October 2006

In this Issue: Healthcare Feature | Member Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Members | In the News | Interesting Information


Feature Articles

Health Literacy

By Kristine Yahn, RN, MBA, Executive Director
Californians for Patient Care

There is a silent epidemic in California, affecting nearly half of all adults.

Health literacy includes reading, writing and math. It is an issue for both patients, who must read, understand and calculate (dosage, timing, benefit coverage, etc.) and professionals, who must communicate verbally, write clearly and possess cultural competency. Read more...

Member Spotlight

CPAT Welcomes our 100th Member!
Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego: More than 50 Years of Caring

We are delighted to welcome Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego as our 100th member!

The mission of Rady Children’s Hospital is to restore, sustain and enhance the health and developmental potential of children through excellence in care, education, research and advocacy.

Rady Children’s Hospital has advanced pediatric health in San Diego and Southern California since opening its doors in 1954. The only pediatric hospital and health system in the region, Children’s cares for more than 350,000 children annually and is the only designated Pediatric Trauma Center for San Diego and Imperial Counties.

To read more about Rady Children’s Hospital, click here.


Please join CPAT for a complimentary luncheon seminar on
“Developing a Healthy Understanding in Health Care Literacy”

Thursday, October 12
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
CSAC Conference Center
1020 11th Street, 2nd Floor (between K and J Streets)
Sacramento, CA
RSVP to Kristina at (916) 658-0144 x 202
or e-mail:

Friday, October 13
12 noon - 2 p.m.
The Palm Restaurant
1100 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA
RSVP to: Andrea at (323) 466-3445 x 240
or e-mail:


Welcome New Members!

New Partners
BAPAC (Black American Political Association of California)
California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation
El Centro Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Equality California
Hispanic Empowerment Association of Roseville
PWA Insurance Services
Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center (San Diego)
Santee Chamber of Commerce
Visiting Angels

Caldwell, Geraldine
Ferrell, Robert J. II, Student
Ferrell, Angelica, Student
Howland, Steve – USC
Smith, Dr. Sam – Principal, Genesis/Smith-Benton
Wunsch, Judy – Director of Volunteers, Alzheimer’s Association

In the News

Literacy Linked to Health Issues
Monterey County Herald
June 18, 2006
By Julie Deardorff

Study: Many adults can’t navigate medical instructions
The Times Leader
September 12, 2006
By Kevin Freking

Medical Jargon to be studied
The Jackson Citizen Democrat
September 13, 2006
By Susan J. Demas

What did the doctor say? Some ways to make sure you remember
San Diego Union-Tribune
June 27, 2006
By Lynda Shrager

Changes Urged in Hispanic Health Care
United Press International
September 15, 2006
By Michael Stothard

Interesting Information
  • Approximately 47% of adult patients cannot read basic texts associated with most healthcare decisions.(1)
  • A study on patient health literacy by The Council of State Governments of two public hospitals found (2):
    -- 26% couldn’t understand an appointment slip
    -- 42% did not know what “taking medication on an empty stomach” meant
    -- 60% couldn’t read an informed consent slip
    -- 5% of women weren’t able to explain a mammogram
  • Only 31% of low-literacy asthmatics understand they needed to see their doctors regularly.(3)
  • About half of HMO patient reading material is written at the graduate school level and 45% is written at the level for college graduates.(4)
    -- Only 6% of HMO patient reading material is written for high school graduates
    -- Most patient education materials included with medications are written at a grade 10 level or higher level

1. “Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion,” Lynn Nielsen-Bohlman, Allison Panzer and David Kindig, editors, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, 2004

2. “State Official’s Guide to Health Literacy,” Trudi Matthews and Jenny Sewell, The Council of State Governments, 2002

3. Williams, Baker, Honig. “Inadequate Literacy Is a Barrier to Asthma Knowledge and Self-Care.” (Chest, 1998, v114)

4. “Eradicating Low Health Literacy,” The Partnership for Clear Health Communication, March 2003


CA Access News welcomes contributions from our partners. Please contact us if you have suggestions for future events and stories by calling CPAT at (916) 658-0144, Attn: Janet.


925 L Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814

Supported by America's Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies

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