Governor Abbott proclaims October as “Health Literacy Month”

Teresa Wagner with Governor Abbott’s proclamation.

Did you know October is “Health Literacy Month?” Texas Governor Greg Abbott made it official last week, joining Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer when they signed proclamations from their offices. Teresa Wagner of UNT Health Science Center was present for the Governor’s signing.

Health Literacy empowers patients to improve their health through education on how to talk to their doctor and follow medical advice.

“This is a project we have been working on for over a year,” said Patti Taylor, director of quality and patient safety at the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation. “With a large percentage of Texans at or below basic health literacy levels, the DFWHC Foundation Health Literacy Collaborative has a dedicated team to inspire awareness in the community.”

Upcoming projects include multiple social media campaigns and Internet sound bites.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy. In other words, nearly nine out of 10 adults may lack the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease. The same study also indicated only 14 percent of adults have below basic health literacy.

The DFWHC Foundation Health Literacy Collaborative Committee was created to inspire a health literate culture in North Texas as well as the entire state. Goals include:

• Distribute a Health Literacy Toolkit for entities to “get started.” The tools are available here;
• Formulate collaborative research on local health literacy;
• Conduct a Health Literacy Needs Assessment for community needs.

More information to follow in the coming days!

For information, please contact Taylor at [email protected].