Lilly recognized for health literacy efforts

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug maker Eli Lilly has partnered with nationally recognized health literacy experts to implement new standards to ensure the company's patient communications and resources adhere to health literacy principles.

"The widespread but often unrecognized public health challenge of health literacy serves as both a warning and a call to action," said Jack Harris, VP of Eli Lilly's U.S. medical division. "Overcoming health disparities is a transformational and important journey. At Lilly we are working to develop communication and health education that connects with patients in a way that's meaningful and understandable."

In an effort to improve health literacy among Americans, Lilly said it has put forth various health education efforts, which recently received national recognition from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. IHA awarded Lilly the Published Materials Award for outstanding achievements in health literacy for two bilingual educational pieces. The educational materials, "Eating to Feel Your Best" and "Being Active to Feel Your Best" and their Spanish counterparts, "Comer para sentirse lo mejor posible" and "Estar activo para sentirse lo mejor possible," address the importance of making healthy food choices at every meal and staying active. Using colorful pictures, clear and concise information, simple illustrations, quick tips and space for personalized notes, readers are inspired, directed and motivated to take action to feel their best, Lilly said. Both pieces are available in English and Spanish on the Lilly for Better Health website.

According to a survey conducted by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy survey, 2-in-5 American adults — a total of 90 million people — have difficulty processing health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. What's more, the study also showed that 75% of Americans who reported having a long-term illness had limited health literacy and knew less about their conditions or how to handle symptoms.

"We were delighted to present Lilly USA with our 2012 IHA Health Literacy Award in the Published Materials category for their 'Feel Your Best' patient education brochure series," IHA president and CEO Gloria Mayer said. "These materials follow all the tenets of design for a low literate audience, and provide users with an easy-to-use resource to get and keep healthy."

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