Health literacy is the currency of success for everything we do in health, wellness and prevention.
— 17th U.S. Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS

Health literacy refers to an individual's capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment. It is a shared responsibility—meaning both the patient and the healthcare provider must communicate in ways that the other can understand.


  • Health literacy is the strongest predictor of a person's health status, more so than age, income, education level, employment status, and race.
  • More than 3 million Texans are low health literate. 
  • This high rate of low health literacy accounts for approximately $17 billion in additional medical expenditures annually.
  • The average Texan reads at an 8th grade level. Most health materials are written at a 10th grade level or above.


The Literacy Coalition provides services for healthcare, nonprofits, organizations, agencies, individuals and coalitions who want to promote health literacy in Texas. 

The program has proven to improve patient-provider communication and thus quality of care through evidenced-based tools and programs. 


Plain Language Training: This training teaches participants strategies to develop, adapt and test effective communication using plain language.

Developing Plain Language Written and Online Materials: Improved usability of written and online materials advances patient understanding, patient-provider discussion and improves patient satisfaction, safety and treatment adherence.

Website Review: Our plain language experts review and evaluate websites for ease of use and site content. Included are usability studies by individuals with lower literacy levels.

Specialty Interventions: Our consultants work with at risk populations and information gatekeepers to assist with patient information obtainment and exchange.

Health Literacy Forward Training for Adult Education Instructors: This training provides teaching methods and lesson planning strategies to incorporate health-related information into the classroom, helping students become self-advocates of their health and that of their families.

Health Literacy Instructor Guide: Our Health Literacy Instructor Guide includes lesson plan guides for instructors of English Language Learners, Adult Basic Education, and GED. 

For more information, contact us!