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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 (SEPA) Regional Enhancements Addressing Disconnects (READS) in Cardiovascular Health Communication Over the last four years, HCIF, in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital (TJUH), has lead 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.

To enhance providers’ effectiveness in educating their patients, the coalition assesses the quality and content of communications across the continuum of CVD care. SEPA-READS programming includes provider training based on the American Medical Association’s train-the-trainer program for health literacy; consumer education around the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Ask Me 3; webinars, events, and networking opportunities. Partner organizations include nine hospitals/health systems, five senior-serving organizations, and five multilingual organizations in Southeastern Pennsylvania. To date, hundreds of providers and consumers have attended training sessions and participated in other SEPA-READS offerings.
For more information, please contact Susan Cosgrove, MPA, HCIF's Project Manager, at or 215.575.3746.