In 2010, the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) was awarded a major grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to improve cardiovascular (CVD) health literacy and health: Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Enhancements Addressing Disconnects (SEPA-READS) in Cardiovascular Health Communication. Over the last four years, HCIF, in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital, has led a regional multi-stakeholder coalition (the Cardiovascular Health Literacy Coalition) aimed at enhancing health care providers’ capacity to address literacy needs and foster improved understanding of CVD health information by adults aged 50 and older in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Partner organizations include nine hospitals/health systems, five senior-serving organizations, and five organizations serving immigrant and refugee communities in the region.
SEPA-READS programming includes the following:
- provider training based on the American Medical Association’s train-the-trainer program for health literacy;
- support for providers seeking to implement organizational changes that apply lessons learned from the trainings;
- consumer education around the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Ask Me 3 program;
- webinars, events, and networking opportunities.
To date, hundreds of providers and consumers in our partner organizations have attended training sessions and participated in other SEPA-READS offerings. The Cardiovascular Health Literacy Coalition (CHLC) continues to grow to include stakeholders across Pennsylvania, many of whom have participated in provider trainings that have been adapted, upon request, to a variety of health care professional audiences. As the CHLC expands, SEPA-READS programming, including provider trainings, will continue to be available to stakeholders in all regions of the state.