and to address the long-standing issue of inequities. What advances are needed in policy, advocacy, and education to address these issues? How do we engage and educate the community and what is their role in this process? How can communities work with the city and government for an interagency collaboration?


  • Discuss at least one strategy you can use in your own community to help those most affected by COVID-19 cast a vote in November and in subsequent elections—despite the many barriers to easily doing so.
  • Identify approaches that have effectively increased community awareness and action.
  • Describe policy changes that are necessary for increased access to voting and civic participation, both of which can lead to better health.

1:00 pm - 1:50pm (ET)

The 2/20 Rule for Writing Readable Materials

Carol Simila, M.Ed.

Oregon Health Authority

*This is an Education domain course.

Absolutely everything can be explained at the 6th-grade reading level. If you doubt that, this session is for you. The simple formula is 2 syllables and 20 words per sentence. We will show how this works, how to check your work, and how to work with the legal department!

  • Objective 1: Write at the 6th-grade reading level.
  • Objective 2: Speak so LEP members can understand you.
  • Objective 3: Correct overly-complicated texts.

2:00 pm - 2:50pm (ET)

Crafting Health Messages That Stick: From Theory, Research, and Health Literacy Best Practices

Corinne Berry, MA

Communicate Health, Inc.

Ariana Skye-Babbott

Communicate Health, Inc.

*This is a Public Health domain course.

We have much to consider when developing health messages. Not only do we want our communications to be clear, we want them to be creative, engaging, and memorable. And most importantly, we want our messages to change people’s behavior in a positive way. That’s a tall order. But don’t worry. During this interactive workshop, we’ll unpack the art and science of designing effective health messages. We’ll review relevant behavior change theories, discuss how to involve your audience in message development and testing, and explore the roles of visual and interaction design in message retention.

  • Objective 1: Apply relevant health communication theories to message development.
  • Objective 2: Identify at least three specific strategies for creating relevant, actionable health messages.
  • Objective 3: Describe the key steps of health message development, execution, and evaluation.

3:00 pm - 3:50pm (ET)

The Language of COVID-19: What’s Gone Wrong and How We Do Better

Cynthia Baur, PhD
Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, School of Public Health, University of Maryland

The coronavirus and COVID-19 disease have highlighted the central role of communication in public health emergencies and disasters. Information about the virus and disease—who's affected and why, protective behaviors, and consequences—have become so overwhelming and confusing that the World Health Organization declared an "infodemic of misinformation."

Given that the basic structure of crisis and emergency response messaging is well-known in public health, how did COVID-19 communication go so wrong? How can health literacy and health communication practitioners contribute to a healthier information environment? This presentation will review the basic principles of clear and useful risk messages, examine examples of virus and COVID-19 information, and diagram improvements.

  • Objective 1: List the core features of an effective risk communication message.
  • Objective 2: Name 3 ways COVID-19 information did not effectively convey risk. 
  • Objective 3: Describe 2 actions health literacy practitioners can take to improve COVID-19 information

3:50pm (ET)