Click to watch a NEW video by teens in the Health Enterprise Zone!

The Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy invites seed grant proposals for research projects that bear directly on the Center’s mission of advancing science, education and community action in health literacy. The goal of the Seed Grant Program is to encourage innovative, evidence-based research projects that address health literacy and its close correlate, health communication. It is anticipated that up to $20,000 will be awarded this funding year, and more than one seed grant can be awarded.

Priority will be given to research projects that a) include Center affiliate faculty as co-investigators; b) significantly involve graduate students as investigators or research assistants; and c) have the potential to garner external research support in the future.

The deadline to submit an application is Friday, September 18, 2015

Download application guidelines

Please email with questions.

We look forward to receiving your proposals!


2015 Apprenticeship Application (Deadline: March 6, 2015)

heartPrince-Georges-CountyCHLtwitterWho is eligible: Graduate students in the University of Maryland System with a minimum GPA of 3.6. For more information see additional information and application guidelines [PDF].

Applications due: 5pm, March 6, 2015.

About the fellowship: The Prince George’s County Health Department and The Horowitz Center for Health Literacy are excited to announce this call for applications for a Health Literacy Summer Apprenticeship. One student will be selected to become the County Health Literacy Apprentice; and will train and work with County Health Department staff on research and programs related to health literacy and health communication. The Apprenticeship will be for 10 weeks during summer, 2015 and comes with a stipend of $5,000.

See additional information and application guidelines [PDF].

If you are interested in learning more about the apprenticeship or have any immediate questions, please contact Dr. Linda Aldoory at



NEW HEZ Teen Video!

March 3, 2015

As part of the Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ) health literacy campaign, youth in zipcode 20743 in PG county came together to learn about health literacy, editing and software skills, and to create a video about what being healthy means to them. The HEZ Teen Video group wrote a script, acted, took photos, and even selected caption choices and music for the video. They titled their final product “Diary of a Healthy Kid” and even included a photo collage of what they think is healthy and unhealthy in their community. Check it out!


The Center for Health Literacy is in its second year of its Health Literacy Campaign for Prince George’s County’s Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ). A Random Household Survey has been completed, data is being analyzed, and the Steering Committee is proposing a series of Health Literacy Neighborhood Forums in zip code 20743. Preliminary findings from the survey will be available this month!

The neighborhood based forums will be the kick-off for the 20743-wide Health Literacy Campaign, a community-based program to help Capitol Heights be prepared to use new health care services that residents are and will be receiving in the Health Enterprise Zone. The goals of the forums are: 1) to provide an opportunity for residents to learn about the HEZ and health literacy; and 2) to express and record their opinions and needs for health services and health literacy messages and resources. Over the next few weeks, Center for Health Literacy will work closely with its Steering Committee of residents and community leaders to finalize forum activities and develop campaign messages to promote community involvement and active participation at the forums.



Worcester county photos

Center Director Dr. Linda Aldoory and a team of graduate students evaluated second, third, fourth and fifth graders at Worcester County’s elementary schools in January, before the students receive new health literacy lessons. Now Worcester County teachers will be integrating health literacy in the daily curriculum of all second through fifth grade classes in the county. The Center will be returning in June to assess the effectiveness of the new health literacy curriculum!

The project focuses on integrating health literacy concepts into the general K-8 curriculum in Worcester County Public Schools. The new curriculum aims to increase student capacity as empowered consumers of health information and services. Assessments evaluated health knowledge, perceived self-efficacy and levels of health literacy that will be used demonstrate the effectiveness of the curriculum and document improvements in health literacy.

2nd grade: This year is the implementation of curriculum across the county, after last year’s pilot with second graders.

3-5th grade: This year is the pilot for these three grades, each in one school in the county.


This weeks findings on health literacy include:

  • Oral and aural literacy play a critical role in the oral exchange between health care providers and patients and should be incorporated into health care provider training and into community programs.
  • Individuals with a significant number of health problems are proactive seekers of health information, but are less likely to seek out general information online.
  • The following themes are important to keep in mind when developing educational interventions related to HIV management: having a team based approach; tailoring education strategies to each patient’s individual needs; and accounting for patients’ limited experience, but high interest, in technology.


Nouri, S. S., & Rudd, R. E. (January, 2015). Health literacy in the “oral exchange:” An important element of patient-provider communication. Patient Education and Counseling.

So what? “Patient-provider communication plays a key role in patient health, knowledge, decision-making, and motivation. Given that half of American adults struggle with literacy, and that patients show an overwhelming preference for receiving health information face-to-face from their clinical providers, every effort must be made to lower literacy demands and improve provider-patient communication. This review provides the evidence surrounding oral and aural literacy, and demonstrates its critical role in the oral exchange.”

Kim, Yong-Mi. (January, 2015). Is seeking health information online different from seeking general information online? Journal of Information Science.

So what? “The most important finding in the research is that patients actively sought out online health-related information. It was an unexpected finding as those individuals were likely to be in the lower income group. Based on existing findings, these individuals are less likely to seek out health information. Certainly, usefulness is an important factor for seeking out online health information, and it should be included in future online health research and factored into the design of training modules. More specifically, trainers should emphasize how helpful and beneficial online health information is with regards to making healthcare decisions. They should also motivate their trainees to actively seek out health information online in order to improve their health.”

Gakumo C.A., Enah C.C., Vance D.E., Sahinoglu E., Raper J.L. (January 2015) “Keep it simple”: older African Americans’ preferences for a healthy literacy intervention in HIV management. DovePress.

So what? “Tailored health education that incorporates multiple approaches (ie, support from peers and use of technology) for culturally diverse and aging populations is vital for successful programs with long-term sustainability. Such education should also be modified to address other individual aspects such as sex-specific issues, mental health needs, and health literacy deficits. Furthermore, health literacy interventions and programs can be greatly improved if patients are considered equal partners in intervention development and design.”


GetTested Website Revamp

January 27, 2015

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The CDC has revamped their GetTested website and has included a new quiz to it’s testing locators. Website visitors can now answer a few basic questions to find out which sexually transmitted disease tests they need and nearby testing locations in only a few minutes! The site is a great resource for health information and for individuals to access important health services. Check it out!