Laurie Francis, BSN, MS, has been appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy representing ACU. The Roundtable brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations and associations, and representatives of patient and consumer interests who work to improve health literacy.
Health literacy is central to improving health outcomes, Ms. Francis says. “Our clinic assessments revealed that 50 percent of clients suffer from diminished health literacy levels, so it surprises me that we treat it as an isolated condition.” Instead, she says, “I would like to see the concept fully imbedded in patient-centered conversations, motivational interviewing, patient self-management goal setting, and patient activation.”
Ms. Francis currently serves as senior director of clinical excellence and operations for the Oregon Primary Care Association. She was a founder of Community Health Partners, Inc., a FQHC inLivingston,MT, where she served as chief executive officer. During this time she published research linking limited literacy to depression. She has served on an ACU advisory committee and has been actively involved in ACU’s work on health literacy and primary care, including developing training modules in health literacy for the primary care teams. Ms. Francis replaces Sharon Barrett, MS, who previously served as ACU’s representative to the Roundtable.
This column appeared in the January 2012 ACU newsletter, Clinician & Community.