Health Literacy & Public Health:

This training:

  • Introduces the concept of health literacy.
  • Dispels common assumptions about people with low literacy.
  • Presents the consequences of low health literacy.
  • Describes public health activities with a health literacy perspective.

This training is the first of two that address health literacy and public health. After completing this training, it is recommended that you enroll in Health Literacy & Public Health: Strategies for Addressing Low Health Literacy.

This training contains four sections. The content and activities demonstrate how the public's literacy skills affect interactions with medical and public health staff.

Learning Outcome

As a result of this activity the learner will enhance their knowledge and competence in health literacy and the relationship to public health.


After completing the course, the learner will be able to:

  • Define fundamental literacy.
  • Define health literacy.
  • Describe how health literacy relates to public health.
  • List the four domains of health literacy.
  • Give an example of each of the four domains of health literacy.
  • List some coping strategies people use to compensate for their low literacy skills.
  • List some groups that are more likely to be less literate.
  • List some reasons why people may have low literacy.
  • List the consequences of low health literacy for individuals.
  • Describe why people, regardless of literacy skills, may fail to understand health information.
  • Give examples of how low literacy affects the essential services of public health.

Continuing Education Credits

Credits available until March 31, 2021.

Sponsored by the School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES®) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES®) to receive up to 1.0 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 1.0. Continuing Competency credits available are 1.0. Provider ID# 99086.

The University at Albany School of Public Health is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Northeast Multistate Division, an accredited approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

This offering is approved for 1.0 nursing contact hours.

The School of Public Health, University at Albany is accredited by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School of Public Health, University at Albany designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is sponsored by the Rutgers School of Public Health, and has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health. This program is designated for the participant to receive 1.0 CE credits. Approval number: CE #10504
To receive NJPH Credits for this course, please email your certificate of completion to Carl Donaldson,

1.0 hours of Generic Continuing Education Credits

  • Training launched: June 1, 2006
  • Estimated time: 1 hour
  • Training is free and open to the public

The planners and course authors have no financial arrangements or affiliations with any commercial entities whose products, research or services may be discussed in this activity. No commercial support has been accepted for this activity.