Health Literacy and Communication Strategies in Oncology: A Workshop

When: July 15, 2019 - July 16, 2019 (8:00 AM Eastern)
Where: Keck Center (100) • 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

Topics Biomedical and Health Research, Diseases, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Quality and Patient Safety
Activities: National Cancer Policy Forum, Roundtable on Health Literacy
Board: Board on Health Care Services

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can access, comprehend, and use information to make health care decisions. However, estimates suggest that more than one-third of the U.S. adult population has low health literacy. Inadequate health literacy can make it difficult for individuals to engage in healthy behaviors and navigate the health care system across the cancer care continuum. To consider opportunities to improve communication in cancer prevention and care, as well as to better support individuals with low health literacy, the Forum is collaborating with the Roundtable on Health Literacy to host a workshop on this topic.

A planning committee will plan and host a 1.5-day public workshop that will examine opportunities, methods, and strategies to improve the communication of information about cancer care at the level of the clinic visit, the health care organization, and the community. The workshop will feature invited presentations and panel discussions on topics such as:

  • Strategies and best practices for health care professionals to improve the communication of evidence-based information regarding cancer risk, prevention, detection, or treatment to patients and their families.
  • Effective communication strategies to build trust and counter inaccurate information about cancer, especially given the evolving nature of the evidence base and the increasing complexity of cancer care.
  • Opportunities to tailor messaging strategies and information about cancer to meet the needs of diverse populations.
  • Procedures, policies, and programs at the organizational level to assess and consistently address the diverse health literacy needs of patients and their families.

The planning committee will develop the agenda for the workshop sessions, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. A proceedings of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.

Planning Committee Members

Karen Basen-Engquist (co-chair), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Michael Paasche-Orlow (co-chair), Boston University School of Medicine
Garnet Anderson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington
Edward J. Benz, Jr., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School
Nicole F. Dowling, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Christine Gunn, Boston University School of Medicine
Lori Hoffman Högg, Department of Veterans Affairs
Linda House, Cancer Support Community
Ashley Housten, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Beth Karlan, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles
Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, Oncology Nursing Society
Cathy D. Meade, Moffitt Cancer Center
Randall A. Oyer, Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
Robert A. Winn, University of Illinois at Chicago
Robin Yabroff, American Cancer Society


Speakers, Moderators, and Panelists

Anthony Back, University of Washington School of Medicine
Sylvia Chou, National Cancer Institute
Heidi Donovan, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing 
Nicole Dowling, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Karen Basen-Engquist, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Lisa Fitzpatrick, Promoting Practical Health, Inc.
James Hamblin, The Atlantic
Elmer Huerta, Medstar Washington Hospital Center
Galen Joseph, University of California, San Francisco
Allison Lazard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Cathy Meade, Moffitt Cancer Center 
Nina O’Connor, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine 
April Oh, National Cancer Institute
Ivan Oransky, Medscape
Randall Oyer, Lancaster General Health
Michael Paasche-Orlow, Boston University School of Medicine
Frank Penedo, University of Miami
Mary Politi, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Mandi Pratt-Chapman, George Washington University Cancer Institute
Gwendolyn Quinn, New York University Langone Health
Lisa Richardson, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ivis Sampayo, SHARE Cancer Support
Urmimala Sarkar, University of California, San Francisco
Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, Oncology Nursing Society
Marjorie Kagawa Singer, University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health
Shalewa Noel-Thomas, Washington, DC Department of Health
Richard Wender, American Cancer Society

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