Dr. Mary Ann Abrams

Dr. Mary Ann Abrams

Dr. Mary Ann Abrams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and Primary Care Pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. She seeks to illustrate how health literacy is integral to all dimensions of health and health care and how it is fundamental to quality, safety, and equity. She has led development of tools, resources, and trainings to support organizational health literacy, helping connect the dots between theory and practice.

Adriane Ackerman

Adriane Ackerman

Adriane Ackerman (she/her/ella) is the Program Director for the Pima County Health Department’s Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Response to COVID-19 program. She also leads the Cultural Health/SaludArte initiative and the emerging Pima County Network for Equity and Resilience (PCNER), both of which aim to increase health literacy and equity through innovative models, by elevating and centering the leadership of historically excluded communities. Though she is new to the Public Health profession, Adriane has over 20 years of experience managing, administrating, facilitating and convening partnerships within the public sector at the local, regional and national scale. While serving the City of Tucson, Arizona, Adriane co-designed the Diversity and Inclusion training for the City’s 5,000 employees and created the first ever curriculum to address white supremacy, intersectionality and literacy around sexual orientation and gender identity. As a Program Coordinator for First Stop Portland, Adriane developed issue-specific case-study tours for 30 delegations of over 400 global municipal leaders to learn about the Pacific NW’s best practices in sustainability, smart growth, cultivating right relationship with community and creating equitable organizational practices. Adriane’s proudest moments have come from her decades’ of work as a grassroots community organizer, building sustainable and disruptive coalitions across ideologies, platforms and issues, including the Portland-Metro People’s Coalition – a policy and platform-focused coalition that represents 21 progressive organizations and over 10,000 members. Adriane holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Urban & Public Affairs and seeks to bring the depth of her lived experience to bear as she convenes, facilitates and uplifts the Advancing Health Literacy Community of Practice throughout Pima County.

Tom Bauer

Tom Bauer

Mr. Bauer is the Senior Director of Patient Education and Engagement at Johns Hopkins Medicine. He was selected by the National Academy of Science & Medicine as an exemplar in implementing the 10 attributes of a health literate organization. He has also presented at the NASEM Roundtable discussion on “ Making the Case for Health Literacy” He has been featured in two AHRQ case studies, two VHA Blueprints and served as an advisor to the AHA Opioid Collaborative and PFAC collaboratives. He received the Eagle Award recognizing his commitment to improving health outcomes in North Carolina.

Morgan Bonham

Morgan Bonham

Morgan Bonham is a Research Project Manager for the Center of Applied Health Research on Aging (CAHRA) at Northwestern University. Morgan has worked with Dr. Michael Wolf and CAHRA members since 2014. She currently manages a longitudinal cognitive aging study (LitCog), and oversees the recruitment, retention, and coordination of data collection activities involving complex cognitive assessments.

Wieke van Boxtel, MSc

Wieke van Boxtel

Wieke van Boxtel, MSc, is a PhD student at AmsterdamUMC/University of Applied Sciences Utrecht in the Netherlands. Her research is focusing on Health Literacy in Children aged 9-12 years with the aims to develop a measurement instrument to measure HL in children aged 9-12 in the context of health promotion in the Netherlands and to identify potential aspects for children aged 9-12 years to develop adequate HL skills to live a healthy life. Wieke is a dental hygienist with Master degree in health professions education. She works at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, as chair of the curriculum committee at the dental hygiene program, and project leader of an interprofessional educational project focusing on health promotion in a community setting.

cindy brach

Cindy Brach

Cindy Brach is a senior healthcare researcher at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Cindy oversees the research, development, and implementation of tools designed to improve healthcare services for vulnerable populations. Her areas of expertise include health literacy, cultural and linguistic competence, and practice improvement. She serves as Co-Chair of the HHS Health Literacy Work Group and is on the Healthy People 2030 Health Communication and Health Information Technology Workgroup. As the lead for AHRQ ‘s health literacy work, Cindy’s projects have included the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, CAHPS® Item Sets for Addressing Health Literacy, AHRQ Informed Consent and Authorization Toolkit for Minimal Risk Research, and Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training Modules for Health Care Leaders and Professionals. Cindy has authored or contributed to over 80 publications, including Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations.

sarah brown

Sarah Brown  

Sarah Brown is Senior Content Strategist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has been at CHLA for nearly two decades in roles within Fundraising, Communications and Marketing. She plans, edits and creates content for a variety of audiences for the hospital, including existing patient families, potential health care consumers, donors, clinicians and more. She is an enthusiastic adopter of technology solutions to help solve problems.

Prof. Stephan Van den Broucke

Stephan Van den Broucke  

Prof. Stephan Van den Broucke is a full professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and the Institute for Research in Psychological Sciences (IPSY) at the UC Louvain (Belgium). In his current and previous positions he combines academic research and teaching with building public health capacity and policy advice. His research interests include health promotion, public health psychology, disease management, health literacy, sustainable development, accident prevention, and public health capacity building. In these areas, he has supervised a large number of national and international research projects and authored over 100 scientific publications. As an educator, he taught students and health professionals in Europe, Latin America, Afrca and Asia, and as a policy advisor he has worked with the Belgian Superior Health Council, the Flemish Health Council, the Federal Knowledge Center for Health and the King Baudouin Foundation, and internationally with the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Open Science Foundation. He is an elected member of the Executive Board of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), an associate editor of Health Promotion International, and president of the MSD Well Done Health Literacy Awards and Healthnest.


Jeri Burr

Ms. Burr is Executive Director of the University of Utah Trial Innovation Center. A board-certified Pediatric RN, she is a clinical research management professional with more than four decades of clinical and research experience. She has broad regulatory and trial management experience, including training, mentoring and motivation of clinical research operations teams.

Ms. Burr serves (13 years) on the University of Utah's IRB. In the Trial Innovation Network, she is the Project Lead for the sIRB Working Group, working to implement the sIRB process in academic centers nationwide. Development of the sIRB coordination role has been a priority of hers to reduce workloads for study teams and coordinating centers. Ms. Burr is an ACRP Fellow and currently serves as Chair of the global ACRP Fellows Advisory Panel. The ACRP Fellowship program recognizes those who have made substantial contributions to the Association and the industry at large.

Elena T. Carbone, DrPH, RD/LDN, FAND

Elena T. Carbone

Dr. Elena T. Carbone has over 25 years of experience in health education, health literacy, and nutrition communication. Her research engages multi-ethnic communities with low health literacy skills and integrates behavioral interventions to promote health and prevent chronic disease complications. Dr. Carbone is a Professor of Nutrition and Associate Dean for Curriculum & Academic Oversight in the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; she is also Founding Director of the Community-Engaged Research Program at Umass and has served as PI of numerous Foundation and federally funded community-based research studies.

Kelly Carolipio, MS

Kelly Carolipio

Kelly Carolipio is an Executive Director with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Marketing Communications team. In this role, she leads the institution’s communications and strategic content teams, which are dedicated to corporate and internal communications, content marketing, crisis communications, internal and external research communications, sponsorship activations and creative direction of visuals and video. Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge in the communications space spending, several years managing a newsroom prior to beginning her work within health care organizations in 2008. 

MacKenzie Carter

MacKenzie Carter

MacKenzie (she/her) recently received her Master of Public Health degree from Central Washington University, as well as a Graduate certificate in Rural and Community Health. She works in the Kittitas County Public Health Department's Health Promotion division on a variety of programs and topics, including breastfeeding-friendly workplaces, built environments, ACEs and trauma-informed care, COVID-19 vaccine outreach, and health equity, among others. She is particularly interested in maternal health, mixed methods research, rural health disparities, and vaccine equity.

Iris Castro

Iris Castro

Iris is from Tucson, AZ and comes from a hispanic background. She currently works in healthcare and is passionate about community service.

Xuewei Chen

Xuewei Chen

Xuewei Chen is an Assistant Professor of Health Education and Promotion at Oklahoma State University. Previously she obtained her Ph.D. in Health Education from Texas A&M University as a Distinguished Honor Graduate, which was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship within the School of Public Health and Health Professions at University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on improving health literacy and health communication to reduce health disparities among underrepresented groups including immigrants with limited English proficiency, rural residents, and racial/ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans.

Stacy Coppess, MLIS,

Stacy Coppess

Stacy Coppess, MLIS, is the Social Media Coordinator at the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. She works in the Reference and Web Services Section, Health Information Products Unit and coordinates MedlinePlus.gov social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). She also writes/edits plain language content and manages visual aids for MedlinePlus.gov.

Laura Curtis, MS

Laura Curtis

Laura Curtis, MS is a Research Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and at Northwestern University. She has her Master’s degree in biostatistics and has worked as research scientist and statistical analyst with the Health Literacy and Learning Program (HeLP) for over 15 years. Ms. Curtis now leads the research efforts within the Center for Applied Health Research in Aging (CAHRA) related to cognitive aging and supervises data analysts and programmers across all programs within CAHRA. Her research interests include investigating the role of cognition and health literacy in older adults’ ability to self-manage their health.

Dr. Carolyn Cutilli

Carolyn Cutilli

Dr. Carolyn Cutilli is a patient education specialist at Penn Medicine and past president of the Health Care Education Association (HCEA) and co-chair of the HCEA’s patient education guidelines work group.  Her scholarly work focuses on geriatric health literacy and she has obtained grants in health literacy and communication. Carolyn has published extensively and speaks nationally/internationally.

Annie Daly

Annie Daly

Annie Daly is a Study Coordinator at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. She works in Dr. Kim Kaphingst’s Research Lab with a focus on health and genetic literacy and communication research. Previously, she completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Marist College.

Natalie Dilts, MPH

Natalie Dilts

Natalie Dilts is a Sr. Research Strategy & Program Specialist for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Serving as a Project Lead for the NIH Recruitment Innovation Center at VUMC, she brings over 10 years of extensive regulatory knowledge and community engagement experience to assist study teams with recruitment and retention planning, development of recruitment materials, consenting best practices, and dissemination of research results. Ms. Dilts has a Master of Public Health and over a decade of experience collaborating across multifunctional teams and engaging community participants in research.

amy faus

Amy Faus

Amy Faus, MPH, CPH, MCHES® is the health promotion manager a Bergen’s Promise, a non-profit based in Hackensack, NJ. Amy has nearly a decade of experience in the field of public health education and health promotion. Through this experience she has come to appreciate how essential health literacy is to achieving positive health outcomes in communities.

Dr. Jill Hecker Fernandes

Jill Hecker Fernandes

Dr. Jill Hecker Fernandes is a pediatric nurse of 32 years with both national and international experience. She received her Bachelor of Nursing Science degree from Marquette University, her Masters in Nursing Science from Barry University, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Her experience in nursing includes Neonatal intensive care, Pediatric Intensive Care, Air/Ground Transport, Open heart Newborn, Burns, Trauma, and Transplant. She has 19 years of experience in academia as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Tennessee at Martin and the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Jill is passionate about nursing at all levels and many roles. She currently is employed as a Nurse Health Information Specialist at Phoenix Children’s. She is certified as a Consumer Health information Specialist Level II and Health Literacy Specialist.  

Sharla Glass

Sharla Glass

Sharla Glass earned a BA in Parish Ministry from Loras College and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. During the last 17 years she has worked for En-Vision America promoting health literacy and health equity through accessible prescription labeling especially for those with vision loss, print impairment or limited English proficiency. Her current focus is working with grassroots organizations, legislators and Boards of Pharmacy in drafting accessible prescription labeling policies. She has lived experience navigating the healthcare system as a parent of six children with autism, type 1 diabetes, EOE and mental health issues.

Jacqueline Gilberto Grace

Ms. Grace is a Senior Education Training Specialist on the Patient Family Education team at Children’s Hospital Lost Angeles. In this role she is responsible for assessing, designing, developing, and implementing patient and family education content and leading staff training programs on health literacy. She has 15+ years of experience in health literacy and contributed to the development of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s health literacy certificate program as a subject matter expert.

Molly Hadley

Molly Hadley

Molly Hadley, MPH, is a DrPH student at the University at Albany School of Public Health with a focus in social, community, and behavioral health. She also serves as the Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) prevention Graduate Assistant at UAlbany where she plans, implements and coordinates AOD programs and health communication campaigns on the University campus. She has mixed-methods research experience and has assisted on studies assessing college student health in relation to AOD use, evaluating a campus social norms campaign, and an annual campus-wide student health survey. Prior to this she received her MPH from the University of Colorado and worked for three years in practice-based public health. In one role she coordinated a community change process to reduce substance use in youth post recreational cannabis legalization and in the other, sought to increase HPV vaccine uptake in adolescents in a County with low HPV vaccination rates.

Candida Halton

Candida Halton

To come.

Carol Howe MD

Carol Howe

Dr. Howe is an Associate and the Parker Endowed Professor of Nursing in the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Howe is a nurse and diabetes care and education specialist, providing care to children and adults living with diabetes. Her research focuses on the health literacy skills of patients, providers, and hospital systems to drive improved patient outcomes. Dr. Howe has received honors for her efforts, including the Leadership Award from the American Diabetes Association, the Excellence in Education Award from the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Jennifer Innis NP, PhD

Jennifer Innis

Jennifer Innis NP, PhD is assistant professor, teaching stream in the faculty of nursing at the University of Toronto. Her research has focused on how health care organizations meet the health literacy needs of patients and families, and more recently, on the relationship between food insecurity and nutrition literacy among postsecondary students.

Dr. Leslie Jackson

Leslie Jackson

Dr. Leslie Jackson serves as a faculty member for Indiana Wesleyan University’s Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program.  Her area of teaching responsibilities include assistive technology, health systems, as well as adult assessments and interventions for neurorehabilitation, musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary conditions. Her research interest in low vision and assistive technology stems from practicing as an Occupational Therapist for over 20 years.  Dr. Jackson is certified as an Assistive Technology Professional and serves as a board member for a local organization serving individuals with vision and hearing loss through assistive technology and educational programming.  Dr. Jackson and four of her Occupational Therapy Doctorate students conducted a research study examining user satisfaction and accuracy of an audible prescription reader among individuals with LV and blindness. The journal article detailing this study is currently in publication.  She also serves on the Clinician Task Force (CTF), a non-profit organization comprised of Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in United States, who practice, serve and provide education to and advocate for individuals who require seating and wheeled mobility products and services.  Through the CTF, she has published articles in DIRECTIONS, a quarterly publication for stakeholders in the seating and wheelchair industry.

Jenny Jia

Jenny Jia

Jenny Jia is an Instructor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her research interests include prevention of chronic diseases in low-income families through lifestyle interventions. Her current work focuses on food-insecure households, including their health disparities and using community-based solutions to help support healthy diets. She completed her Internal Medicine/Preventive Medicine residency at Boston Medical Center/Boston University and her General Internal Medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Kristen Beiers-Jones

Kristen Beiers-Jones

Kristen Beiers-Jones is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and a Faculty-in Residence for the I-CAN program with a focus on immigrants and refugees and health equity. Her teaching is primarily in Population Health Nursing. She was awarded the 2019 Policy Champion award from Oregon Public Health Association for her work to create SB698 SMART law (Safe Medications for ALL Requires Translation). This law stemmed from her work with students in the refugee communities of Portland where they noted many medication errors due to their patients not being able to read the English-only medication labels.
She graduated from Reed College with a degree in Biology and Columbia University with a Bachelors of Nursing. She obtained her Masters in Nursing Education from OHSU. She serves on the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and is co-chair of the School of Nursing’s Admissions and Progression Committee working on implementing holistic review.

meredith jones

Meredith Jones

Meredith is a Senior Advisor at BIT Americas with over five years of experience leading public health research, evaluation, and capacity-building projects. Before joining BIT, her work focused on improving reproductive healthcare access and quality. At BIT, she has worked across various policy areas –– including health, financial wellbeing, and sustainability –– running large field trials, conducting qualitative research, and providing technical assistance to partners. Meredith holds a Bachelor of Science in Cultural Anthropology and Human Physiology from the University of Oregon and a Master in Public Health from Columbia University.

Veronica Juan (previously Korthals)

Veronica Juan (previously Korthals)

Graduated Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 2017.Graduated Medical College of Wisconsin Pediatrics Residency 2020.Currently Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Wisconsin, working in Children’s Emergency Department as a General Pediatrician

Karen Komondor

Karen Komondor

Karen Komondor, RN, BSN, CCRN is the Director of Organizational Development and the Health Literacy Institute at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She has led health literacy initiatives there since 2007. Karen has conducted trainings and presented health literacy topics at numerous health care facilities and conferences. She has authored several articles and been a guest speaker for radio programs and local TV Stations as well as the Institute of Medicine’s Round Table on Health Literacy in Washington D.C. She is a regular guest faculty for health literacy at NEOMED-CSU Partnership and CWRU. She has been chair of Healthy Cleveland’s Health Literacy Committee since 2017 and is immediate past president and co-founder of Ohio Health Literacy Partners, a state-wide, non-profit collaborative whose mission is to empower all Ohioans to make informed health choices. She is most recently chair of the National Council to Improve Patient Safety through Health Literacy.

Melonia Lillie

Melonia Lillie

Dr. Melonia Lillie DNP, RN-BC, CCRN-K, PMP, CPHIMS is a Board-Certified Nurse Informaticist with 20+ years of nursing experience in areas such as Med-surg, SICU, PACU and teaching. Presently, she supports the Department of Veterans Affairs with their nationwide Electronic Health Record Modernization efforts. Her specialty is supporting technical implementation of innovative medical solutions designed to reduce health-related errors and increase electronic health record interoperability. She also enjoys applying critical thinking to conducting clinical assessments and data analyses to identify data gaps in the new EHR.

Joy MacLeod RN, MS, CPNP, CHIS Joy MacLeod

Joy MacLeod

Joy MacLeod is a dedicated nurse with over thirty years of experience as a staff nurse, a hospitalist, and for the last decade, as a health information nurse specialist. Joy specializes as a consumer health information nurse specialist at The Emily Center Library, where she researches, and vets evidence-based, reliable literature on health topics to offer families, consumers, and providers. She is passionate about serving families within the community and creating information packets at a health literacy level that is meaningful to families. Joy finds it motivating and satisfying to use her years of expertise and specialized skill set to research topics on demand. Joy is active in writing tweets for The Emily Center that offer tools for wellness, useful health resources, and the latest evidence-based and evidence-supported consumer pediatric health topics.

Lianna Maldonado

Lianna Maldonado

My name is Lianna Maldonado. I am originally from Farmington, New Mexico but moved to Albuquerque to attend UNM to get my degree in Population Health with a minor in Political Science. I graduated from college last December and since then have started my professional career with UNM Truman Health Services. I work as a Health Education Coordinator for the premier HIV and Hep C clinic in New Mexico. I provide rapid HIV and Hep C testing services to patients and suggest Harm Reduction strategies as well as social media content for our clinic.

vincent miller

Vincent Miller

Vincent Miller is an Informatics Project Leader at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) with more than 23 years of experience in clinical registries. He currently serves in a multifaceted capacity that involves championing the new systems, products, and platforms to providers, faculty and other research staff. Further, he utilizes those technologies to address problems raised by providers, faculty and other research staff and then implementing processes that streamline reporting and dissemination of data. This process includes a continual review of the latest technology available for healthcare systems and recommending updates and changes as needed by communicating effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences 

Sandra Mintz, MSN RN

Sandra Mintz

Ms Mintz is the Clinical Services Manager in the Office of Patient Experience at Children’s Hospital Lost Angeles. In this role she oversees the Patient and Family Education team who supports patients, families and hospital team members by ensuring that patient and family education materials, systems, and processes are accessible, current, evidence-based and meet health literacy standards to improve health outcomes for a consistent patient and family experience across Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Nicki Mitchell, MSN, RN, CPN, IBCLC

Nicki Mitchell

Nicki Mitchell, MSN, RN, CPN, IBCLC, works as a Health Education Specialist in The Emily Center Family Health Library within the Division of Patient and Family Centered Care.  Nicki creates patient education materials with an emphasis on editing for health literacy and readability for branded patient education content.  Nicki started working at Phoenix Children’s as a new graduate nurse in 2006 on the Airway Unit taking care of children with complex airway issues, such as those with tracheostomies and on ventilators.  She has worked as a Registered Nurse in a variety of positions at Phoenix Children’s and is a Certified Pediatric Nurse and an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant.  She currently works both positions as an IBCLC and a Health Education Specialist at Phoenix Children’s.  Nicki presented a poster both at the Society of Pediatric Nurse’s Annual Convention and at ASU’s 10th Annual Evidenced-Based Practice Conference titled: How to Take Care of a Patient with a Tracheostomy, which focused on using the Journey Board concept to educate patients and families.  Nicki, along with her colleague Marj Abele, recently co-presented at an international conference: Summit on Ketogenic Diet Therapies.  Their presentation was titled: “In the World of Patient Education, Head Nods Mean Nothing: Introducing the Journey Board Mobile App for KDT”.

Victor M. Montori, MD

Victor M. Montori

Victor M. Montori, MD is a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic. An endocrinologist, health services researcher, and care activist, Dr. Montori is the author of more than 700 peer-reviewed publications and is among the most cited researchers in clinical medicine and in social science. He is a recognized expert in evidence-based medicine, shared decision making, and minimally disruptive medicine. He works in Rochester, Minnesota, at Mayo Clinic's KER Unit, to advance person-centered care for patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions. He is the author of the book Why We Revolt, and is leading a movement, a Patient Revolution, for Careful and Kind Care for all.

Dr. Rachel O'Conor

Rachel O'Conor

Dr. Rachel O'Conor is an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.  She is the Director of the Psychosocial Support Program within the Center for Applied Health Research on Aging (CAHRA). She is a health services and public health researcher.  She conducts community-engaged research and uses mixed methodologies to understand psychosocial determinants of healthy aging.  She also designs and evaluates primary care and community-based programs to support the health management of older adults managing multiple chronic conditions.

Michelle Mavreles Ogrodnick

Michelle Mavreles Ogrodnick

Michelle Mavreles Ogrodnick completed her doctorate in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science at Georgia State University in 2022. Michelle's research interests center around health literacy and health disparities. She has experience in quantitative and qualitative methods related to tobacco use, vaccine hesitancy, telehealth, and other topics among underserved populations.

Prof. Orkan Okan, dr phil

Orkan Okan

Prof. Orkan Okan, dr phil,is professor of health literacy at the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at Technical University Munich, Germany. He has vast experience in research, practice and policy on health literacy with focus on children, adolescents and schools. At the TUM department he is teaching health literacy, health promotion and prevention in the B.Sc. and M.Sc. Health Sciences programs. Orkan is co-editor of three health literacy books, including the “International Handbook of Health Literacy”, and co-lead of the global Covid-19 Health Literacy Research Network (Covid-HL). Orkan is Vice-President of the International Health Literacy Association, member in the IUHPE global working group on health literacy, chair of EUPHA`s working group on health literacy, member in the German National Action Plan on Health Literacy, and member of the German Health Literacy Network,. According to Expertscape's PubMed-based algorithms, Orkan is placed in the top 0.1% of scholars writing about health literacy over the past 10 years.

greg oneill

Greg O'Neill

As Director of Patient & Family Health Education, Greg leads the strategic plan for patient education and health literacy initiatives at ChristianaCare. After moving on from direct patient care as a trauma/surgical ICU nurse 7 years ago, Greg has developed a team of Nursing Professional Development Specialists who champion health literacy best practices systemwide and support all manner of patient education initiatives and vendor relationships. Greg has been with ChristianaCare for 14 years and received his MSN as a CNS from the University of Delaware. 

Dr. Marisa Plam

Marisha Palm

Dr. Marisha Palm is an Assistant Professor working at Tufts Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies (ICRHPS) and Tufts Clinical and Translational Institute (CTSI). Dr. Palm has over 15 years of experience bringing diverse groups of stakeholders together to make health care research more relevant and impactful. Her work focuses on growing multi-stakeholder, cross-disciplinary, trans-organizational partnerships, with an emphasis on communication and collaborative working,
Dr. Palm began her career in the UK, where she spent over a decade working in health services research and as a public engagement expert. Dr. Palm was elected to the Greater Manchester Local Involvement Network Committee in 2008, where she worked to incorporate public feedback into the management of England’s National Health Service. She went on to serve a regional forum on public engagement, growing the membership organization in North West England from a couple of dozen members to over 500, and representing the forum at meetings and conferences across England. In 2013, Dr. Palm moved to London to work for INVOLVE, an advisory group funded by the National Institute for Health Research to bring together expertise in public involvement in research. There she oversaw the knowledge and communications work, with responsibility for the content and quality of INVOLVE materials and resources.
Since returning to the US, Dr. Palm has led teams first at The Dartmouth Institute and then at Tufts ICRHPS. She runs annual Design Labs that bring together multi-stakeholder panels in case-based research design sessions for investigators interested in innovative clinical trial design focused on effectiveness and impact on health. She is involved in national engagement work groups across CTSA hubs and related cross-CTSA partnerships. Dr. Palm is also involved in international efforts, acting as the public involvement co-lead for the Multi-Stakeholder Engagement (MuSE) consortium, an international network of over 100 individuals from 20 countries. Dr. Palm co-directs and co-teaches a graduate course on Health Care Activism, Community Health, and Patient-Centered Research and recently co-edited a book on Broadly-Engaged Team Science in Clinical and Translational Research, published by Springer in 2022.

Heather Pennington

Heather Pennington

Heather Pennington is a native Ohioan and has worked in non-profit and government for the past 15 years overseeing programs that improve the quality of life in her state. She developed a passion for community service when she joined AmeriCorps to work with at-risk youth after graduating high school. Her commitment to public service stayed with her as she worked with hunger relief efforts, workforce development initiatives, and tobacco prevention programming. She currently serves as the Community Health Initiatives Supervisor at Franklin County Public Health, where she oversees grant projects focused on reducing health disparities including the OMH funded Building a Health Literate Community: Toward an Equitable Response to COVID-19.

Nicole Pinnock

Nicole Pinnock

Nicole Pinnock is the Manager of Patient and Family-Centered Education, at Phoenix Children’s where she is responsible for The Emily Center and the 1 Darn Cool School. She has a combined 20 years of experience in healthcare, patient education and health promotion. Nicole has worked in both community and hospital healthcare, with a focus on patient and family education, policy, advocacy, and operations management. Before joining Phoenix Children’s, Nicole was the Manager of Patient Education for Sidra Medicine, the first women and pediatric specialty hospital in Doha, Qatar. She joined Sidra in the project phase, where she was responsible for overseeing activities required to achieve a safe patient, hospital, and out-patient clinic opening, and developed initiatives to support patient and family engagement. As a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Nicole has experience in community health having worked for Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), Washington, DC, where she designed, implemented, and monitored health education programs with an emphasis on primary medical home usage, injury prevention, and oral health. Nicole considers herself a healthcare and patient education-focused change agent because of her ability to identify patient and family needs, dedication to service, and ability to advocate for others.

Megha Ramaswamy, PhD, MPH

Megha Ramaswamy

Megha Ramaswamy, PhD, MPH serves as Professor of Population Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where she has been since 2009. She develops behavioral and systems-level interventions that address women’s health and cancer prevention in the context of mass incarceration. She takes community health problems, works with stakeholders who are experts of their own lives, and comes up with plans for how best to implement solutions at individual, practice, and policy levels. She has written 100+ articles for the academic press and blogosphere. Dr. Ramaswamy has mentored over 200 high school, undergraduate, public health graduate, nursing, medical students, and early stage faculty. She currently serves as PI and Co-Director of the University of Kansas Frontiers Clinical and Translational Science Institute KL2 faculty training program and as PI of a Science Education and Partnership Award to link high school teachers and students with industry and university partners. She has chaired and served on numerous university admissions, curriculum, and faculty development committees, and is a consummate team player. Her research and training portfolio has totaled $15 million in continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2011. In the community, Dr. Ramaswamy has served on the boards of local public health associations, women’s health, and violence prevention organizations. She serves the scientific community currently as Chair of the Community Influences on Health Behavior NIH study section.

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, M.Ed.

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, M.Ed., is Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine where she teaches health literacy to health professionals in training and trains health professionals in practice. She is Director of the Tufts Health Literacy Leadership Institute, an advanced professional development program, working to transform health and health care across the globe. She is Secretary General of the International Health Literacy Association dedicated to advancing health literacy for all individuals, families, organizations, and societies. Ms. Kurtz-Rossi is recognized for her work to improve patient-provider communication, develop easy-to-read health information, and promote global health literacy and health equity. Her work is informed by her training in adult learning theory and is driven by her belief in education for transformational change. Her areas of study and practice include the application of adult learning theory in public health practice and plain language principles applied to key information on informed consent forms and study participant confidence in their informed consent decision. As a health literacy practitioner, she is experienced in audience-centered plain language materials development, health literacy curriculum development and teaching in non-formal community-based adult education settings, and training health professions students and health professionals how to communicate in ways people can understand.

Gillian Rowlands

Gillian Rowlands

Gill Rowlands is a Professor of Primary Care (Family Medicine) at Newcastle University, UK. Her research interests are the role of health literacy in health, the role of Family Physicians in addressing the problems faced by patients with lower health literacy, and the development of policy. She founded the Health Literacy UK group, and chairs the IUHPE Global Working Group on Health Literacy and is an Executive Board Member of the International Health Literacy Association. She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and six book chapters, and has co-edited two books.  

Kara Saiki

Kara Saiki

Kara Saiki is a Junior Specialist at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in the Office of Public Health Studies. Ms. Saiki has her Masterʻs in Public Health and has been involved as an external evaluator for the Advancing Health Literacy Franklin County project since its funding began in 2021. In addition to health literacy, Ms. Saiki’s research interests include postpartum health, noncommunicable disease interventions, and promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes in different communities.

Mechelle Sanders

Mechelle Sanders

To come.


Brianna Scott

Brianna Scott has worked in healthcare since 1998 in home health, assisted living, outpatient and inpatient care settings. She began her practice as a registered nurse at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2002 where she provided bedside care in the pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units for 13 years, while obtaining her BSN and certification in critical care nursing and lactation counseling. She began working in The Emily Center in 2012 as a health information nurse and obtained certifications in pediatric nursing and as a health information specialist. In the Emily Center she manages the patient education portal, a repository for staff to access reputable patient education and health information resources across the organization. She oversees the children’s book collection and the relaxation room amenities. She is a native of Arizona and enjoys hiking in the great outdoors with her family.

Dr. Tetine Sentell

Tetine Sentell

Dr. Tetine Sentell is the Interim Dean of the Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UH) and a Professor in the Office of Public Health Studies. Dr. Sentell has a long-standing expertise in health literacy and health outcomes across diverse racial/ethnic groups using mixed-methods. Dr. Sentell has published over 110 papers and has been PI or Co-I on 15+ extramurally funded projects. Dr. Sentell was a Fulbright Specialist at the University of Medicine Institute of Public Health in Tirana, Albania in 2017 and was selected for the Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, University of Hawai‘i in 2013.

jane sims

Jane Sims

Jane Sims is the Patient Education Manager for Intermountain Healthcare and leads the organization’s Patient Education Guidance Council. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Utah, and more than 25 years’ experience developing innovative communications for health professionals, their patients, and the public at large. She previously managed the state of Utah’s award-winning Baby Your Baby and Check Your Health public health campaigns. Jane is a current member of the Utah Health Literacy Council – an organization of medical librarians, patient education practitioners, and community health educators dedicated to advancing health literacy and equity across Utah.

kristine sorensen

Kristine Sorensen

To come.

Francesca Tomasino

To come.

Patricia Weaver

Patricia Weaver

My name is Patricia Weaver and I currently work at MHC Healthcare as a RN Care Partner at a Primary Family Care Clinic. This was a different avenue for me to go into Primary Care. I have been employed with MHC for 1 year. I have an extensive background in high risk obstetric care; the majority of my background is in OB. I am a strong leader that fosters an environment of communication and teamwork among the other nurses and staff. My patients receive excellent education and care so that they fully understood the same as myself.

barry d. weiss

Barry Weiss

Barry D Weiss, MD is a professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has been involved in the fields of health literacy and patient-clinician communication for much of his career.  Author of more than 200 publications, he led the team that developed the Newest Vital Sign health literacy assessment instrument, and was a co-author of the AHRQ’s Health Literacy Toolkit and author of the AMA’s Health Literacy Manual for Clinicians.

Professor Diane Levin-Zamir, PhD, MPH, MCHES, EuHP

Diane Levin-Zamir

Professor Diane Levin-Zamir is the National Director of the Department of Health Promotion of Clalit, Israel's largest non-profit healthcare organization. She is a Full Professor at the University of Haifa School of Public Health in Israel and teaches the required courses in the health promotion track of the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine’s School of Public Health. She is one of the founders and leaders of the Global Working Group on Health Literacy of the International Union Health Promotion and Education. She chairs the National Council of Health Promotion of the Israel Ministry of Health and was one of the founders of the Israel Health Promoters and Health Educators Association. Diane has published extensively articles and book chapters on numerous aspects of health literacy and health promotion. She specializes in action research and policy development in health promotion in community primary care, children and adolescents, people with chronic conditions, hospital and media settings, media/digital health literacy, measuring population health literacy, and cultural appropriateness for health on the policy, research and practice levels. Diane was the principal investigator for the National Survey on Health Literacy in Israel. She is a scientific advisor for the Asian Health Literacy Association, as well as for the Health Literacy for Children and Adolescents project in Germany and serves on the WHO Expert Advisory Group on developing a European Action Plan on Health Literacy, served on the board of the International Health Literacy Association and is the associate editor of the Global Health Promotion Journal. She was recently appointed as Chair of the Technical Advisory Group for the WHO Euro Region unit on Behavioral and Cultural Insights (BCI).

Pauline Zheng, MS

Pauline Zheng

Pauline Zheng is a Project Manager for the Center of Applied Health Research on Aging (CAHRA) and Director of the MidCog Research Study at Northwestern University. She has worked on multiple observational studies examining health literacy and cognition across the life span as well as led numerous clinical trials testing various medication adherence remote monitoring strategies. Pauline has a BA in Biochemistry from Grinnell College and MPH from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.