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.

  • Kip Clark describes himself as being passionate about better and more meaningful communication. This belief guides his work as a standardized patient with medical students and as a podcast host and producer. Clark came to working as a standardized patient work from a background in improv comedy. He is a graduate of Kenyon College with […]
  • Lenora Johnson, DrPH, MPH directs the science policy, engagement, health education, and public-facing communication initiatives of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). This office supports and coordinates the public facing messaging and information delivery channels on behalf of NHLBI. One of the many projects Dr. Johnson works with […]

About the Book

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Third Edition (updated 2022) 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, 3rd Edition by Helen Osborne

How-to Tips and Articles

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Other Healthcare Shorthand

Imagine what it’s like to be suddenly injured or ill. You or your family member calls 911. EMTs arrive and take you to the nearest ER or ED. You or someone in your family is given a lot of paperwork, including HIPAA notification. The doctors and nurses say you need...

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Using Visuals to Teach

Maybe you know visual learners like me—people who learn best when watching demonstrations or seeing drawings and photographs. Visuals can go a long way toward helping others understand health care concepts and instructions. Here are some how-to's: Acquire the artwork...

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Making Numbers Make Sense

Health information is filled with numbers. This includes concepts such as quantity, time, and risk. But patients, caregivers, and the lay public often struggle to understand and use such numbers. Here are a dozen (12) ways to help make numbers make...

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