Session N: Creating a Technology-Based Health Literacy Toolkit

From left to right: Anupama Kapadia, BA, Sara Noble, MA, and Melanie Stone, MPH

From left to right: Anupama Kapadia, BA, Sara Noble, MA, and Melanie Stone, MPH

In this interactive workshop, Melanie Stone, Sara Noble, and Anupama Kapadia guided participants through the process of creating a technology-based health literacy toolkit based on their experiences with Access Care, Texas: ACT Together for Health (ACT). ACT is a community service learning project and interprofessional initiative at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Stone, Noble and Kapadia shared how ACT team collaborated with community partners, the San Antonio Health Literacy Initiative and the Enroll SA coalition, to create a health insurance literacy toolkit app that educates community members and health professionals on how to access and utilize health insurance.

The presenters took the participants through the step-by-step process of creating a technology-based health literacy toolkit. First, they presented a scenario based on the health insurance literacy need they identified in the San Antonio community and described how they determined their target population.

Participants were then guided through the process of establishing community partnerships to address a health literacy need.  Participants broke into small groups to brainstorm each step of the process of creating and evaluating a health literacy toolkit. Then they reconvened in a large group discussion to share their insights and ideas. As each step was presented, the shared how ACT approached this part of the process for the development of their health insurance app. They found success in using health professional students as an innovative way to address community needs, the creation of two academic-community partnerships and building a diverse community health coalition.

Noble, Stone, and Kapadia created and shared a workbook with their participants. It was used as an interactive tool throughout the workshop and a post-session resource for participants. Cultural competency was a major factor in the creation of the toolkit and participants were encouraged in small and large group activities to consider literacy level and cultural appropriateness of their messaging and health communication.

Evaluating and disseminating the toolkit was also discussed in both small groups and together as a class. The presenters emphasized the importance of community feedback and promoting the toolkit on a grassroots level. All three presenters actively engaged participants and answered questions about their health literacy programs and initiatives.