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Conference links health and literacy

June 29, 2006

KALAMAZOO--The connection between medical literacy and good health will be the focus of a conference Thursday and Friday, July 13-14, in the Fetzer Center on Western Michigan University's main campus in Kalamazoo.

The event responds to research that shows 48 percent of the U.S. population is at risk for low health literacy, despite a high level of literacy being essential for patients to understand instructions well enough to safely follow prescribed regimens and, ultimately, improve their health.

The conference, "Linking Literacy and Health: A Formula for Quality Care and Patient Safety," will provide an easy and cost-effective way to learn more about health literacy, successful strategies to use with patients, and activities taking place at the local, state and national levels.

Training sessions throughout the event will address getting started in clinical settings as well as within health education programs, and will teach participants how to write materials at appropriate literacy levels. These sessions make "Linking Literacy and Health" an important conference to attend for anyone involved in health care and health care education.

The conference is being presented by the Western Michigan Area Health Education Center and being organized by WMU's Office of Lifelong Learning and Education. Several Michigan health organizations and universities, including WMU, are sponsoring the event.

The regional AHEC, one of several AHEC branches in the nation, enhances access to quality health care in underserved areas of the state by partnering with hospitals, educational institutions, and community health centers to improve the supply and distribution of health professionals.

"Linking Literacy and Health" will run from noon to 5:45 p.m. July 13 and from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 14. The full conference costs $100. The deadline to register is July 7. For more information or to register, visit www.wmich-ahec.org or contact Cheri Lay at cheri.lay@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4174.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400