Understanding that low health literacy impacts community health, in 2006 the Regional Health Commission developed a Health Literacy Task Force. The focus for the Task Force was threefold:
- To develop recommendations for strengthening communication between providers and patients,
- To improve patient access and navigation of the healthcare system, and
- To build an infrastructure to sustain literacy efforts.
Concurrently, the Task Force aimed to create a plan that supported RHC’s mission to improve access to health care services, reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for the residents of St. Louis City and County, in particular for the uninsured and underinsured.
After an assessment of existing literacy programs, the Task Force completed an action plan in 2004, and their recommendations were approved in January of 2006. Later that year, under the leadership of the Missouri Foundation for Health, the RHC’s 2006 Regional Health Literacy Summit led to the eventual formation of the Health Literacy Missouri organization, now in operation across the state of Missouri.
Detailed Discussion of Health Literacy Recommendations