Only 12 percent of American adults are proficient in health literacy, the ability to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.

Low health literacy correlates with poorer health knowledge and outcomes and has significant impact on the health care system, including patient safety, chronic disease management and health care costs. Health literacy plays a vital role in every aspect of health care.

This internship will support the health literacy activities of Wisconsin Health Literacy, a division of Wisconsin Literacy, a statewide nonprofit organization. The activities of the master of public health intern will depend upon the interests of the student and the priorities of Wisconsin Health Literacy during the time of the internship. Stipends are available only when provided by grant funding for various health literacy initiatives. The program is willing to work with the MPH intern to develop project ideas around mutual interests.

Current focus areas

  • Working with Wisconsin pharmacies to adopt an easy-to-read prescription medication label based on new national standards
  • Conducting workshops with seniors, refugees and immigrants to help them gain the most from prescription medicines and safely use opioids
  • Providing consumer education on how to evaluate online health information, including how to identify trusted sites
  • Working with health care providers and insurers to assess health literacy in their organizations and develop plans to integrate health literacy into their everyday work by offering training opportunities for staff
  • Planning for the April 2019 Health Literacy Summit, one of three nationally recognized health literacy conferences

Ideal student qualifications

  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Basic understanding or interest in health promotion, health communication and/or health literacy
  • Access to transportation to attend meetings in Dane County and other regions (occasionally)