The HEAL Program
Teaching Students Skills to
Take Control of Their Health
HEAL® is a program that increases students’ knowledge and confidence in the healthcare topics they need to take control of their health. It uses a two-fold approach:
1. HEAL Classes: An 8-week course for adults that increases their knowledge of current healthcare topics, medical terminology, and standard processes and practices. Students learn to:
Describe symptoms to a doctor
Read and understand medication instructions
Understand disease prevention
Know when to use Urgent Care instead of the Emergency Room
Understand medical forms
Ask medical staff questions to better understand diagnosis, prescriptions, and next steps
Identify lifestyle changes to improve health and practice prevention
Understand Advance Medical Directives
Know when to get help for mental health issues
2. Training Medical Professionals: This effort raises awareness about the issue of low
health literacy and gives practical tools and strategies for working with patients. Professionals gain skills in:
Identifying patients who find health literacy a challenge
Communicating clearly and effectively
Creating easy-to-read materials
Checking for comprehension
Being culturally sensitive
How Do People Access the Program?
HEAL classes are held at Literacy for Life and at partner organizations across the community. Lessons have been developed for both English Language Learners and native English speakers and can be delivered in-person and online.
How Does This Program Improve Our Community?
Successful implementation of a comprehensive HEAL Program® can ultimately benefit the community through a variety of outcomes, to include:
• Improved patient outcomes
• Reduced hospital admissions and re-admissions
• Reduced length of stay in hospitals
• Reduced use of emergency services
• Reduced healthcare costs
• Improved patient health, safety, and satisfaction
• Improved patient engagement
DID YOU KNOW?
Literacy is a stronger predictor of an individual’s health status than income, employment status, education level and racial or ethnic group.
Low literacy affects more adult Americans than obesity, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and breast cancer combined
Host a HEAL Class!
Make a difference in other citizens' health (and lives!). For more information on hosting, please contact Fiona Van Gheem at firstname.lastname@example.org or (757) 221-3325.
Become a Licensed HEAL Provider
Would you like to become a licensed provider of the HEAL Program? Learn more at www.thehealprogram.org
How Has This Program Changed Lives?
"When I feel sick, I don’t panic and call 9-1-1. I take a deep breath, check my sugar, calm down, and then call the doctor." – Linda
"I have lost 11lbs and I am thrilled! My cardiologist was very happy with my weight loss." – Geraldine
"I am able to ask questions to doctors and nurses to make sure I understand."
"I learned how to fill out medical forms. I will now get a regular check-up more often! – Gerald
“The best thing about the HEAL class is that I learned new English words, so now I can describe how I feel when I call the doctor. I didn’t know the difference between Urgent Care and the Emergency Room. Now I know when I need help I can go to Urgent Care if it’s not an emergency. The HEAL class is terrific!”