SaferCare Texas Presents #WordstoLose for Health Literacy Month

Wordstolose Teresa Wagner3 788x1024
Dr. Teresa Wagner holds her #WordsToLose sign.

In recognition of Health Literacy Month, The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s SaferCare Texas is launching a #WordsToLose campaign to emphasize the importance of using words that people can easily understand so that they can make appropriate health decisions.

As a part of the campaign, HSC encourages area residents to download the #WordsToLose sign here. In the first box, residents should write the health care word or phrase they will stop using. In the second box, they should write the word or phrase they will replace it with. They are then encouraged to take a photo with their sign and share it on social media with the hashtags #WordsToLose and #HealthLiteracyMonth.

“Health literacy, to me, occurs when health information is presented in a way that, no matter a person’s circumstances or lived experience, that information can be accessed, understood, practiced and navigated in people’s everyday lives to make well-informed health decisions for themselves and others,” said Teresa Wagner, interim director of SaferCare Texas.

SaferCare Texas was founded in response to the national challenge to improve patient safety. The department works to eliminate preventable harm by improving communities through patient safety innovation.

Roughly half of American adults read below a sixth-grade level, yet most health information — educational pamphlets, discharge instructions, medication details — is written at a 12th-grade level. This gap leaves room for patient misunderstandings and mistakes, which can lead to poor health outcomes and increased medical costs. At the broader public level, it also creates space for misinformation and disinformation to take hold.

According to data from SaferCare Texas, health literacy costs the U.S. economy an estimated $236 billion dollars every year, and health care costs are four times higher for adults with low health literacy levels. Only 12% of U.S. residents are proficient in the health literacy skills they need to effectively navigate and use the nation’s health system.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed October 2022 as Health Literacy Awareness Month. Wagner participates in a national committee dedicated to having every state in the nation proclaim October as Health Literacy Month. Texas is the first to do so. Anyone can develop and submit a health literacy proclamation to a state governor’s office for the month of October by using this toolkit.

Recent News

7281bfad 8597 4cef 80de B58ea8a26ab5
  • Community
|Jun 10, 2024

North Texas Asthma Summit to improve asthma outcomes for children

Representatives from 10 North Texas organizations will come together Wednesday with one common goal in mind: improving health outcomes for children with poorly controlled asthma. The goal of the North Texas Asthma Summit is to develop community partnerships to help these children who frequently e...
Dobbs Headshot
  • Our People
|Jun 7, 2024

School of Health Professions welcomes three new staff members

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Health Professions is excited to announce three new staff members in the dean’s office. Christa Lo, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, joins SHP as associate dean. In her role, she will assist in overseeing the school’s academic...
  • Our People
|Jun 6, 2024

TCOM Alumnus Dr. Frederick White receives the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service from the AOCR

In recognition of his outstanding leadership, dedication and service, Frederick E. White, DO, FAOCR, a 1977 graduate from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, was selected as the recipient of the American Osteopathic College ...
Hampton 5
  • On Campus
|Jun 5, 2024

Hampton University representatives visit HSC to build partnerships

A delegation of five representatives from Hampton University visited The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s campus on Friday. Hampton University is a private, historically Black university founded in 1868 in Hampton, Virginia. The group included President of Ham...