Helen Osborne helps organizations write print and web-based health information in ways that intended readers can relate to, understand, and use. With many years experience as a plain language writer/editor, Helen brings writing skills, health literacy expertise, clinical training, and patient perspective to all her projects. Examples include:
- Plain language materials for average readers
- Websites for the general public
- Reference materials for professionals
Organizations can contract to work with Helen at an hourly rate, project fee, or yearly retainer. Contact Helen to discuss ways she can help you clearly communicate health messages. You can reach her by email at Helen@healthliteracy.com or call 508-653-1199.
Plain language is more than just using short words. It includes setting a tone, organizing concepts, and using layout, graphics, and formats to help readers understand. While Helen has worked on a wide range of documents for many clients, here are 3 of her projects that are available to the public:
- Eating Hints: Before, During, and After Cancer Treatment, published by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Health. Winner of a Gold Plain Language Award from the National Institute for Health, 2010.
- Chemotherapy and You: Support for People with Cancer, published by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Health. Winner of a Gold Plain Language Award from the National Institute for Health, 2008.
- Radiation and You: Support for People with Cancer, published by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Health. Winner of a Gold Plain Language Award from the National Institute for Health, 2008.
Beyond creating, writing for, and overseeing a team to manage her many websites, Helen helps organizations simplify their own web words. For example, she edited text about quality care for Massachusetts Health Quality Partners. She also simplified content for family caregivers on Next Step in Care.
- Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition. This award-winning, best-selling book is considered by many as the most important health literacy reference today.
- Health Literacy Month Handbook: The Event Planning Guide for Health Literacy Advocates. A how-to handbook filled with up-to-date examples of ways to raise awareness about health literacy.
- Podcasting Guide: A Little About Technology, A Lot About Getting Started with Audio Interviews. Co-authored with her audio editor, this guides include lots of practical how-to podcast information.
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