Agenda–Monday July 20th

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

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**Please note the schedule is listed in Eastern Time (ET)**

Monday, July 20

11:00 am – 12:45 pm (ET)

Welcome/Conference Overview

Michael Villaire, MSLM
Institute for Healthcare Advancement

Plenary: Coronavirus and Health Literacy/Health Equity: How Are We Responding?

Viki Lorraine, MS
Michigan Department of Education

The COVID-19 pandemic is upon us. How has the health literacy community responded? Have we taken a leadership role? Have we used our knowledge and skills to ensure clear, effective communication? Have we worked to reduce health disparities and advance health equity? When this pandemic is behind us—if it ever is—what will be our legacy?

In this session, we hear about action in four key domains:

  • Research
  • Practice
  • Policy
  • Advocacy

We’ll also discuss ways the health literacy community has contributed solutions to pandemic challenges.


  • Identify at least one way to take a leadership role during the pandemic.
  • Discuss at least one strategy to create partnerships to address pandemic issues.
  • Examine ways to advance health literacy and health equity and/or reduce health disparities.

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm (ET)

Health + Literacy + English: Building Partnerships to Increase Health Literacy in
Adult Learners

Doris Ravotas, PhD

Western Michigan University

*This is a Community Engagement domain course.

This workshop will expose attendees to a unique partnership to incorporate health into adult basic education and English language learner programs. It will illustrate how recent health literacy summer programs for refugees arose out of earlier partnerships.

Lessons learned about barriers and facilitators to partnerships and programming will be examined.  Participants will have the opportunity to identify partnerships they might build in their local areas, specific to student needs.  Participants will leave the workshop with tools for building partnerships and meeting adult learner needs, including removing barriers and leveraging funding.

  • Objective 1: Explain the process of building partnerships to teach health literacy to adult-literacy and English-language learners.
  • Objective 2: Identify possible partners for your own adult-learners programs.
  • Objective 3: Identify the health literacy needs of adult learners and programming as well as the possible approaches to meeting these needs.

2:00 pm – 2:50 pm (ET)

Enabling Effective Interprofessional Communication With Patients and Families for Safe, Quality Care

Farrah Schwartz, MA

University Health Network

Tracy Paulenko, BScPT, MSc

University Health Network

*This is a Communication domain course.

In health care, patients often work with multiple healthcare professions and providers. Patients are often expected to communicate between healthcare providers, the couriers of healthcare information, or make sense of information given by multiple providers. Interprofessional collaboration can better enable good engagement and health literacy by facilitating unified, consistent information that focuses on the patients’ needs and knowledge.  This workshop will look at health literacy and interprofessional collaboration together, providing an opportunity for participants to learn skills to foster collaboration across professionals, sectors and health specialties.

  • Objective 1: Describe interprofessional collaboration and the ways that health literacy strategies can be applied differently when working with interprofessional teams
  • Objective 2: Apply interprofessional health literacy strategies using case scenarios and by sharing their own interprofessional health literacy experiences
  • Objective 3: Plan next steps on how to apply knowledge in their current roles

3:00 pm – 3:50 pm (ET)

Science Activation: Moving Beyond Science Communication To Getting the Science Used

Lucy Jones, PhD
Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society

Like past catastrophic natural disasters, the pandemic is damaging society where it was already weak. Scientific information is critical for society to use to make better decisions for our safety and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it is often ignored because decision makers sometimes do not understand the information and more importantly do not feel empowered to use it. We need science activation, a process of not just communicating the information, but also ongoing collaboration with policy-makers.  Through this collaboration, solutions to complex problems that encompass societal objectives and physical requirements can be created. This talk explores insights from previous disasters and Dr. Jones’s work in earthquake science and seismic safety policy about the challenges to effective activation of scientific knowledge and approaches scientists and decision makers can take to work together more effectively.


After this talk, attendees will understand:

  • How the demands of peer review influence communication within the science research culture.
  • How evolutionary pressures have shaped human response to crisis information.
  • How the human ability to recognize and manipulate patterns controls the emotional response to randomness.

3:50 pm (ET)