Health Literacy Consulting

Health literacy is about mutual understanding. It happens when patients (or caregivers, the public, or anyone on the receiving end of health communication) and providers (clinicians, public health specialists, organizations, and others on the giving end of this communication) truly understand each other. Health literacy can be hard to accomplish.

Helen Osborne can help.

She does this by raising awareness about health literacy, teaching strategies to help, and sharing stories about why this matters. Helen also serves as a plain language writer and editor on a wide range of health materials.

Health Literacy Consultant Helen Osborne
Helen Osborne Health Literacy Communication

Helen Osborne can help you communicate clearly!

Helen Osborne, M.Ed, OTR/L helps helps professionals communicate health information in ways that patients and the public can understand. Helen brings to this work her experience as an occupational therapist, training as an educator, and perspective as a patient and caregiver.


“Thank you for your excellent work on this script as well as all the others! You make the scripts and projects even better. We greatly appreciate your expertise and collaborating with us to improve medical care for those who most need it.”

Aretha Delight Davis MD, JD & Angelo Volandes MD, MPH
Co-founders and chief executives of ACP Decisions

“Everyone who attended your workshop really, really liked it and found it immensely useful. The evaluations were stellar and people thought it really helped them think in new, useful, and concrete ways. We all now understand that we don’t need to be artists to communicate in pictures!”
Jeannie Hess, Community Service Program Liaison
Harvard Medical School
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Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast

Health Literacy Out Loud (HLOL) podcasts are a lot like radio shows. You can listen in as Helen Osborne interviews those in-the-know about health literacy. You will hear why health literacy matters and learn practical ways to help.

  • Maureen Maurer brings a strong background in health behavior and health education. Her work focuses on engaging patients, families, and community members in health research, health care delivery, and health policy. Maurer, a principal researcher at the American Institutes for Research, directs a research support project for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) called the […]
  • Joi R. Canton MSN, RN, NPD-BC is a nurse and Manager of Community Outreach in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to many years in clinical practice, Canton brings experience as a clinical educator, clinical instructor, nurse leader, and preceptor/mentor for novice nurses. In this podcast, Joi Canton talks with Helen Osborne about: Why it can […]

About the Book

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018) is written for someone who cares a lot about communicating health messages clearly and simply. It is also written for someone to whom health literacy is just one of many projects competing for time and attention. Whether you are a physician, nurse, pharmacist, allied health professional, case manager, public health specialist, practice manager, health educator, student, or family caregiver–this book is for you.

Health Literacy from A to Z by Helen Osborne

How-to Tips and Articles

Why Health Literacy Matters

Health literacy is at the forefront of many current health initiatives. That’s great, of course. But I sometimes wonder why it’s getting more attention than in years past. Here are my musings about why health literacy matters today:  Patients need to understand...

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Using Stories to Teach About Health

Stories are powerful health communication tools. By combining emotions and facts, stories can help people connect with health information in a more personal way. Stories can help people of all ages and cultures find qualities they have in...

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Metaphors, Similes, and Analogies

Metaphors, similes, and analogies are figures of speech used to help people understand unfamiliar words and concepts. They do so by comparing new information to that which people already know. While there are important distinctions among the...

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