Health Literacy

Empowering patients to have greater agency in, and control over health decisions.

A patient’s health literacy is their ability to read, understand and use health care information to make informed decisions and modify behaviours that affect their personal healthcare needs. Promoting health literacy among patients creates a more collaborative care environment, one that empowers patients to have greater agency in, and control over, their own care decisions.

CCMI’s Health Literacy programs introduce participants to concepts that support and emphasize the importance of being able to support patients and communicate clearly so that patients and family members can truly participate in care. Participants will gain an understating of Health Literacy concepts and learn practical skills for engaging with patients to ensure clear and effective communication.

Program Summary

Health Literacy OverviewPresentationNoneUnlimited1 hour
Workshop for Frontline CliniciansFace-to-Face WorkshopNone6-24 people per group3-4 hours
Workshop for Clinical Educators and Health Literacy LeadsFace-to-Face WorkshopNone6-24 people per group1 day
Trainer CourseFace-to-FaceNone6-12 people per group
2 days

Program Detail

Health Literacy Overview

This level of training is applicable to a wide range of professionals and peer helpers and is a foundation for additional training. It is also suitable (with adaptation) as a keynote for a conference.

Workshop for Frontline Clinicians

This level of training is applicable to front line clinicians who wish to improve their knowledge and skills.

Workshop for Clinical Educators and Health Literacy Leads

Provides skills development training and knowledge which will help across community and system wide settings—teaching and also assessing the potential of an organization’s Health Literacy implementations. This program incorporates and builds on aspects of the Workshop for Front Line Clinicians.

Trainer Course

This course helps individuals gain the knowledge and confidence to teach Health Literacy skills to others. Having Health Literacy trainers within an organization encourages ongoing skills refinement as well as capacity to train new hires.

Schedule & Fees

Please contact us to discuss fees based on your organization’s requirements, and for a schedule of upcoming sessions.

Additional Resources

The BRAIN (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, Next Steps) app is based on our popular worksheet. The app and worksheet both are designed to help you to think about the Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives to a decision. Then they ask you what your gut or intuition says and it help you to clarify the next steps that make sense to you.

The app is available for apple devices in the apple app store by searching CCMI BRAIN or going here

and for android devices in the google play store by searching CCMI BRAIN or going here

Teach Back is an evidence-based technique to confirm that a message has been understood. It has been shown to help people improve blood sugar control and avoid readmission in heart failure, and to decrease time for people taking a blood-thinning medication to get the medication dose right. Download our Teach Back Guide.

Teach-Back for Understanding

In this video Connie Davis explains how to use teach-back, a method to check that information has been communicated clearly. To download the handout, visit the handouts section on this page.

Health Literacy Umbrella

CCMI worked with health care teams in BC to develop this video, describing the “Health Literacy Umbrella”:

Health and Wellness Advertising Claims Assessment Worksheet

One of the practical tools that we have partnered to develop is a worksheet for assessing health and wellness advertisements.

Click here to download: Health and Wellness Advertising Claims: So, Is it Truthful?

This tool was developed collaboratively with input from the public and professionals. We thank everyone who reviewed drafts and provided valuable feedback, including:

  • Plain Language Group of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Toronto, ON

The working group provided oversight and leadership:

  • Bernie Garrett, Associate Professor, UBC School of Nursing, Vancouver, BC
  • Elsie Petch, MHSc, Health Literacy Consultant, Toronto, ON
  • Lea Elcombe, Facilitator of the Plain Language Group of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Toronto, ON
  • Alifa Khan, Patient Advocate, Orangeville, ON
  • Denielle Wiebe, Graphic Designer, CCMI, Quesnel, BC
  • Connie Davis, Development Project Lead, CCMI, Hope BC

BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet

One of the practical tools that we have developed is the BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet, adapted with permission from the International Childbirth Association.

Download the Brain Decision Making Worksheet here:
BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet (Health) 
BRAIN Decision Making Worksheet (General)