Client Comments

Health Literacy

“You are such a good interviewer, how you pick up and follow through with perceptive questions. Your own boundless curiosity and energy shine through.”

Brenda Moore-McCann, MD, PhD
Dublin, Ireland
“I just finished your most recent Talking About Blood episode interviewing Mark Hay and I was so fascinated with this conversation I realize I had completed stopped my weeding and was sitting there with glove and tools in hand. That was too much fun and I of course had to pass it on to two of my fellow foodie friends. What a fun bit of whimsy. Of course your interview with Jean Wang and the fun of medical philately was another of my favorites in that series.”

Larry Lynam
American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) member
“Thrilled that you accepted the challenge to host The Blood Project’s new podcast series, Talking About Blood. You always rise to the challenge. You have the ability to identify key questions that listeners might have (even on new or innovative topics) and then get the most from each podcast guest.”

William Aird, MD
Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, practicing hematologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and founder and Executive Director of The Blood Project
“On behalf of faculty and myself, thank you so much for taking the time to participate in our recorded discussion for students. As you said, ‘Let’s be better today than yesterday.’ Your wisdom gives us as faculty and our students tools to do just that. Thanks again!”

Michele Beatty Bachmann, MSN, RN
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, School of Nursing
“I’m savoring all the fantastic new information in the new edition of Helen’s book, Health Literacy from A to Z. When I get stuck on something, I have a “What would Helen write?’ moment and grab the book. It is my go-to reference for making health communication easier.”

Mark Hagerty
Biomedical Writing Services
“Helen is a great podcast interviewer and has a knack of asking questions that lead to interesting conversation.”

Parul Bhargava, MD
Professor & Vice-Chair of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco
“I am a health educator in my state’s Department of Health. As a health literacy champion, I highly enjoy your podcasts and overall information you share on your website. I’ve been listening to your podcasts during my lunch break jogs. They are a wonderful 30 minutes or so of pure joy!”

Sergio Enciso, Watch Me Grow
Washington Health Educator, Department for Public Affairs
“I am a big fan of the HLOL podcasts. In fact, I had discovered them while preparing to interview for my new teaching position. I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to use these podcasts with your book.”

Megan Donelson
University of Dayton
“As an instructional designer in the Biotech industry, I find Health Literacy Out Loud podcasts extremely valuable! With such a conversational flow, I feel involved in the conversation of each episode. My favorites are about education, education technology, and instruction design as they connect to health literacy. The other episodes, however, do not disappoint. Each presents engaging and new material, diverse perspectives, and relatable stories to the life and work of health professionals.”

James Aird, M.Ed.
Instructional Designer
“It was so wonderful to see you Tuesday at PCORI’s CEDS advisory panel meeting. I can’t believe after all these years that was your last meeting. I have truly enjoyed getting to know you during our time together on the panel. Your experience and advocacy for health literacy is unmatched. Your genuine commitment to helping health professionals communication health information in ways patients and the public understand is commendable.”

Bridget Gaglio, PhD, MPH, Senior Program Officer
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
“I just received the latest ‘What’s New in Health Literacy Consulting’ in my inbox. Can I just say that I really love this publication? It has such great tips and tricks in it, and we have learned and applied a ton of your recommendations about Health Literacy. I often forward the email onto our Patient Education Committee members so they can learn alongside me.”

Julie Hoerner, Patient Engagement Specialist
Kootenai Health, Idaho
“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
“Thanks so much for taking the reins last night and making our Disparities in Care Workshop a success. I received tons of positive feedback. You are such a gifted presenter! You have a great ability to share your expertise and engage your audience in a poised, relaxed manner, imparting the importance of your topic in a pragmatic, not pedantic, way. I really think you turned the health literacy light on for a lot of the attendees.”

Lucinda Levene, DSRIP Partner Engagement Manager
Leatherstocking Health Partners
“You are an AMAZING woman who has inspired me to learn more so my help & work in healthcare is genuinely effective. THANK YOU for your hard work & dedication!!”

Marra Williams, Health Education Specialist
UC Irvine Medical Center
“We were fortunate to have you both (Helen Osborne and Mitch Ross–a police office from Milwaukee, WI) at our conference and heard great things about your session. Thanks Helen for finding the communication stories in so many people and places.”

Michele Erikson, Executive Director
Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.
“Your book is brilliant and comprehensive. It should be required reading for every medical student…and nurse, and patient. Even someone who is fairly savvy about medical terms and comfortable with doctors and nurses will benefit from this work.”

Joel Kowit PhD
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA & Founder and Director, Immunology Workshops
“Thank you again for coming to Charlottesville! I received so much positive feedback after the workshop. You’ll be happy to know that you made a great impact on our community.”

Liz Rapp, Reference and Serials Librarian
Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
“Yesterday was wonderful. I feel that your presentation was a true success at raising awareness with our program staff about the importance of health literacy in nutrition education. I am so glad that you were available and willing to share your experience and wisdom with us.”

Lisa Irving, NY Statewide Coordinator
SNAP Nutrition Education and Outreach
“I thought you might like to know that you inspired me to take a leap of faith and form my new company, Digital Medica. I want to change the way we communicate the heath message so we can reach a broader audience.”

Melory Johnson
Digital Media Inc.
“I have heard lots of positive feedback from participants. It was especially wonderful getting to know you! I really appreciated your flexible style and your warm, enthusiastic, accepting personality.”

Janet Holboke, MSW, LCSW, Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialist
Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc (GOBHI)
“Wow these podcasts are terrific, Helen. You’re the Terry Gross of the health literacy world!”

Leigh Curtin-Wilding, MSc, Director
Online Master of Science in Health Communication Program, Boston University
“Our deepest thanks for helping us to kick off the Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition in such wonderful fashion. I also want to add my own personal thanks for the creativity, expertise, and passion you brought to our meeting. We really cannot thank you enough for your support of our work.”

Susan Choi, PhD, CPHQ
Senior Director, Quality Partnerships & Initiatives, Health Care Improvement Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
“Thanks for moderating our panel discussion about communicating with beneficiaries about access to coverage. You were fantastic! I cannot thank you enough for your contributions that helped make Plain Talk 2015 such a success. I can confidently say that this year’s panel was the best we’ve ever had and exceeded my expectations.”

Ryan A. Miller, Senior Manager
Center for Health Literacy, MAXIMUS
[In regard to a series of AAO patient education documents that Helen Osborne rewrote into plain language.] “I did a ‘before and after’ of a chunk of text from one of our more complex topics (diabetic retinopathy) with our doctors on our committee, and they were impressed. They didn’t even want to read through the long, difficult passage that they had written themselves! That says a lot!”

Kierstan Boyd, Director of Patient Education
American Academy of Ophthalmology
“It was a pleasure working with you as our Roving Reporter at IHA’s 13th Annual Health Literacy Conference. The responses and messages that you captured were open and honest, as well as on-point and well-articulated. You proposed creative ideas that made the interview process much more interesting and fun.”

Adriana LeBer, Marketing Manager
Institute for Healthcare Advancement
“Health Literacy Highlight is my favorite email of yours about the podcasts! The photo and a little crumb about Archie Willard learning to read at 54 piques my interest and makes me want to listen to it. In fact, I will!”

Cristal L. Medeiros
“Health Literacy Out Loud is purposely designed to be user friendly and at a level that can be achieved and repeatedly referenced for reinforcement.”

Bethany Figg, Library Reference Assistant
CMU Medication Education Partners
“Thank you so very much for your time, energy, passion, and presentation. You served as a perfect kickoff to the focus on patient-centered communication/engagement and shared decision-making. The group’s evaluations and comments about you were strong, as I believed they should have been.”

William L Bodnar, President
The Leader’s Board
“I would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you for your presentation at our Annual Meeting. I am grateful for you taking the time to join us. I appreciated your thoughtful pre-work andconversations with us; your presentation was perfectly tailored to our audience needs. We have already received many, many positive comments from our attendees!”

Anna Heininger, Communications Coordinator
Renal Network of the Upper Midwest, Inc. (ESRD Network 11)
“Thank you for all your work to raise awareness about the importance of understandable health information. Your book, podcasts, and website have been great resources for our department to use in our mission to provide patients with health information that is understandable, accessible, and actionable.”

Sarah Magler, Medical Literacy Editor
“Helen, you did an absolutely fantastic job on Ground Rounds for us last Friday at Scott & White Hospital. We thank you so much for giving us your time and expertise.”

John P. Erwin, III, MD, FACC, FAHA
Vice Chair, Department of Internal Medicine
Associate Dean, Continuing Medical Education
Scott & White Healthcare/Texas A&M College of Medicine
“I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful work. You are my heroine. I mean that in all sincerity. Health literacy is vital to our well being: as individuals and as a society. Champions like you and the experts you interview for the podcasts and quote in your book give me hope that we can make a difference.”

Michele Hanley
Catholic Health Initiatives Foundation, Colorado Springs, CO
“I received a copy of Health Literacy from A to Z in the mail last week, but just now had a chance to crack the binding. What a joy it is. The tone is at once folksy and warm, but also authoritative. It contains so many good ideas for practice that I feel I ought to number them 1-365 and try one out each day. Not surprisingly, the best thing about it (to me, at any rate), is that you’ve done that Helen Osborne thing that you do so well: woven together diverse voices into a tapestry of collective wisdom. Bravo!”

Don Rubin PhD
Center for Health & Risk Communication, University of Georgia
“As I got on the elevator after your presentation, some of us were discussing what our take-aways were. You got us thinking!”

Geoffrey Page
Rockford Health System
“I had a wonderful time working with you. Hopefully, our paths will continue to cross in the health literacy world. Keep up the great work that you do! So many of us appreciate the wonderful resources you have created–and have come to rely on them as we keep fighting the good fight.”

Jessica Ridpath, Research Communications Consultant
Group Health Research Institute, Program for Readability in Science & Medicine (PRISM)
“I just wanted to thank you again for a terrific day yesterday. Both presentations were outstanding and the feedback from the customer was excellent.”

Sean Howe, Account Executive
Merck & Co., Inc.
“Thank you again for the guidance and input you gave when we began our project. On more than one occasion, I found myself asking WWHD — What would Helen do? Or, is this need-to-know or nice-to-know information?”

Constanza Villalba, PhD, Associate Editor Patient Information
“Audience members were delighted to hear from someone with so much expertise in the often-overlooked but increasingly important area of health literacy. Your sessions and the references you provided will help heighten awareness of health literacy and its importance to patient-centered care in the VA.”

William E. Duncan MD, PhD, MACP
Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Health Quality and Safety
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
“I wanted to say how much your website has inspired me and helped generate ideas for my own work. You always provide great resources I can incorporate into my teaching. Information from podcasts on your website also helped guide projects such as my research team’s recently completed health literacy resource website for therapists working with children who have sleep problems and/or chronic pain.”

Cary A Brown, FHEA, BMR(OT), PhD, Associate Professor
Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alberta, Canada
“Thank you so much for your informative podcasting workshop. It enlightened me to the podcast possibilities for my cycling group BIKETERNITY. Since your workshop I have been talking with several others and we are beginning to discuss how to use podcasting for our group.”

Arlen Hall, Tour Director
“Your book, Health Literacy from A to Z, is one of the most informative books I have ever read on the subject. It has helped me with several projects.”

Kashika Sahay, Student
University of Rochester
“Thank YOU for taking the time to come to Harvard Medical School and talk with the students here. It was a great event and one person I talked with afterwards said she thought she learned a lot and had lots of food for thought.”

Jeannie Hess, Program Manager of Community Service
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
“Congratulations on one year of Health Literacy Out Loud podcasts. It is just one more indicator of your creative genious and passionate determination to help healthcare professionals communicate more effectively with their patients. Countless patients all over the country have you to thank when they receive clear and understandable healthcare information from their caregivers. And they may never know that they have you to thank.”

Lee Joesten, Mission and Spiritual Care
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL
“I thought that this workshop was fabulous. There were many points that I’ll bring back to use on the job including getting reader feedback, collaborating with others to improve readability, and checking the resources provided,” wrote one workshop participant. Another said, “Very well put together presentation. It managed to be both general/basic and advanced at the same time. That’s quite an art!”

Two participants at Helen Osborne’s workshop
AMWA New England Chapter Conference
“Fantastic presentation on Saturday. People were so jazzed. I came in today and spent half an hour talking podcast with our marketing and communications director. We’ve been meaning to do it but you’ve lit a fire!”

Suzanne Bates, President & CEO
Bates Communications, Inc., Wellesley, MA
“Helen helps you think about what you’re trying to say so you can frame it in the most simple, yet engaging, way. Not only is she incredibly knowledgable, but she’s also a marvelous instructor (and as you know, the two don’t always go hand-in-hand!!)”

Jill Shuman, Instructor
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston MA
“Thank you very much for a wonderful presentation. Your talk was thought provoking and enjoyable. Personally it has me generating conversations here about how our design might have a positive influence on communication and literacy.”

Todd Hanson, AIA, NCARB
Principal at JSA Architects, Interiors, Planners
“The New York Times recently published an article by Jane Gross, ‘The Bumpy Ride from Hospital to Home.’ It is about a new website from the United Hospital Fund of NY, offering materials to help patients and their caregivers during transitions of care. Gross credits many people for this website, including a ‘health literacy expert.’ She adds, ‘I have yet to find a Web site for caregivers with more useful information, clearly presented and targeted to one area of need.’” Carol Levine is Director of this UHF project and thanked me for my help. She wrote, “Your contribution was a major one, and people are very impressed when I tell them that we went the extra step of having a literacy expert help us.”
“Health Literacy Out Loud podcasts provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the many faces of health literacy. The sessions educate, empower, and inspire the listener to go out and do something to improve provider-patient communication. I love the energetic and vibrant interviews with real people who say ‘we can do better’ to improve understanding through improved communication and health literacy.”

Pauline Hamel, Ed.D, PT
Health Communications Educator/Consultant
Boston University, MS in Health Communications Program
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your time yesterday. It was a fantastic presentation with superb use of multimedia. A number of students mentioned during the break or after class how much they learned from you, which is of course my goal.”

Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Ph.D.
Adjunct Clinical Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
“I just wanted to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful presentation you provided our customers. The feedback was great – they truly got so much out of it.”

Randi Klebanoff, MS, MPH, CHES
Manager, Wellness Initiatives
Mather LifeWays in Chicago, IL
“I just want to tell you what a spectacular job you did as our seminar speaker. The renal professionals who attended provided extremely positive feedback about your presentation and also verbally expressed how much they learned from information you provided that day.”

Donna Sciacca
Vice President, Programs and Services
National Kidney Foundation of Connecticut
“Just a note to say thank you for the inspiration you provided throughout your presentation. I am inspired to begin a journey never before imagined and it was sparked by hearing your story and attending the conference.”

Reverend Charles Paige, Senior
Workshop Participant & Panelist
“This Health Literacy course you instructed was the most informative and relevant training course I have attended. I am so excited to have new tools and resources to really make a difference in how I approach patient and prescriber communications going forward. I feel I have walked away from this course with so many great resources, tools, strategies and a greater knowledge of how to communicate clearly and simply. I can’t wait to get started on the next project.”

Jane Niemtschk, R.Ph.
Sr Analyst, Professional Practice
CVS Caremark l Caremark
“Thank you so much for coming to our conference. We have heard so many positive comments from your presentation. One of my co-workers announced at a recent staff meeting that she was re-doing our neurosurgery exercise booklets- because they are just too hard for our patients to understand. The whole group began to give your suggestions- more white space, clearer pictures, fewer pieces of information, have a patient give feedback…. I think you made a real impact!”

Melissa Anderson, BScPT
Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation, New Brunswick Canada
“I cannot thank you enough for all the great work you do in the field of health literacy! I have been truly inspired by your articles and referred to a couple of them in the final capstone project for my M.S.Ed degree.”

Lisa Schessler, M.S.Ed, RN
CCMCertified Case Manager
“I attended the IHA conference in Irvine, CA and you were one of the speakers at that conference that truly ‘fired me up.’ Thank you for all you do to improve the literacy of our country!”

Mary L. Flossmann, PHN, MSN/Ed, RN
Lodi Memorial Hospital, Lodi, CA
“Helen Osborne was a fabulous and inspiring presenter who touched on an incredibly important and timely topic…. Not only do I have every intention of using Ms. Osborne’s suggestions and guidelines in my conversations with patients, but I am going to do as much as I can to promote health literacy education among renal professionals in Connecticut.”

Mary L. Flossmann, PHN, MSN/Ed, Donna Sciacca
Director, Patient Program Services
National Kidney Foundation of Connecticut
Lodi Memorial Hospital, Lodi, CA
“We have all grown a notch because of you. You really presented in a way that allowed us to hear and embrace change. Thanks for helping us make our health literacy workshop a success.”

Surina Ann Jordan, PhD
Zima Health
“I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you again! It was wonderful meeting you! We were so honored to have had you and enjoyed every second of your presentation.”

Ashley Wells, Health Planner & Analyst
Delaware Cancer Consortium Cancer Education Alliance
“Your recent presentation in Baton Rouge was outstanding! I thought I was doing my part to communicate with our patients in a way that they could understand, but the sky just opened up for me when you shared all of your great strategies. I can’t wait to begin implementing some that you mentioned.”

Andrea Vidrine, Social Worker
DCI Opelousas, Opelousas, LA
“I was thinking about your health literacy workshop all weekend. You can start to see ripples everywhere. Very exciting!”

Betsy Burtis, Manager of Training & Development
Southern New Hampshire Health System
“Thank you so much for the two wonderful programs you presented at our library. The information was just what people needed and your delivery was warm and approachable.”

Liz Bailey
Morse Institute Library, Natick, MA
“Thank you so much for your help with this project. You really pushed us to deliver a much much better product and I’ve only heard extremely good feedback about your ‘value add .”

Micky Tripathi, President and CEO
Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative
“Thank you so much for all of your great work–your contributions to making our site both usable and useful for individuals have been invaluable and we have learned so much from you in the process!”

Melinda Karp, Director of Programs
Massachusetts Health Quality Partners
“Helen, it’s obvious that you hold the concepts and values of ‘relationship-centered care’ dear to your heart.”

Beth Lown, MD,
Harvard Medical School and Mt. Auburn Hospital
President of the American Academy of Physician and Patient