Health Literacy Initiatives

Since 2010, HCIF has received funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to advance health literacy throughout the Commonwealth. As the lead organization of the Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition (PAHLC), HCIF collaborates with hospitals, health systems, clinics, community-based partners, and other organizations to make health information easy to understand and patient friendly through training, peer learning, technical assistance, and coalition building. To date, HCIF and PAHLC partners have delivered health literacy training to over 20,000 providers and more than 1,500 patients in Pennsylvania.


1. Enhance the capacity of health care systems and health professionals to address health literacy needs and improve their patients’ understanding of health information

2. Improve the ability of all patients to communicate with health care providers and staff in ways that increase their understanding of and capacity to effectively act on health information


Key Successes & Outcomes
1. HCIF and TJUH have trained nearly 300 health care professional trainers who have trained over 7,000 staff members in their organizations.

2. Over 100 consumer peer educators have also been trained.  These peer educators have reached over 700 members of their communities.

3. Participating healthcare organizations have made changes to staff and patient education practices, as well as to their websites, signage, and internal policies in order to better promote health literacy.

Susan CosgroveProject Manager, Team Leader of Health Literacy Initiatives