The HEAL (Health Education and Adult Literacy) Program's primary goal is to reduce the rate of medication errors and increase compliance with treatment as prescribed by medical providers to the patient population in Washington Heights and Inwood. This is accomplished by the development and implementation of a health education curriculum that responds to health literacy skills of the population served.
The curriculum is used by our volunteer parent educator and pediatric providers to discuss topics regarding medication management, over the counter medicines, the use of over the counter medicines home remedies, the appropriate care of upper respiratory infections and the difference between the common cold and the flu. This curriculum is in English and Spanish and includes handouts that parents can take home.
The HEAL curriculum was informed by three focus groups with the collaboration of Alianza Dominicana, Best Beginning Program. Focus groups consisted of 22 community members residing in Washington Heights. Two of the focus groups were held in Spanish and one in English. The findings of the focus groups demonstrate the participants' opinions for each of the topics listed below.
Trainings are conducted for all pediatric residents at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian (MSCHONY), General Pediatrics faculty, selected1st year medical student, family support workers from Best Beginnings at Alianza Dominicana and staff at local Head Starts. Trainings consist of teaching basic tenets of health literacy in conjunction with cultural competency and effective communication with patients' caregivers. A train the trainer module has been created to teach volunteers how to implement the HEAL curriculum in ACN waiting rooms.