SC Governor Recognizes Health Literacy Month with Proclamation
South Carolina Governor McMaster Recognizes Health Literacy Month with Proclamation – October 2022 is Health Literacy Month—a time we promote practices and policies that enable patients to easily understand health information and use it to make decisions about their health. Dr. Joy Deupree, a University of South Carolina College of Nursing professor and Chair of the South Carolina Health Action Coalition states that Healthy People 2030 reports that health literacy is a central focus of Healthy People 2030. One of the initiative’s overarching goals demonstrates this focus: “Eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all.” When people do not understand health information, they are more likely to use avoidable emergency care services, skip preventative screenings and shots, or not follow treatment plans. But health literacy is about more than just patient literacy skills. It is about health professionals’ communication skills. It is also about a healthcare system that supports patient and caregiver learning. Health professionals play a significant role in health literacy. They can make sure written health information given to patients is readable, understandable, and actionable. Health professionals can also avoid using complicated language and medical jargon when talking with patients.