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.

  • Paula Worby (pictured on the right) and Miriam Lara-Mejia both work at Hesperian Health Guides, a non-profit publisher best known for the book Where There Is No Doctor that is used throughout the world. Hesperian has more than a dozen books on a broad range of health topics and makes almost all of that content available […]
  • Professor Jason Last, MD, is University Dean of Students at University College Dublin in Ireland. Building on his experience as a practicing physician, Last has led and participated in many graduate medical education initiatives and programs. This includes work in patient education and advocacy. In this podcast, Professor Last talks with Helen Osborne about: The […]

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

How Adults Learn

All provider-patient encounters are opportunities for learning and teaching, even when not labeled as such. “Teachers” can be clinicians or anyone else responsible for health instruction. “Students” may be patients, caregivers, or others receiving this information....

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Asking: A Way to Know if Others Understand

You spoke about a certain topic. You wrote about it, too. You even drew pictures explaining more. But will your audience understand and relate to the information that you are trying to convey? The best way I know to find out is by asking. Here are examples about...

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Communicating When Naked: Lessons Learned as a Patient

Talking about health and other medical matters had always been easy for me. As an occupational therapist and health literacy consultant, I felt confident and in charge of conversations no matter which professional "hat" I was wearing. But after a routine mammogram...

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