Healthy literacy influences health behaviors and health outcomes. It is estimated that close to half of the adult U.S. population is functionally illiterate when it comes to health. Adults with low literacy levels are disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities. Let’s Talk was a pilot-project to test the feasibility and sustainability of a community-based health literacy curriculum aimed at improving knowledge and healthy behaviors on topics identified by the community.
The project consisted of a series of information sessions where students of Winona State University Graduate Programs in Nursing, who are registered nurses, discuss health-care system navigation, health prevention, health promotion, and chronic disease management with members of African American, Cambodian, Hispanic, Somali and Sudanese communities who participated in the program. Nurses worked closely with community leaders or liaisons on refining the program to meet community needs. These information and learning sessions took place in various locations around Rochester, such as schools, community centers, homes, and religious gathering places. Sessions varied for different community groups, based on the recommendations of the respective community leaders or liaisons. For example, sessions were incorporated once a week during Cambodian Cultural School, and after church services with Sudanese families and those belonging to the African American community. Nurses met with elderly Somalis at the common room of their apartment building, and with Hispanic families at home. In many instances, the sessions followed the curriculum contained in a book called Staying Healthy from the Florida Literacy Coalition, Inc., which was adapted to provide Minnesota specific health resource information, and expanded to focus on topics of interest identified by Rochester communities. Click for PDF.
Winona State University Foundation
Mayo Clinic: Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Primary Care Internal Medicine
Alliance for Chicanos, Hispanics, and Latin Americans
Rochester Public Schools
Somali Community Resettlement Services
Winona State University