Faculty sought for literacy in health communication project

5/29/2008 | By: Brandon Stewart  |

The Nevada Geriatric Education Center is seeking academic and administrative faculty to be “Scholars in Health Literacy and Aging,” an interdisciplinary faculty development opportunity.

The project involves learning about how to better care for older patients/clients as well as learning how to improve patient/client outcomes by improving health communication.

Did you know?

  • 21% of adult Americans are functionally illiterate
  • Only 50% of all patients take medications as directed; and, among older adults, compliance drops below this level. (Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.)

Target audience: academic and administrative faculty in medicine, nursing, social work, speech pathology, counseling, nutrition, psychology, public health or others interested in the topic.

The project includes: completion of the AMA training materials on Health Literacy, participation in team meetings (virtual meetings via discussion board, conference calls, and interactive videos), attendance at interactive video sessions, presentations about Health Literacy or development and implementation of a Health Literacy project in your practice site.

Interdisciplinary Teamwork: An important aspect of this project is to guide faculty in effective teamwork. Therefore, some interdisciplinary team skills will be incorporated. Team meetings will include discussion and training regarding: (1) AMA Health Literacy materials, (2) the role of team members in getting health information from and providing health information to the patient and family, and (3) empowering patients and self-efficacy (patient confidence, patient/provider communication and health behavior model - where awareness, risk management and motivation to change intersect).

Support: NGEC has partnered with the Sanford Center for Aging and the School of Medicine to provide departmental incentives of $2,500 and to provide faculty incentives of up to $1,000 in travel funds for each full-time faculty member who commits to the project.

Requirements: The project requires a one year commitment of approximately ½ day each month for a total of 48 hours. The first cycle will begin July 1, 2008. Faculty who are interested in the program will be required to submit an application and a letter of support from their supervisor agreeing to release time. Applications are due by June 6th.

For more information: Contact Patti Swager, M.Ed., NGEC Director by phone at: (775) 327-2285 or by e-mail at: pswager@medicine.nevada.edu


To apply for the training, please submit the following:

  • Letter of Application that includes:
    • Why you are interested in this opportunity
    • Personal goals and objectives regarding health literacy, teamwork and health care for the aging population
    • Additional plans upon completion
    • Contact information: Name, Credentials, Title, mailing address, phone, fax and e-mail (Please include: faculty status: length of time with the university and if you are a full-time, LOA, clinical faculty appointment, etc.)
  • Letter from Chair stating that they support your participation through release time of ½ day each month for one year.

Application Due by: Friday, June 6th

Requirements of the program include:

  • Complete AMA health Literacy self-study materials in July (approximately 1-2 hours)
  • Participate in the interprofessional team training (1-2 hours, once a month for 9 months)
  • Attend at least 6 of 9 NGEC interactive video programs in health literacy (one hour sessions; 9 topics offered each year)
  • Conduct presentations or complete project on health literacy and aging (by June 2009):
  • Conduct health literacy training for colleagues, staff and/or students; one training may be a team presentation on health literacy as part of the NGEC interactive video series.
  • Develop and implement a project to improve patient outcomes through health literacy (complete IRB training if necessary)
  • Complete participation log and evaluation materials

Support for program, if application is accepted:

  • Department will receive: $2,500 to allow one-half day of release time each month for one year. One-half of the funds will be provided in July and the other half will be provided when faculty member completes requirements.
  • Faculty member will receive: up to $1,000 of travel funds to be used toward further faculty development in aging and health literacy. Request may be submitted after accepted into the Scholars in Health Literacy and Aging project and must be submitted no longer than one year after completion of training. Note: Travel time is not included in the 48 hours requirement.


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