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Health Literacy 2010 Conference


Health, Culture and Literacy: Solutions for Clear Health Communications

This one-day skill-building conference for primary healthcare providers was held April 30, 2010, at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell, Maine.

The purpose of this conference was to provide evidence-based tools and resources to healthcare providers and others. Program participants were able to:

  1. Learn about the latest research on adult literacy
  2. Gain and practice skills needed to improve patient and client outcomes
  3. Take home practical ideas to communicate effectively with patients and clients
  4. Connect with health professionals, researchers and advocates from the state and region

You can find materials from presentions and handouts that were provided at the conference on this page.

Welcome and Introductions

Health Literacy and Patient Safety
Erik Steele, DO
Chief Medical Officer, EMHS, and Interim President and CEO for Blue Hill Memorial Hospital

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Keynote Address

In the Face of Confusion, Taking Time for Compassion
Janet Ohene-Frempong, MS

Responding to the need for more effective communication can sometimes take more time, effort and skill than many people have anticipated. The temptation to cut corners or give up altogether can loom. An awareness and understanding of the pain that confusion can cause will often help providers to persevere in their efforts to meet patient and family needs for clear and effective communication.

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Session 1

Should I Hand This Out?
Sue Stableford, MPH, MSB, Director of UNE Health Literacy Institute

Learn how to choose and evaluate health education materials with a more critical eye.

Technology Tools for Improving Patient Understanding
Michelle Eberle, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region

Learn how technology can be used to communicate, educate and encourage self management.

Culture, Language and Literacy
Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, MEd, Kurtz-Rossi & Associates
Deqa Dhalac, Community Health Outreach Workers, Public Health Division, City of Portland
Malvina Gregory, Interpreter Services Manager, Catholic Charities Maine

Learn how to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate methods of communicating across cultures.

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Session 2

More Than Words: Promoting Health Literacy in Older Adults
Deborah Peabody, MD, Lincolnville Regional Health Center
Judith Metcalf, APRN, BC, MS, Director of UNE-Maine Geriatric Education Center
Sue Stableford, MPH, MSB, Director of UNE Health Literacy Institute

Learn how to improve outcomes through age-appropriate teaching strategies.

The Importance of Numeracy in Healthcare
Paul Han, MD, MPH, Center for Outcome Research and Evaluation
Rosemary Warnock, RN, Care Manager, MMC PHO
Cindy Tack, LCSW, Director of Social Work, Maine Medical Center
Susan Miesfelt, MD, Maine Center for Cancer Medicine and Blood Disorders

Learn more about the problem of health numeracy and about ways you can help your patients understand and use numbers more effectively.

Transitions of Care: From Hospital to Home
Richard Veilleux, MPH, MBA, MaineHealth Clinical Integration Stroke Program
Mary McDonough, RN, Maine Medical Center Family Medicine Center
Beth Wilcox, RN, Director of MMC PHO Care Management Program
France Carrier, RN, Homehealth Visiting Nurses Telehealth Program

Learn how to reduce hospitalizations through specific programs and resources.

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Session 3

Patient Interactions: Improving Both Sides
Deb Deatrick, MPH, Vice President of Community Health, MaineHealth
Lisa Harvey McPherson, RN, MBA, MPPM, Vice President, Continuum of Care, EMHS

Learn how to improve patient outcomes through strategies such as the Teach Back method.

Form Frustration: How to Make Forms More User-Friendly
Janet Ohene-Frempong, MS, President of JO Frempong & Associates, Inc

Learn ways to design forms that are easier to read, understand, fill out and submit, while exploring the legal and regulatory issues involved.

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This conference was supported in part by a major grant from the MaineHealth Osteopathic Heritage Fund and through the generous support of the sponsors listed below:

Platinum Sponsors



    University of New England

Maine Health Access Foundation

Office of Minority Health

Bronze Sponsors


  Eastern Maine Healthcare

In Collaboration With: 

Central Maine Medical Center
Maine Center for Disease Control, Minority Health Program
Maine Medical Center
Maine General Medical Center
Mercy Hospital
Stephens Memorial Hospital
Waldo County General Hospital 

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